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Spatchcock Smoked Turkey

spatch·cock – a chicken or game bird split open and grilled.

For this preparation, use a 10-12 pound turkey.

  1. Pat the turkey dry and turn it breast-side down on a cutting board. Using sharp kitchen shears or a knife, cut the backbone out of the turkey, reserving it for stock. Flip the turkey so it’s breast-side up, then press down on it with your hands to flatten the bird.
  2. Season turkey with salt and pepper on each side.  Use your favorite marinade and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours, reserve some marinade for basting. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator an hour before grilling, so it can come to room temperature.
  3. Prepare a grill for indirect heat. If using a charcoal grill, build the hot coals on one side only. If using a gas grill, heat one side only on medium-high heat.
  4. Place the turkey skin-side up over indirect heat and cover the grill. Maintain a temperature of 375 to 400 degrees F, smoke the turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 -170 degrees F in breast, about 90 minutes. Baste the turkey with reserved marinade every 30 minutes or so during cooking.
  5. Remove the turkey from the grill and rest, tented with aluminum foil, for at least 20 minutes before carving.

(You can also bake the turkey on a rimmed baking sheet in a 375 to 400 degrees F oven for 90 minutes, as an alternative to smoking/grilling)

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