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A Smoked Spatchcocked Turkey on a platter

Smoked Spatchcocked Turkey Recipe with Cajun Seasoning

An easy way to smoke turkey by spatchcocking, or removing the backbone, and seasoning with cajun spices.
Course Entree, Holiday
Cuisine American, Christmas, Thanksgiving
Keyword best smoked turkey recipe, smoked spatchcocked turkey, smoked spatchcocked turkey recipe, spatchcocked turkey
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 830kcal
Cost $50.00


  • Brine Bag or Large Stock Pot
  • Boning Knife


  • 12 - 14 pound turkey (Spatchcocked, see notes for details)
  • 1 cup Cajun seasoning

Turkey Brine

  • 8 quarts water
  • 1 ½ cups kosher salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar (dark or light work)
  • ¼ cup Cajun seasoning
  • 4 leaves dried bay leaves
  • ¼ cup black peppercorns


For the Brine

  • Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot and stir until the salt and sugar are incorporated. The Cajun seasoning will not dissolve. This takes about 5 minutes.
  • Place thawed turkey in the brine, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, remove the turkey from the brine and pat it dry with a paper towel (including cavity) on a cutting board. Then remove the backbone using the spatchcock method (in the notes section of recipe card).

How to Smoke Spatchcocked Turkey

  • Prepare the smoker, targeting 275 degrees Fahrenheit, using fruit wood like apple or cherry. Oak is another great wood flavor for turkey.
  • Place the seasoned turkey onto the smoker, with the breast side facing up. Insert a Bluetooth thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey breast and close the lid.
  • Continue smoking covered until the internal temperature of the turkey reads 160 degrees F on your Bluetooth thermometer. At this point start probing the other breast and other parts of the turkey. Once all portions of the turkey read at least 160 – 165 degrees F it’s time to remove the turkey from the smoker.
  • Let rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve with your favorite sides.



How To Spatchcock Turkey:
We recommend brining first.
  1. Remove from brine and pat dry: Start by removing the turkey from the brine and discarding the brine. Place the turkey on a large cutting board. Dry off the turkey completely (inside the cavity and on the skin).
  2. Prep the Turkey: Stand the turkey upright so the breast side is facing AWAY from you. You’ll be looking at the backbone.
  3. Remove the Backbone: Using a sharp boning knife or culinary scissors make a small cut on one side of the backbone. You are testing to see where the cartilage and bone meet so you can make heavy downward strokes to cut through the cartilage. Once you make about a 1-inch cut, continue cutting downward along the backbone until you have cut all the way through. If you run into bone, just continue to move the knife slightly further from the backbone until it hits cartilage again.
  4. Repeat on the other side of the backbone.
  5. Flatten the Turkey: Place the bird, breast side down, and press down on each side to flatten. Flip the bird so it’s breast side up, and press again (you’ll hear bones cracking) until the bird is flat.
  6. Tuck the wings under the bird and prepare to season.


Calories: 830kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 109g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 348mg | Sodium: 612mg | Potassium: 1817mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 13640IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 192mg | Iron: 11mg