How long to smoke a 20 lb spatchcock turkey depends on the temperature. At 225°F, it will take 11 to 13 minutes per pound, or around 4 hours and 15 minutes. Once the internal temperature in the thickest part of the turkey breast reads 165 degrees F, remove from heat, cover with aluminum foil and let the meat rest for 30 minutes.
If you’re searching for a simple way to cook turkey quickly, making a spatchcocked turkey is the way to go. The secret to tender and flavorful meat is knowing how long to smoke a 20 lb spatchcock turkey and how to prepare it for smoking.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through the simple steps of a Cajun smoked spatchcock turkey recipe. Everyone at the dinner table will fall in love with the flavors in this butterflied turkey!
Smoking Time Chart for 20 lb Spatchcock Turkey
|Smoking Temperature||Approximate Smoking Time|
|225°F||4 to 4 and 1/2 hours|
|250°F||3 and 1/2 to 4 hours|
|275°F||3 hours to 3 and 1/2 hours|
|300°F||2 and 1/2 to 3 hours|
The most important thing is to check the internal temperature regularly while smoking to ensure it reaches 165°F. The best way to tell when your spatchcocked turkey is done is with a digital meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the turkey breast without touching any bones.Print
How Long Does It Take to Smoke a Spatchcock Turkey at 225?
It takes 11 to 13 minutes to smoke one pound of spatchcocked turkey at 225°F to get the meat done.
However, you should smoke your turkey based on temperature rather than using time as a guideline.
The bird is done once the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast reads 165°F on an instant-read meat thermometer. The internal temperature in the inner thigh must reach 175°F.
How to Spatchcock a Turkey for Smoking
Spatchcocking or butterflying a turkey can be done in three simple steps:
- Place the turkey on a large cutting board, with the breast side facing down and the spine facing you.
- Use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to slice along the spine. Cut along the other side to remove the backbone.
- After removing the backbone, turn the bird over and press down the turkey breast to flatten the bird for more even cooking.
Why Spatchcock a Turkey?
The benefits of spatchcocked turkey include:
Cooks & Smokes Faster
Since the turkey is flattened or cut in half, the cooking time is significantly reduced.
Flattening the bird allows the dark meat (thighs and legs) to be exposed to more heat and the heat reaches the rest of the bird more easily.
As the whole turkey is exposed to heat evenly, the skin will be uniformly browned.
Placing a whole turkey onto the Traeger smoker or pellet grill can be challenging. However, a butterflied bird lays flat and allows the smoker lid to go down easily.
Brine Guide for Spatchcock Turkey
You can choose to either wet-brine a turkey (as in our recipe above), or choose to dry-brine turkey. BBQ dry rubs do an excellent job of seasoning the turkey before smoking it on a pellet grill or Traeger smoker.
Unlike wet brine, dry brining does not require water. Instead, a mixture of salt, sugar, and seasonings is applied directly onto the skin and meat of the turkey. The bird is then kept in the refrigerator for 24 hours before cooking. The primary benefit of dry brine is that it delivers crispier turkey skin because there is less water, though wet brine results in a juicier bird.
How to Thaw a Turkey for Smoking
The safest way to thaw a turkey is in the fridge. This is the best method because the meat will defrost at a safe and consistent temperature. Allow 24 hours for every 5 pounds of frozen turkey.
How to Store and Reheat Smoked Spatchcock Turkey
Store leftover smoked spatchcock turkey in an airtight container in the refrigerator for as long as 4 days.
You may also freeze your leftover turkey by wrapping it in aluminum foil and placing it in an airtight plastic bag to avoid freezer burn. A quality freezer bag comes in handy here. The frozen turkey will last up to 3 months.
To reheat your smoked spatchcock turkey, cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in an oven at 300°F – 350°F for around 30-45 mins or until warmed through. Basting liquid or butter will keep the turkey moist while reheating.
Smoked Spatchcock Turkey Leftover Ideas
Smoked spatchcock turkey leftovers are incredibly versatile. Here are some unique BBQ recipe ideas for reinventing your leftovers!
This easy and flavorful leftover turkey noodle soup is a great way to transform your leftover Thanksgiving turkey into something special. A warm and appetizing bowl of turkey noodle soup is perfect to follow up on a holiday turkey dinner. It uses readily available ingredients and can be made in just 45 minutes!
Making a homemade turkey broth is another simple way to repurpose your smoked turkey dinner leftovers. Use it as a base for soup or chili, or as the base for homemade gravy.
Thanksgiving pizza is a unique way to repurpose those leftovers. This flavorful pizza features chopped turkey, mozzarella cheese, gravy, stuffing, and onions, and can be topped with jellied cranberry sauce or whole berry sauce!