How long to smoke a spatchcock turkey at 225?

How long to smoke a spatchcock turkey at 225?

If you’re unsure how long to smoke a spatchcock turkey at 225°F, don’t worry – you’ve come to the right place! Smoking that perfect bird can be tricky, as you must balance the perfect temperature with your desired results: juicy, smoky and tender meat. For those who are experienced smokers, there may already be an intuitive sense of timing when it comes to smoking this type of bird. But for those new to the game, we want to provide clarity on key questions such as how long should one smoke a spatchcock turkey at 225°F.

With this guide, you’ll learn all about the timing and temperature necessary to get your grill or smoker ready for the best-tasting spatchcock turkey ever. Read on now and find out how easy it is to master this classic summer favorite – plus ideas for flavor variations so tantalizing they’ll have your guests begging for seconds (and thirds)!

In this blog post, we’ll discuss tips on choosing your cook time so you can turn out a flavor-packed meal that will satisfy both beginner and experienced smokers alike!

Why You Should Spatchcock Your Holiday Turkey Recipe

This method of smoking a turkey for the holidays is my preferred choice for several reasons:

-Even Cook: Smoking a spatchcock turkey ensures that all parts of the bird reach the desired temperature at the same time, resulting in a well-cooked and tender meat.

-Faster Cooking: By spatchcocking the turkey, it cooks more quickly compared to smoking a whole turkey, saving you valuable time while still achieving delicious results.

-Enhanced Flavor: The process of spatchcocking allows for easy application of brine, ensuring that the flavors penetrate every part of the bird for a flavorful and juicy outcome.

How long to smoke a spatchcock turkey at 225

-Controlled Temperature: We start with a low smoke temperature of 225 degrees F to infuse the turkey with smoky goodness. After an hour, we raise the temperature to 350 degrees to achieve a beautifully browned skin and complete the cooking process.

-Consistent and Even Cooking: The flattened shape of the spatchcocked turkey allows for more even heat distribution, preventing overcooking on the outside and undercooking in the center.

-Engaging Presentation: The flattened and beautifully browned spatchcocked turkey is a showstopper at the holiday table, impressing your guests with both its taste and appearance.

Consider trying this method for a flavorful, evenly cooked, and visually appealing turkey for your holiday feast!

Is It Better to Smoke a Turkey Whole or Spatchcock?

There are two popular methods: spatchcocking and smoking it whole. Let’s compare these techniques.

Spatchcocking may require some effort, but it is a straightforward process. By removing the bird’s backbone, you expose its skin, which can be crisped up in the oven, broiler, or even on a charcoal grill after smoking it at 225 degrees. Additionally, spatchcocking significantly reduces cooking time, making it perfect for those with limited time.

Smoking a whole turkey is less complicated. You can brine, season, and smoke the turkey without any need for removing the spine. However, keep in mind that cooking a whole turkey will take longer, so plan accordingly.

Ultimately, the choice between spatchcocking and smoking a whole turkey depends on your preferences and time constraints.

How to a Spatchcock Turkey

Spatchcocking a turkey is a straightforward process that can be done a day prior to smoking.

Here’s how:

  1. Place the turkey on a sturdy butcher block with the spine facing towards you.
  2. Using a sharp chef’s knife or kitchen shears, carefully cut down one side of the turkey’s spine, then repeat on the other side to remove the spine.

Once the spine is removed, flip the turkey over and gently press down on the breast until you hear some bones crack. This step ensures the turkey is flattened, promoting even cooking.

By spatchcocking your turkey, you’ll achieve improved results in terms of speed and performance during the smoking process.

Where Do I Put the Temperature Probe in a Spatchcock Turkey?

Thermometers play a crucial role in the smoking process, whether you’re preparing brisket, pork shoulder, or spatchcock chicken.

While most smokers come with a built-in thermometer on the dome, it’s important to note that this thermometer is intended to measure the temperature of the smoker, not the turkey itself.

For accurate monitoring of your turkey’s internal temperature, it is recommended to invest in a separate smoker thermometer.

To ensure precise readings, position the tip of the smoker thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, making sure it doesn’t touch the thigh bone. This precaution prevents any potential inaccuracies and ensures that your turkey is cooked to perfection.

Spatchcock Smoked Turkey Ingredients

For a delightful whole turkey recipe, follow these simple steps:

1)Whole Turkey: Start with a 12-14 pound whole turkey. Make sure it is fully thawed and giblets are removed. Check out our tutorial on How to Thaw a Turkey for detailed instructions!

2)Butter: Adding butter to the bird enhances moisture and helps it achieve a beautiful brown color.

