Smoked Spatchcocked (Butterflied) Turkey

Smoked turkey is a delicious alternative to a traditional roasted turkey – and it frees up space in your oven! Consider smoking your turkey this year to add a whole new depth of flavor to your Thanksgiving dinner. Spatchcocking (or butterflying) will also cut the cooking time of your turkey down significantly, leaving you more time to enjoy the holiday!

  • Serves: 8-10 servings
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1.5-2.5 hours


  • 1 turkey, any size, completely thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt per pound of meat (only if your meat has not been pre-salted)
  • 2-4 ounces of hardwood or fruitwood (apple, pecan, cherry, etc.) - Not too much, a little goes a long way!
  • 4 tablespoons of your favorite herb & spice rub
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Spatchcock (butterfly) your turkey - best done the day before you would like to eat: Starting with the turkey breast-side down, use poultry shears to cut along side both sides of the backbone, beginning at the tail end. Set aside backbone (and giblets) if you are making stock. Take hold of both newly cut edges, and open the turkey. Remove any large pieces of fat. Turn the turkey breast-side up. Place your hand on one side of the breast, close to the breastbone, and push down firmly until you hear a crack. Repeat on the other side. Leverage helps, so grab a stool to stand on! Pull the thighs outward so the turkey lies flat, with the wings facing inward. Tuck the wing tips under to secure. OR head over to your favorite Oliver's Market and have one of our expert butchers do it for you!

  2. To dry brine: Place the butterflied turkey on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle Kosher salt right on the skin and refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours, or overnight.

  3. The morning that you are cooking: Mix the herb/spice rub you are using with the oil in a small bowl. Gently push the rub mixture under the skin covering the breasts. Spread it out and work it as far down to the thighs and legs as possible. Spread the remaining rub on top of the skin. If you run out, rub the exterior with oil and sprinkle it gently with a little black pepper, sage and thyme. Then sprinkle salt on the skin to help it crisp.

  4. Bring your smoker up to a temperature of 325*F and place your wood chips directly on the charcoal. Don't use too much wood, only 2-4 ounces will give you good smoke flavor. Place the turkey on the rack, breast side up and close the lid. Don't open the lid for an hour - this will help you achieve crispy skin. Smoke the turkey until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast and thigh reads 160*F.

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