Whole or spatchcock Turkey

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Mo Smoke
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Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by Mo Smoke » December 21st, 2019, 12:17 am

Getting ready to smoke the big bird for Christmas. Last time I did a turkey I cooked it whole. Got good results too. I cooked it breast side down. Breast was tender and juicy. Skin didn’t stay on tho. This time I may not have room or the time to cook it whole, plus I want to get crispy skin if I can. Will I lose moisture if I spatchcock it or think will be the same? What your method for the big bird.. smoke em whole or split em?


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Last edited by Mo Smoke on December 21st, 2019, 12:17 am, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by McBroom » December 21st, 2019, 12:26 am

Spatchcock hands down.

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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by Pete Mazz » December 21st, 2019, 5:45 am

:yth:


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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by mp4 » December 21st, 2019, 5:48 am

I've spatchcocked for several years. The meat stays moist and the skin crisps up (at least it does in my reverse flow). The added benefit is that it doesn't take as long start to finish.



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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by Mo Smoke » December 21st, 2019, 8:36 am

No takers for Smokin em whole yet huh... guess I’m late to the party. Do you split em completely before the cook so it’s easier to handle or leave it connected and just fold it out ?


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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by Mo Smoke » December 21st, 2019, 9:32 am

I cooked the whole bird on the grates. Same thing when u spatchcock or do u use a pan to catch more of the juices?


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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by McBroom » December 21st, 2019, 9:50 am

Mo Smoke wrote:I cooked the whole bird on the grates. Same thing when u spatchcock or do u use a pan to catch more of the juices?


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Both are good. I kept mine on some tin foil so I could scavenge the juices periodically through out the cook. I used some of it for the dressing and some for basting.
I cut the back out and layed it out flat.

Claud




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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by mp4 » December 21st, 2019, 10:51 am

Here's how I do mine...chicken and turkeys. The neighborhood all wants to know when I fire up the smoker so they can bring their birds over to be smoked. Image



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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by JKalchik » December 21st, 2019, 1:12 pm

Also in the spatchcock camp. I'll only cook a whole bird in the deep fryer. Baked, roast, smoked.... all get spatchcocked or quartered. The only thing I give up is the presentation factor, and I'm good with that.

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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by McBroom » December 21st, 2019, 1:58 pm

@JKalick and @mp4 both taught me how to do a spatchcock. @Dirtytires was in there too IIRC. And after learning how to do it it's the only way I'll do them from now on. My only problem so far is getting the skin to crisp up and not turn overly dark with the smoke. I do though only use pecan splits and cherry chunks.

Claud





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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by Mo Smoke » December 21st, 2019, 5:45 pm

I have done chicken that way before and cornish Hen. Always get good results. I think I like to do them whole sometimes just to mix it up. I put breast side down so all the juice flows to the white meat.. always ends up moist and tender. Got the idea from the Brisket cookers who cook Fat side up !


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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by Dirtytires » December 22nd, 2019, 11:30 am

As mentioned, spatchcock your birds and they will cook more evenly, quicker, and have less of a chance of drying out. I do a lot of birds and haven’t done a whole one in years. Your best friend is a big cutting board and a heavy meat cleaver to cut out the spine. I picked up a fairly inexpensive one and am able to get get the job done pretty quick with it —and it saves me from having to cut bone with my good set of knives.



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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by Frank_Cox » December 23rd, 2019, 8:23 pm

yep, I have done mine spatchcocked ever since smokendink71 did this thread back in the day : viewtopic.php?f=120&t=1323
I do love doing them that way!


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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by Mo Smoke » December 29th, 2019, 8:28 am

Had a good cook on Christmas. Late start and all. Bird was moist and tender. Breast is definitely more and tender cooked whole breast side down, but not worth the extra time, plus you lose the skin. Just wanted to share my results.



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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by Mo Smoke » December 29th, 2019, 8:33 am

ImageImageImage


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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by Dirtytires » December 29th, 2019, 11:42 am

Congrats on the successful smoke.



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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by Big T » December 29th, 2019, 3:39 pm

It looks great :beer:


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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by Mo Smoke » December 29th, 2019, 5:48 pm

Anybody ever cut the breast instead of the spine to split the bird? I almost did that by mistake. Once I started to carve it I thought for a moment I should have just parted out the whole thing and cooked it pieces !


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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by Dirtytires » December 29th, 2019, 10:12 pm

Mo Smoke wrote:
December 29th, 2019, 5:48 pm
Anybody ever cut the breast instead of the spine to split the bird? I almost did that by mistake. Once I started to carve it I thought for a moment I should have just parted out the whole thing and cooked it pieces !Image
I’ve seen it done.

I always cut out the spine cause it’s un-usable meat anyway. Also hate to cut into the breast area as it’s so easily dried out and keeping it intact helps prevent it.



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Re: Whole or spatchcock Turkey

Post by Mo Smoke » December 30th, 2019, 11:44 am

Good point. I was also thinking that cutting the breast would make it harder to get the skin right. Since it stretches across the breast from one leg/thigh across to the other and it’s naturally connected, It gets tight as the meat expands and that helps to make it crisp. But if you cut it at the breast or part out the leg quarter before cooking it stays loose and pulls off easy even after it’s cooked.


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