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Spatchcock turkey on the PBC

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    Spatchcock turkey on the PBC

    I usually cook on a PBC. I have never cooked a spatchcocked turkey on the PBC. Usually I hang them. I was wondering if anyone has ever done a spatchcock turkey on the PBC, and if there’s anything I should be aware of prior to doing so. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    I will toss this out there. I see lots of folks do split chickens hanging on hooks in the PBC. Would it make sense if spatchcocking, to just go the rest of the way and split the turkey and hang it the way you hang split chickens in the PBC?

    I want to point out also that you posted this in an area reserved for RECIPES. Not discussion. Paging Huskee or another moderator to relocate this thread...

    This probably belongs under the PBC cooker discussion channel.
    Last edited by jfmorris; November 8, 2021, 01:46 PM.


      Rather than just spatchcock it, I split it in half. If you are going to go through the effort to spatchcock it, might as well just cut in half as those two halves are easier to deal with than one large turkey. That's how I did my turkey on the PBC (when I didn't do it whole and use the hanger). It also gave me the opportunity to use different seasonings on each half -- spice rub on one half and an herb butter on the other half


        I have done a Spatchcock Turkey on a PBC. It was the best turkey I've done IMO. Crispy and juicy. My only advice is to probably tie up the legs. With the turkey hanging so loosely the legs were pretty close to the coals. I'm hoping to get a turkey as good as that one for this Thanksgiving. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.


          I have only hung whole.

          PBC, PBJ. PBX!


            I spatchcock turkey and smoke it on the PBC. Turns out spectacular. Whenever I serve it alongside an oven-roasted turkey, the meat on the PBC turkey platter disappears the fastest.

            Go to the topic in the PBC channel on PBC Cook Times for Various Meats and Veggies to get an idea of PBC cook times for different weights of turkeys.

            Here's a 2014 post that I wrote about smoking turkeys in the PBC, based on one of the many cooks I've done with turkeys.
            I edited it to update it to my current method.
            Spatchcocked Heritage Turkey: 14 lbs
            Cook Time: 1.5 hours
            Ave PBC Temp: 331 degF
            Ambient temp: 32 degF

            Cooking method:
            • Fresh turkey. The night before I oiled and rubbed the meat (breast, thighs, legs) under the skin and the open back of the spatchcocked turkey with vegetable oil and PBC All Purpose rub. I used about 2 Tablespoons of AP Rub and just enough oil to make it work. I put the oil on first then sprinkle the rub on, then rub it all in. (edited to add: I no longer use oil except to oil the aluminum foil that I make the little turkey bootees with)

              I lightly sprinkled the skin with the PBC AP rub mixed with (aluminum free) baking powder. PBC AP rub 1 Tablespoon: ½ Tablespoon Aluminum-free baking powder (edited to add: now I use 1 TBL PBC AP to 1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder) . I did not use oil on the skin at this time. I let the turkey sit, uncovered in the refrigerator for 24 hours to let the skin dry out.
            • I had taken the backbones, necks, hearts, gizzards, and pope's noses, tied them up in cheesecloth for easy removal and made a broth with them (and other poultry parts) using a modified version Chef Kenzo-Alt's recipe (Serious Eats).
            • Just before loading onto the PBC I injected the breasts, legs, and thighs with melted butter.
              • Note: the bird is very cold and the butter gets hard and will not come out of the injector unless it is relatively warm going in. So the butter has to be warmer than room temp but not hot to the touch in order to keep the injector from clogging.
            • I rubbed the skin with oil (edited to add: I no longer use oil here), sprinkled on a little more PBC AP rub, hooked under the armpits into the back, and hung the bird in the PBC.
            • The feet (ankles?) were covered tightly with oiled heavy duty aluminum foil to keep them from turning black.
            Smoker method:
            • 40 coals in chimney 15 min, poured on unlit coals, distributed evenly with tip of rebar.
            • Left lid off and rebars out for 10 minutes
            • Put lid on and rebars out for 10 more minutes: 425 deg F smoker temp at this point
            • Hung turkey from two hooks under armpits and through back. Feet were 4-5 inches from coals.
              • I had previously covered the feet with oiled foil booties to prevent burning.
              • Left 1 rebar out for the entire cook.
              • Added 4 oz apple wood to the hot coals.
            • Temp climbed to 300 and began to drop after 5 minutes, so I cracked the lid for 18 minutes until temp reached 397. Put lid back on. Temp gradually decreased over 1 hour to 303, when I cracked the lid again for 11 min. Twenty minutes later I cracked the lid again for 10 min. Temp would not rise over 328. Then I let the PBC do its thing because the meat was done in 1 hour 30 min.
            I find the PBC runs so moist and the turkey kicks out a lot of moisture, adding to the moist environment that I have never had a problem with the turkey being dry when I take the breast to 160°. By that time the legs are in the 180° range, which is perfect. But pulling in the 150s as some experts here have suggested is probably not a bad idea. You be you with that.

            Spatchcocking is, IMO, essential to getting a perfectly cooked bird, but many people smoke the turkey whole in the PBC and get great results. I use pruning shears from Lowe's (kept in the kitchen drawer; never used on bushes or plants) to snip out that turkey (chicken too) backbone. Works great.

            Click image for larger version

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            Hope this info helps,


            • jitsntricks
              jitsntricks commented
              Editing a comment
              wrgilb .... I don't think it'll make much of a difference at all. MAYBE a slightly faster cook time compared to spatchcock, but probably miniscule.
              Last edited by jitsntricks; November 9, 2021, 10:27 AM.

            • jitsntricks
              jitsntricks commented
              Editing a comment
              Rod .... I think by "into the back" she means the hook is penetrating just slightly breast side of the shoulder joint of the bird. At least to me it looks that way looking at the right hook in this picture.

            • fzxdoc
              fzxdoc commented
              Editing a comment
              Rod , I hook under the armpits from the front into the rib cage and exit at the inside of the back under the shoulder blade area. I try to avoid hooking through any of the white meat if possible.


            Thank you all for your suggestions. I was thinking spatchcock because I think it would look better for the precutting table presentation of the cooked bird than the awkward gangling look of a turkey hanger hung bird and also be somewhat easier without the backbone on it.
            sorry about mid placement of my post, - I couldn’t figure out the best place to put it. Thank you so much, Kathryn for your re-submitting your fantastic recipe. I guess it legitimized my post placement, and I think I will utilize it for my bird this year.
            Happy Thanksgiving to you all.


              I have done several turkeys in my PBC. They always turn out great. I spatchcock mainly for presentation purposes. Last year I used the compound butter and citrus rub recipe listed on this site. Fantastic!
              Going with that again this Thanksgiving.


              • HawkerXP
                HawkerXP commented
                Editing a comment
                Welcome to the talking side of the Pit!

                PBC, PBC, PBC!

              I just did two for work last week. The first one I cut out the backbone and found the legs were not well supported…was afraid they would fall off into the fire. So I cut the leg quarters off of that one and hung them separately. The second one I just split the backbone and placed the hook under each wing. I did take butchers twine and tied the legs to the hooks…just to make sure they didn’t fall off.

              Salt and seasoning under the skin. Injected w/butter. Took about 3.5 hours for one​​​​​​…4 hours for the other. Turkeys were a big hit…


              • HawkerXP
                HawkerXP commented
                Editing a comment
                pbc, pbc, pbc!


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