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Spatchcock Turkey indirect or direct

BamaEGGBamaEGG Posts: 170
edited 1:15AM in EggHead Forum
Doing a spatchcock turkey for first the first time Thursday. A forum search shows some doing them indirect and some direct. I do all my chickens direct and lean towards that method but want some feedback from those who have done them both ways. Is there some hidden benefit if doing it one way or the other?


  • BamaEGG,

    I did a spatchcock turkey for the first time a month ago right after the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday. I used the same technique I use for chicken ... direct, raised grid, 400*. It took about 90 minutes for a 12 pound bird and turned out excellent -- I even used the left over bones and some meat for turkey noodle soup.



    Charles is a mischevious feline who always has something cooking

    Twin lbge's .. grew up in the sun parlor of Canada but now egging in the nation's capital

  • Given that a turkey is going to take a bit longer than a chicken, I'd recommend indirect.
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,859
    My $.02 is that direct = faster and more smoke absorbtion and perhaps more char on the bottom. Indirect= longer, less smoke, perhaps "prettier".

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    I'll give you a direct answer from someone who has done it both ways tomorrow afternoon. I did one about 10 days ago, and did it indirect. It was marvelous. Mickey has convinced me to try it direct. I'm cooking two birds for Thursday. The second, smaller bird I'm doing tomorrow, spatchcocked, direct. It's the "backup" to the big roasted bird, since my sister is going to have a houseful of people.
  • I've done both methods. For Thanksgiving, I normally do indirect, seems it yields the appearance most folks are expecting. I personally like more smoke and prefer to do it direct, raised, and cooked slower at around 250-275. This takes 4-5 hours, but results in a great smoked taste. Dryness has not been an issues, but it's not as moist as indirect, but again, has great flavor. In all honesty, you probably can't go wrong with either approach.

    Marthasville, MO
  • I have only done them indirect with a pan on top the PS to catch drippings. Either way will work but 400 is 400 whether you are doing direct or indirect - indirect just provides a shield. There is also an opportunity to put in a pan of veggies to cook under the turkey in the drippings going indirect.

    Veggies under turkey

    Lately I have been separating the breast from the rest to pull when it is done
  • EGGARYEGGARY Posts: 1,222
    From what I see, your set-up is 1)Plate setter; 2) grid; 3) pan; 4) another grid; and 5) turkey. Is that right ?

    Does it make a lot of juices for making gravy ?


    Happy Thanksgiving !

    Canoga Park, Ca.
  • BamaEGGBamaEGG Posts: 170
    I really want to do it direct. But my wife informed me I have another issue to consider. Her dad, who just had major surgery a few weeks ago and is still struggling to get his taste back for foods, has said that just the smell let alone the taste of anything grilled makes him feel sick.

    If I go direct I'll have to have a really clean burn to keep from getting a lot of smoke flavor. Indirect will give me more of a roast turkey. Clearly I just need to say the heck with what bothers people and cook the way I want.
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