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Test Kitchen Approved

Spatchcocked Turkey

Recipe By Savory Spice Test Kitchen

Recipe By Savory Spice Test Kitchen

Removing the backbone and flattening a whole turkey (a.k.a. spatchcocking) helps the turkey cook faster and more evenly. It's a great method for the smoker or grill and yields a BBQ inspired bird for special feasts from holidays to backyard barbecues.

Serving Suggestions

Recipe Notes

*For juicier turkey, brine the turkey for 1 hour per pound before smoking it; use our Brining Mix and follow the easy brining instructions. Savory’s ‘Cue Glue helps BBQ seasoning stick better to smoked and grilled proteins and seal in flavor. When preparing and cooking a turkey, be sure to follow proper food safety and handling guidelines.


1 (12 to 15 lb.) turkey, fresh or defrosted if frozen

12 to 15 tsp. choice of seasoning (about 1 tsp. per pound meat)

Staff favorites for seasoning spatchcocked turkey include:

Try it with one of our Small Batch BBQ Sauces:

Woody's Sweet & Tangy Barbecue Sauce

Savory Spice ingredients in this recipe

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  • Brining Spice Ready Mix

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If brining, prepare brine using Brining Mix instructions and brine turkey breast for 1 hour per pound in the refrigerator.

Pat turkey dry. Use kitchen shears to cut turkey lengthwise along either side of backbone and remove the backbone. Open turkey and place it breast side up on a cutting board. Use the palms of your hands to push down on the breast bone, breaking it so the turkey will lie flat. Brush turkey all over with ‘Cue Glue if using. Sprinkle all sides with salt & pepper then choice of seasoning. Prepare smoker with wood of choice and preheat to 225 to 250 degrees. Place turkey in the smoker, breast side up, and smoke until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast and thigh reaches 165 degrees; about 3 to 4 hours depending on the size of the turkey. To finish on the grill if desired, set the smoked turkey over direct heat (300 to 350 degrees) for 5 to 7 min. on both sides. Let turkey rest for 30 min. before slicing.

Using a grill instead of a smoker: Follow the same method but keep the heat to one side of the grill and set the turkey, breast side up, on the opposite side so it cooks over indirect heat. If you want to add smoke flavor to the turkey, use a few soaked wood chunks on the charcoal or a smoker box with soaked wood chips on a gas grill. Set the smoking element over the direct heat side of the grill. Turn turkey  every 45 min. or so for even browning.