3)Smoked Turkey Rub: We absolutely love this seasoning! For a more classic flavor, we also offer a traditional turkey seasoning option.

4)Red Onion + Orange: These ingredients contribute additional layers of flavor to the drippings in the pan.

5) Chicken (or Turkey) Broth: Adding broth ensures a moist and succulent turkey. Plus, it will be used later to make gravy.

6)Dry White Wine: This ingredient is optional and can be omitted if desired.

7)Fresh Rosemary + Fresh Thyme: These herbs impart an earthy and aromatic taste to the drippings and gravy.

Get ready to enjoy a delectable turkey that will be the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving feast!

How To Prep a Spatchcock Turkey for Smoking

Preparing a turkey involves several steps to ensure optimal flavor and texture. Here’s a recommended approach:

1)Begin by brining the turkey. Although not mandatory, it adds incredible flavor and moisture. A basic brine consists of water and salt. Enhance it by adding sugar, spices like cloves, vinegar, oranges, or any desired ingredients. Allow the turkey to brine for at least 8 hours, but not more than 24 hours to avoid an overly soft texture.

2)After brining, remove the turkey from the brine and rinse it with cold water to reduce saltiness. Pat it dry with paper towels.

3)Spatchcock the turkey for even cooking. To do this, follow our tutorial on How to Spatchcock a Turkey.

4)Prepare your smoker, and season the bird with your choice of spices, such as our recommended Turkey Seasoning or Smoked Turkey Dry Rub.

5)In your roasting pan, prepare a flavorful base of chicken broth, white wine, herbs, onions, and citrus.

6)Place the spatchcocked turkey in the roasting pan.

7)Apply butter all over and under the turkey’s skin, if possible.

8)Season the turkey generously with your chosen seasoning.

9)You’re all set! Cook the turkey as desired, following your preferred smoking method.

10) Optional: Consider trying a turkey brine for additional flavor and moisture infusion. Here are two brine recipes to consider: Apple Cider Turkey Brine and Smoked Turkey Brine. Keep in mind that these brines require at least 24 hours, so plan accordingly.

By following these steps, you’ll ensure a delicious and well-prepared turkey for your meal. Enjoy!

How Long to Smoke a Spatchcock Turkey at 225?

Factors such as outdoor temperature, humidity, and wind can impact the smoking time, alongside potential hot spots within the smoker. As previously mentioned, a spatchcocked turkey is ideally smoked for 11-13 minutes per pound.

For instance, a 10-pound turkey would require approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes to 2 hours and 10 minutes, while a 12-pound turkey would need around 2 hours and 15 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes.

However, it is crucial to ensure that the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165°F before removing it from the grill. Once done, loosely cover the spatchcocked turkey with foil and let it rest for at least 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the juices to distribute evenly.

How long to smoke a spatchcock turkey at 225

How to Brine a Spatchcocked Turkey at 225

When preparing a spatchcocked turkey, the next step is to apply the brine. For a truly flavorful and moist turkey, I prefer the method of dry brining. Dry brining involves generously salting the bird, both on the skin and underneath it. Once the dry brine is applied, refrigerate the bird in a large pan for a minimum of 12 hours, allowing the flavors to develop.

During the dry brining process, the salt initially draws out the turkey’s moisture, creating a savory coating on the skin. Over time, this moisture seeps back into the meat, bringing the seasonings along with it.

The result? A turkey with incredible flavor and moisture that will leave your taste buds jumping for joy.

-What Kind of Dry Brine Should I Use?

There are several methods to prepare a dry brine. One of my personal favorites is the Savory Citrus Brine from Jacobsen Salt Co. This pre-mixed brine adds a delightful flavor, going beyond the traditional use of kosher salt for brining.

If you choose to use kosher salt for brining the bird, that works perfectly fine! For a 12-pound turkey, approximately 3 tablespoons of kosher salt is recommended for an effective dry brine.

Can I Smoke Spatchcock Turkey in a Regular Grill?

To smoke a spatchcocked turkey using a grill, there are a few steps you can follow for delicious results. Here’s what you need to do:

1)Start by soaking your wood chips for at least 20 minutes. This helps produce more smoke and adds flavor to your turkey.

2)If you’re using a charcoal grill, fill a charcoal chimney about 1/3 full and light it. Once the charcoal is glazing over, add it to one side of the grill. Preheat the grill for 30 minutes to an hour until it reaches 225°F.

3)Drain the wood chips and add them directly on top of the charcoal. Then, place the grill’s cooking grates over the charcoal.

4)For a gas grill, fill an aluminum pan with water and place it on top of the heat deflector. This helps to create a moist cooking environment. Remove the cooking grate to make space.

