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Matt Pittman's Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey

Matt Pittman's Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey

By Matt Pittman

How does Matt Pittman make turkey burst with flavor at every bite? First, he spatchcocks and brines the bird to keep it tender and juicy. He then massages on spices, smokes it low and slow, and bastes it—with butter. For the finish: a tangy-sweet honey-mustard glaze. Turkey never had it so good.

Prep Time

30 Minutes

Cook Time

3 Hours


Turkey Blend


Number of people serving


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Units of measurement:
1 Traeger Orange Brine and Turkey Rub Kit
1 Cup bourbon (optional)
1 12- to 14-lb turkey
Meat Church Texas Sugar BBQ Rub
4 Ounce (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 Cup honey
1/2 Cup Dijon mustard


  • 1

    Prepare the brine: In a large pot, combine the Traeger Orange Brine mix with 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add 12 cups (3 quarts) cold water and the bourbon if you like. Refrigerate until cold.

    • 1  Traeger Orange Brine and Turkey Rub Kit

    • 1 Cup bourbon (optional)

  • 2

    Meanwhile, spatchcock the turkey. Place the turkey on a cutting board and position it breast side down. Using kitchen scissors or poultry shears, cut along both sides of the backbone and remove it. (Reserve it for making stock if you like.) Open the turkey up and remove the giblets and neck if necessary. (Reserve for gravy or stock if desired.) Flip the turkey over so that it’s breast side up and press down hard on the breast to crack the breastbone and flatten the turkey somewhat.

    • 1  12- to 14-lb turkey

  • 3

    If the turkey can fit completely submerged in your pot, add it to the brine. Otherwise, put the turkey in large, sanitized brining container and pour the cold brine over it. If necessary, add additional cold water to cover it completely. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

  • 4

    When ready to cook, preheat the Traeger to 275°F with the lid closed; this will take about 15 minutes.

  • 5

    Meanwhile, remove the turkey from the brine (discard the brine) and pat it dry with paper towel. Season it all over with some Meat Church Texas Sugar BBQ Rub. (Reserve the Traeger Turkey Rub for another use; it’s also delicious on chicken and pork.)

    •  Meat Church Texas Sugar BBQ Rub

  • 6

    Holding a leave-in meat thermometer parallel to the work surface, insert it into the thickest part of the breast next to but not touching the breast bone. Place the turkey directly on the grill grate, and cook, basting it periodically with about half of the melted butter (the rest will be used in the glaze), until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F, about 3 hours. (The time may vary depending on the temperature outside.)

    275 ˚F / 135 ˚C

    160 ˚F / 71 ˚C

    • 4 Ounce (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted

  • 7

    While the turkey is cooking, make the glaze. Add the honey, mustard to what is left of the melted butter, then add 2 tablespoons Meat Church Texas Sugar BBQ Rub. (If not already in a small saucepan, transfer it to one.) Simmer over medium heat on the Traeger induction cooktop or the stove until reduced by about one third, then remove it from the heat and set aside.

    • 1/2 Cup honey

    • 1/2 Cup Dijon mustard

  • 8

    Brush the glaze all over the turkey and continue to cook until the glaze is set, about 10 minutes. Transfer the turkey to a large cutting board with a trough to catch any juices. Let rest at least 15 minutes before carving. Enjoy!

    275 ˚F / 135 ˚C

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