I decided I was going to dry brine and spatchcock it. Cook it at 350º with chicken broth under it to add flavor and use for a stock later. butterflying the turkey helps it to cook more evenly and quicker.
First I spatchcocked the turkey. I took my knife and scored the bird along it's spine then stood it up where is neck would be and ran my knife down separating one side of ribs from the spine and repeated on the other side. This was much easier to do than I had anticipated. The first time I tried to spatchcock a turkey I cut through the rib bones which is very tough to do. Running the knife blade down the side of the spine cuts through the cartridge and connective tissue between the ribs and the spine making the cut much easier.
Once the spine was out I flipped the bird over and spread it apart so I could remove the keel (breast) bone. This is a bit harder to do on a turkey than a chicken as it is bigger. I used my knife to score either side of the muscle around the bone then took my fingers and slide them down between the meat and the bone. Once the meat was separated from the bone I cracked the collar bone so I could remove the keel bone and lay the turkey flat.
|Spatchcocked and ready to dry brine.|
The next day I pulled it out and patted it dry and then put rub on it. I should have rinsed the excess slat off the bird and then patted it dry - this is why you do a practice run.
|Ready to smoke.|
|Monitoring the temperature from my phone.|
|It looks done.|
The only thing I can figure is the broth and the pan kept the underside from reaching the ideal cooking temperature. The overall flavor was good but the skin was too salty and the soup I made from the scraps came out very salty too.
For Thanksgiving day I plan to:
- Spatchcock the turkey
- Rub it
- Paint it with mustard sauce
- Smoke it
- Rinse after dry brining to remove the excess salt
- Cook directly on the grill
- Check the temperature at the top and bottom of the bird
Hopefully the changes will make the bird I'm cooking for friends and family much better and not so salty. I'll be adding a leg of venison to the mix too. It should be fun