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Spatchcocked Maple Brined Turkey

Difficulty 3/5
Prep time 25 mins

Cook time 3 hrs
Serves 6-8

Hardwood Maple

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. Season generously then lay the bird spread out directly on the grill.


1 (12-14 lbs) Turkey, Thawed if Frozen

5 qts Hot Water

1 1/2 cups Kosher Salt

3/4 cup Bourbon

1 cup Pure Maple Syrup

1/2 cup Brown Sugar

1 Onion, Peeled and Quartered Through the Root End

3 to 4 strips Orange Peel

3 Bay Leaves, Broken into Pieces

2 Tbsp Black Peppercorns

1 Tbsp Whole Cloves

3 qts Ice

1 cup Butter, Melted

as needed Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub

Sprigs of Fresh Sage and Thyme, to garnish

Orange wedges, lady apples, or kumquats, to serve


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.

For the Brine: In a large stockpot or container, combine the 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. Add the ice.

Rinse the turkey, inside and out, under cold running water. Remove giblets and discard or save for another use. Some turkeys come with a gravy packet as well; remove it before roasting the bird.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

Let the turkey rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Garnish, if desired, with fresh herbs and or kumquats. Enjoy!

*Cook times will vary depending on set and ambient temperatures.

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  • Washington
Our New Tradition
We were looking for a new traditional thanksgiving brine recipe and came across this one and decided after reading reviews to give it a try. The turkey was absolutely delicious and” All “ the meat was juicy and tender and a fantastic texture. We had a 22 lb bird and basically just doubled the brine recipe except just used 1cup of kosher salt. We soaked the turkey for just about 24 hours in fridge. We stuffed the turkey with apple slices and yellow onion chunks and used our favorite chicken seasoning to cover the turkey. We used maple wood pellets and smoked for 1 hour before turning up the heat. The turkey was fantastic and devoured! This will be our new tradition. Enjoy!
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  • Washington
Thanksgiving Hit!
My girlfriend and I hosted Thanksgiving this year, and I wanted to make a turkey, rather than a ham. I had never made a turkey before, so I was really nervous about messing it up and ruining the main entree. Luckily, this recipe is extremely easy to follow, and the bird practically cooks itself. It was so tender and juicy, not to mention delicious. It was a huge hit and totally impressed everyone. Definitely saving this recipe for future use. Thanks Traeger!
Was this helpful? Yes14No  1

Las Vegas
  • Nevada
Never makes it to the table...
I've done this turkey for 4 years in a row now (this will be the 5th). The family looks forward to it every year! Everyone waits for it to come off the Traeger so they can hover around and steal bites as I carve it. I've never once made it to the table with the whole bird. My favorite recipe I've ever made for turkey!
Was this helpful? Yes18No  6



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