5)Create a small package of soaked wood chips by wrapping them in foil and poking a few holes in the package. This allows steam to escape and adds flavor to the turkey. Place the wood chip package next to the water pan for a gas grill.

6)Turn on the burners on the same side as the water pan to medium-high heat. Leave the remaining burners off. This setup creates direct and indirect cooking zones.

7)Let the grill preheat for another 30 minutes to an hour until it reaches 225°F. You’ll be cooking the spatchcocked turkey on the indirect cooking surface to ensure even cooking.

8)Once the grill is ready, place the turkey on the indirect cooking surface and close the lid. Cook the turkey until it reaches the desired internal temperature.

9)If you prefer crispy skin, you can move the turkey to the direct cooking surface for the final minutes of cooking.

Smoked Spatchcock Turkey at 225

Prepare a remarkable Smoked Spatchcock Turkey at 225 degrees, a delectable and flavorful recipe that is perfect for Thanksgiving or any holiday gathering.

How long to smoke a spatchcock turkey at 225


Smoked Turkey Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoons onion powder


  • 12–14 lb whole turkey (fully thawed, giblets removed)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened + divided (feel free to use softened ghee)
  • 1 batch turkey seasoning
  • 1–2 red onions, quartered
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or turkey broth)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 2–3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2–3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 navel orange, quartered


To achieve optimal results, follow these steps for smoking a turkey:

1)Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F.

2)Prepare the Smoked Turkey Rub by combining the necessary ingredients. Set aside after ensuring the butter is softened.

3)Spatchcock the turkey: Place the turkey breast-side down and cut along both sides of the backbone using kitchen shears. Remove the backbone. Cut into the top of the breastbone and break apart the cartilage. Flip the turkey over and firmly press down with the palm of your hand on the breastbone until you hear a crack. Refer to our tutorial on How To Spatchcock a Turkey for more details.

4)Create a flavorful base by adding onion, orange, chicken broth, white wine (if desired), rosemary, and thyme to a large aluminum roasting pan. Place the turkey on top with the breast-side facing up.

5)Rub softened butter all over the turkey, ensuring to reach every nook and cranny, including under the skin. Use additional softened butter as needed. Sprinkle the Turkey Rub evenly.

6)Place the roasting pan on the smoker and close the lid. Allow the turkey to smoke for 60-70 minutes.

7)Increase the smoker temperature to 350 degrees F. Smoke the turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees at its thickest part. Baste the turkey every 20 minutes using the melted butter.

8)Remove the turkey from the smoker, baste it one more time, and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

9)Transfer the turkey to a platter or large plate, and cover it with foil to continue resting for another 10-15 minutes.

10)Utilize the flavorful juices at the bottom of the pan to create Homemade Turkey Gravy.

By following these steps, you’ll enjoy a perfectly smoked and flavorful turkey.


Smoke Time:

The ultimate cooking time will vary depending on several factors, such as outdoor temperature, wind, humidity, and smoker hot spots. We conducted multiple tests on a Traeger and generally found that it took approximately 2-2.5 hours for a 12-14 pound turkey to reach a temperature of 165 degrees F.


If you prefer, here is an optional smoked turkey brine. Just keep in mind that you would need to prepare it the night before.


For this recipe, my two favorite pellets to use are hickory and mesquite. They add a delightful flavor to the turkey.

Get ready for a mouthwatering smoked turkey experience!

Can I use a Regular Grill to Smoke a Spatchcock Turkey?

Yes, you can smoke a spatchcocked turkey on a regular grill. For best results, preheat your grill to 225 degrees F and use indirect heat. Place the turkey on the indirect side of the grill and cook it for 2-2.5 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F. As with smoking in a smoker, always baste the turkey every 20 minutes to ensure a crisp golden-brown skin.

Let the turkey rest for 15-20 minutes before carving and serving. This will help with making sure all of the juices stay inside your moist and flavorful spatchcock turkey.

Can I Freeze Leftover Smoked Turkey?

Yes, you can! After the turkey has cooled completely, slice or shred it into smaller portions. Place the pieces in a freezer-safe container or bag and store them in the freezer for up to three months. When ready to eat, thaw your smoked turkey overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

For best results, avoid reheating with microwaves as it can dry out the turkey. Instead, use a stovetop or oven to gently reheat your leftovers.

Final Thoughts: How long to smoke a spatchcock turkey at 225

Achieving a tender and juicy spatchcocked turkey through smoking at 225°F is surprisingly straightforward.

The key lies in mastering the art of timing. It takes about 60-70 minutes to smoke a 12-14 pound turkey at 225°F. As always, monitor the temperature of your bird and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before carving and serving – your taste buds will be jumping for joy!

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