Looking for an easy pellet grill recipe check out this sheet pan Cajun Spicy Spatchcock turkey recipe. Juicy, smoked, deliciousness!
You get the smoky flavor you love but the juices stay in the pan making this bird incredibly moist.
Once its done you can transfer it to the carving board and serve it up Hot pouring those juices all over the turkey to make it even more flavorful.
How to Spatchcock Turkey
You can use a pair of good kitchen shears or a sharp knife to spatchckock a turkey.
All you need to do is find the neck/ Backbone and cut along the spine on each side removing the entire backbone.
I also Trim off the rib bones with the kitchen shears and cut though the breastplate to make it sit more flat on the grill or pan.
Then press outward separating the turkey, finally flip the turkey over and press down on the breastplate almost like you are giving CPR.
You want to press down hard enough to break that breastplate so the turkey sits flat on the counter
Why Do you Spatchcock Turkey?
The main reason you want to spatchcock turkey is to help the turkey cook evenly.
Other reasons you would want to spatchcock turkey is to expose all of the skin to help it get crispy and it’s also easier to carve once its fully cooked
Should I Brine Smoked Turkey?
This may ruffle a few feathers but if you are buying a commercial bird from the grocery store it’s already been injected with a brine to make it weigh more and add flavor so I see no need to brine it twice.
Check the label and look at the ingredient list. If it says anything other than Turkey then chances are it’s been brined.
On the other hand if you are buying a local turkey or an all natural organic bird then definitely brine that turkey. If you need a good Brine recipe checkout my Smoked Turkey Breast Brine
Sides to Serve with Turkey
- Cranberry Apple Chutney
- White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
- Collard Greens w/ Smoked Turkey Legs
- Smoked Mac and Cheese
- Green Beans Almondine w/ Bacon
Preparing the Turkey To Smoke
Once the bird has been trimmed you will want to pat it dry with paper towels and then rub it down with a light coat of cooking olive oil or herb butter
Next season liberally on all sides making sure to get underneath the wings and drumsticks.
You can season the turkey with a simple salt, pepper garlic, Texas style blend or your favorite dry rub. I love this Slap Yo Mama Cajun Seasoning
After that place the turkey on the pellet grill skin side up and smoke at 325 degrees F.
Smoking The Turkey
Not traditional but I smoke my turkey right on the sheet pan. It’s easy to take on and off the pellet grill and it still gets plenty of smoky flavor.
You collect all the juices in the pan that can be used for stock and helps keep the bird moist.
Once on the grill place a meat probe in the thickest part of the breast. It’s also a good idea to have an instant read thermometer to check the dark meat as it cooks.
If you don’t have a pellet grill you can also cook the spatchcocked turkey on a charcoal grill. Cooking over indirect heat will be your best bet.
The turkey should be room temperature when placed on the smoker. Remove the wing tips as I did or tuck them under so they don’t burn.
As the turkey smokes I spray the bird with a light coat of cooking oil every 30-45 minutes. This will help crisp up the skin.
The spatchcok method is also great for smoking because you get maximum smoke over the entire surface area as the turkey cooks.
Depending on the size of the turkey it should take between 3-4 hours to cook.
Resting the Smoked Turkey
Once the turkey breast has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees F and the dark meat is at least 180 degrees it’s done.
The easiest way to get the turkey off the pellet grill is to use a pizza peel or large strong spatula.
Transfer the spatchcoked turkey to a platter and cover with aluminum foil with a bunch of holes poked in it to release any steam.
After letting the turkey rest for 20-30 minutes you will be able to carve that juicy turkey right up.
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Pellet Grill Spatchcock Turkey
- Pellet Grill
- Sheet Pan
- Preheat Pellet Grill to 350 degrees F.
- Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears cut along the side of the backbone all the way down the turkey then cut along the opposite side of the backbone so that you have removed the entire spine.
- Trim off the Rib cage bones on both sides then make a cut down the center of the breast plate. Save the bones for stock or gravy
- Flip the chicken skin side up and press down cracking the breast plate so the turkey sits flat on the cutting board.
- Rub down turkey on all sides with olive oil. Season the backside of the turkey with cajun seasoning then transfer to a sheet pan. Season the skin then place in the smoker.
- place a probe in the deepest part of the breast and thigh if you have 2 probes. Cook for about 3-4 hours until the internal temperature of the breast is 165 and the dark meat is 185 degrees F.
- Let turkey breast for 20-30 minutes before carving.