Find a non-reactive container large enough to hold the turkey make sure the container will fit in your refrigerator determine how much brine you need to prepare to completely submerge the turkey in the container
Keep in mind that the bigger the container you use, the more brine you'll have to make, so try to match the size of the container to the turkey.
To determine how much brine you'll need to prepare, place the turkey into the container and cover with cold water. Remove the turkey from the container and measure the water—that's the amount of brine you'll need.
Shake's Honey Brine
1 gallon water
1 cup pickling salt
2 Tablespoons Morton Tender Quick
1 cup honey 4 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon pickling spice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Combine all ingredients except the honey in a large pot and heat to 160°F, stirring to dissolve the salt and extract flavor from the bay leaves and pickling spice. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the honey until combined. It is said that temperatures above 160°F harm the flavor of honey, so that's why the mixture is not heated above that temperature. Finally, force-cool the mixture to room temperature using an ice bath before adding to the meat.
You will need 2 gallons of brine.The concentrated version of the brine by dissolving two recipes worth of ingredients in just 3 quarts of water , force-cooling the mixture to room temperature in an ice bath in the kitchen sink , then placing the turkey into a 2 1/2 gallon baggy inside a medium-sized cooler and pouring in the 3 quarts of concentrated brine solution plus 5 more quarts of cold water to achieve 2 gallons of brine solution .
Allow the turkey to soak in the brine mixture in the refrigerator for 48 hours . Since brining does not preserve meat, the turkey must be kept below 40°F throughout the entire brining process. That's why you've got to make sure you've got room in your fridge for the container before you start this process.
Air Dry The Turkey
Remove the turkey from the brine solution and pat dry inside and out with paper towels. There is no need to rinse the turkey after brining.
Let turkey to air-dry . Place on a platter or rimmed baking sheet and allow to air-dry for 24 hours in the refrigerator . This helps create crispy skin during cooking.
Let the turkey sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before cooking. Brush the skin with a few Tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle with just a bit of kosher salt and ground black pepper for looks .
Now it's time to spatchcock the turkey. Most sources recommend spatchcocking a 12- to 14-pound turkey
After brining the turkey, rinse it off so the residual brine doesn't stay on the turkey and set it on your counter. Find the backbone of the turkey and with very sharp kitchen scissors or poultry shears, start cutting along one side. Then cut along the other.
At this point, the backbone's almost removed. If you need help and the scissors aren't cutting it (ha!) try a chef's knife.
Save the backbone for flavoring stews, broths, or other soups. Freeze it to use later. After the backbone has been removed, spread out the turkey.
After spreading out the turkey, flip it so the breasts are facing the ceiling and break the breastbones. (
Before placing the turkey in the cooker rub with garlic salt and olive oil
Barbecue The Turkey
Fire-up the Weber Bullet using the Minion Method—fill the charcoal chamber about 1/2 full with unlit Kingsford charcoal briquettes and then spread about 30 hot coals over the unlit ones.
Place a few small chunks of your favorite smoke wood on the hot coals. I used 2 chunks of apple and 2 chunks of hickory .
Assemble the cooker with the water pan in place and fill it with cool water.
Place the turkey breast-side up on the top cooking grate . Set the top vent to 100% open and leave it that way throughout the entire cooking process. Start with all 3 bottom vents 100% open. As the cooker approaches 250°F, begin to partially close all 3 bottom vents to maintain 225-275°F. Adjust the bottom vents as needed to maintain this temperature range throughout the cooking process.
Cook the turkey until it measures 160-165°F in the breast, 170-175°F in the thigh, approximately 3-1/2 to 4 hours. My turkey took 3-1/2 hours to reach 167°F in the breast.
There's no need to baste or rotate the turkey during the cooking process.
Here's how the cooker temperatures and vent settings went during my cook:
Time Lid Temp Vent 1 % Vent 2 % Vent 3 %
5:15pm - 100 100 100
5:45pm 217 100 100 100
6:00pm 235 100 100 100
6:15pm 245 100 100 100
6:30pm 250 100 100 100
6:45pm 250 100 100 100
7:15pm 255 100 100 50
7:45pm 262 100 100 0
8:45pm 275 100 100 0
Rest Then Carve The Turkey
Remove the turkey from the cooker and let rest for 20-30 minutes before carving . Do not cover with foil, as this will cause the skin to go soft.
Alternatively, wrap the turkey tightly in several layers of wide, heavy duty aluminum foil, place breast-side down in a dry cooler, and hold for 90 minutes before carving
Assuming you don't over smoke the turkey, the drippings will be perfect for making gravy—in fact, they're already seasoned by the salt applied to the turkey.
As you remove the turkey from the cooker, pour any accumulated juices inside the body cavity into the pan. You can also use the juices left in the bottom of a rimmed baking pan after letting the turkey rest before carving.
It's not uncommon to end up with about 1-1/2 cups of drippings .