How to cut a turkey in half

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by dml85, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Is there any special way to do this If I have a larger turkey that I want to smoke?

    Also, could I spatchcock it and just cut it in half that way?  The spatchcock method sounds good but I don't think the turkey will fit laid down in my 18" WSM.  
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  2. pops6927

    pops6927 Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Best thing to do is to Quarter it, separate the legs from the breast, split the breast in half.  

    cut down each side of the legs, popping the hipsockets and remove from carcass.  There are two 'oysters' on the pelvis, very nice meat, remove also.  

    break the back off.  

    cut through on each side of the backbone on the breast and remove.

    break the breast keel bone from the meat, including the cartilage and remove

    cut through the breast into halves.

    see, just don't remove the wings or split the legs into drumsticks and thighs.
  3. Awesome I'll give that a try.  Gonna need a better knife to do this though :p 

    Any estimates on cooking time doing this? 
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  4. daveomak

    daveomak OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    DML, morning.... I have split many a bird....  I found removing the wish bone is a good place to start....  Then cut each side of the breast bone... then each side of the back bone...  The back bone is easiest to remove while the bird is held vertically, breast down and on the cutting board....  A sharp knife will cut through it all.... Cut a little on the left, then a little on the right, then left, right etc...  Removing one entire side first is a PITA... the bird gets off balance and won't stand on end.....   Then the trimmings go in the smoker too... good nibbles while the bird finishes cooking....  Dave
  5. Thanks for the tip about cutting the joints! I have two birds that weigh about 14 1/2# each so I brined them for two days in a separate fridge using a turkey fryer pot after splitting them in half with a large HEAVY cleaver. Right now they're drying on racks in the same fridge. Noon time is going to be the start time to have it up to temperature and then adding the birds.

    Looks like I'll cut into the joints at the thigh/leg before they go in the smoker. The breasts should be fine I suppose. Yes?

    Brush them with melted butter and a little light cajun seasoning and we should be good to go!

    Thanks folks and Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

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