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Spatchcocked Maple Brined Turkey

Spatchcocked Maple Brined Turkey

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Strapped for time, or looking to maximize space on your grill? Then a spatchcocked turkey is the way to go. Start by removing the turkey’s backbone, which will include cutting through the ribs. Then split the breast bone by pushing down with your hands to spread the turkey flat. Spatchcocking your turkey will ensure a juicy bird with perfectly crisp skin, while the maple bourbon brine brings the flavor.

Prep Time

30 Minutes

Cook Time

3 Hours




Number of people serving


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Units of measurement:
1 1/2 Cup kosher salt
3/4 Cup bourbon
3/4 Cup pure maple syrup
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1 onion, peeled and quartered
3 bay leaves, crushed
4 Strips orange peel
2 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 Tablespoon whole cloves
1 (12-14 lb) turkey, fresh or thawed
1 Cup butter, melted
1/4 Cup pure maple syrup
As Needed Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub or salt and pepper
sprigs of fresh sage and thyme, for serving
orange wedges, lady apples or kumquats, for serving


  • 1

    Note: Do not use a kosher turkey or a self-basting turkey for this recipe as they have already been enhanced with a salt-solution.

  • 2

    For the Brine: In a large stockpot or container, combine 5 quarts hot water, kosher salt, bourbon, 3/4 cup of the maple syrup, brown sugar, onion, bay leaves, orange peel, peppercorns, and cloves and stir until well mixed.

  • 3

    Add 3 quarts ice. Rinse the turkey, inside and out, under cold running water. Remove giblets and gravy packet and discard or save for another use.

  • 4

    Add the turkey to the brine and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours, or overnight. Weigh down with a bag of ice to keep the bird submerged.

  • 5

    Drain and pat turkey dry with paper towels; discard the brine.

  • 6

    To Spatchcock the Turkey: With a large knife or shears, cut the bird open along the backbone on both sides through the ribs and remove the backbone. Once the bird is open, split the breastbone to spread the bird flat; this will allow it to roast evenly.

  • 7

    Combine the melted butter and the remaining 1/4 cup of maple syrup and divide in half.

  • 8

    Brush half of the mixture on the bird and sprinkle with Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub or salt and black pepper. Set aside the other half of the mixture until ready to use.

  • 9

    When ready to cook, set Traeger temperature to 350℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.

    350 ˚F / 177 ˚C

  • 10

    Roast the turkey until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast reaches 165℉, about 2-3 hours.

    350 ˚F / 177 ˚C

    165 ˚F / 74 ˚C

  • 11

    Brush with the remaining butter-maple syrup glaze the last 30 minutes of cooking.

  • 12

    Let the turkey rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

  • 13

    Garnish, if desired, with fresh herbs and or kumquats. Enjoy!

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