There’s nothing quite like a juicy Traeger smoked spatchcock turkey served alongside delicious sides and a generous dose of holiday cheer. As Thanksgiving approaches, you simply have to try this incredible recipe that will leave your entire family satisfied and ready for a cozy nap. Perfect for Turkey Day, Christmas, or any chilly winter evening, this super-simple spatchcock turkey recipe is a winner on every front.
You might think this is just a regular turkey recipe, but you’d be mistaken. This Traeger smoked spatchcock turkey is flattened for quick and even cooking, and it’s basted with olive oil for a crispy skin finish. The addition of Spiceology Turkey Rub, with its incredible blend of herbs and spices, elevates the flavor to new heights. Believe me, our family loves this spatchcock turkey recipe, and it has become a yearly tradition that everyone looks forward to.
✂️ What Is Spatchcock?
Spatchcocking is a technique that involves butterflying poultry and removing the spine. By flattening the bird, it cooks more evenly and faster than a typical turkey roast. When you spatchcock a turkey, the exposed skin gets beautifully crispy because it’s not sitting in juices as it cooks. Once you try spatchcocking, you’ll never go back to the traditional method of cooking a turkey. Whether you grill, smoke, or roast the spatchcock turkey, you’ll achieve amazing results every time.
🍽 Ingredients for Spatchcock Turkey
- A whole turkey (around 15-20 pounds)
- Olive oil (for basting and crispy skin)
- Kosher salt (for juicy and flavorful meat)
- Black pepper (for a delicate spice)
- Spiceology Turkey Rub (to enhance the natural flavors)
👨🍳 How To Make This Turkey
- Preheat your Traeger or other smoker.
- Prepare the turkey and pat it dry with towels.
- Place the turkey on a cutting board and cut down the backbone on both sides.
- Flip the turkey and press down on the breastbone to flatten it.
- Brush the turkey with oil and season it.
- Coat the surface of the turkey with the spice rub.
- Place the turkey on the smoker, ensuring it lies flat.
- Tuck the wing tips back behind the bird to prevent burning.
- Smoke the turkey until it’s nearly fully cooked, then increase the temperature to crisp the skin.
- Remove the turkey from the smoker and let it rest before carving.
🔪 How to Carve Your Spatchcock Turkey
Carving a spatchcock turkey is similar to carving a whole roasted turkey. If the turkey is fully cooked, breaking it down is fairly simple:
- Cut down the sides of the thighs to remove the leg quarters.
- Slice the dark meat from the thigh and drumstick, using your fingers if needed.
- Remove the wings from the bird, using kitchen shears if necessary.
- Use your fingers to pull the meat off the wings.
- Slice along both sides of the breastbone to remove the breast meat. Slice the breasts into thin serving slices.
- Arrange the bird on a larger platter and garnish as desired.
🤔 Substitutions and Variations
- Brine the turkey: Add even more flavor and moisture by following the brining instructions in our Wet Brined Traeger Smoked Turkey recipe. You can brine the turkey before or after spatchcocking it.
- Mix up the dry rub: Feel free to use one of our recommended seasonings or create your own. Our sweet pork rub works surprisingly well on poultry, so give it a try. After seasoning, let the turkey sit in the fridge overnight for a dry brine and enhanced flavor.
- Use an oven instead: Don’t have a smoker? No problem! You can cook this turkey in the oven. Just follow the same time and temperature directions provided.
- Experiment with pellets: The flavor of your smoked turkey can vary depending on the type of pellets you use. Try different pellets to experience a range of flavors.
⏲️ Storing and Reheating Turkey
You can store leftover turkey in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. For longer storage, place the turkey meat in a vacuum-sealed bag and store it in the freezer for 3-6 months. When reheating from frozen, use the sous vide method for gradual and moist reheating. Alternatively, warm up your cold turkey in the microwave in short increments. Another great way to enjoy leftover turkey is by incorporating it into a delicious soup.
💬 Tell Me What You Think!
If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a comment below and let me know how it turned out. Share a picture of your creation on your favorite social platform, and don’t forget to tag me at @alicensetogrill. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!
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