Haven't posted anything on here for a while, but I got the opportunity to do my first turkey on the pellet smoker over thanksgiving. It was a big 'ole 21 pounder so I was quite sure what to expect for cooking times. I spatchcocked the bird the same way I do with chickens. It tends to make the bird cook more even and also reduces the cooking time. I was going to brine it, but figured I would try something a little different.... compound butter. First off, if you don't know what compound butter is don't feel bad because I had no idea until doing some youtubing on pellet grill turkeys. Basically it is just seasoned butter. I put rosemary, thyme, sage and garlic in mine. I cut slits in the skin so that I could put the butter between the skin and the breasts/thighs. I let it sit in the fridge over night uncovered. It seems this helps to dry the skin and makes it crispier. Thanksgiving morning I drizzled some olive oil on the bird and hit is will a barrage of seasoning. As far as cooking goes, I ran it on the "smoke" setting (~170°) for about 45 min to add some flavor and then cranked it up to 375° until the breasts and thighs reached 165°, which only took about 90 minutes. Everything turned out perfect. The spatcocking really helps keep the wings and legs from drying out. The meat was very juicy and tender. The combination of the EVOO and butter helped get a perfectly crispy skin (which tends to be a problem on pellet smokers). The herbs and garlic from the compound butter could be tasted through out the bird. I know one thing for sure, it will be a long time before we make another bird in the oven!
Backbone removed, splayed out, buttered up and ready for an overnight drying
Olive oil on and seasoned.... ready for the smoker
ALL DONE! Ready to be rested for 20 minutes, carved and served!