~ Totally Undeserving of the James Beard Award

~ Completely Undeserving of the James Beard Award ~

Friday, December 9, 2011

Smoke, Smoke, Smoke that Turkeyette

For the past few years, I have cooked the T-Day bird on a rotisserie on my Weber gas grill...and it always came out great. It's tricky to time it, as it is not cooking the conventional way.  ”X” minutes per pound at “X” degrees in the oven are thrown out the window. I made sure I always had a full tank of gas, but you are working out in the elements with low air temperature (at least where I live) and probably some wind which will affect the inside temp...and how accurate are those gas grill lid thermometers anyway?

It was also tricky to get it to stay secure while he was on the carousel of flavor. I trussed, tied, knotted and cinched butchers string the carcass to the rotisserie rod, but once he became more and more cooked, the looser and looser it became. The meat, juices, cartilage and bones all worked against by effort to keep the thing securely tied to the stake, so I had to monitor it and add a bit of additional nooses now and then.

I also discovered I had to remove the grill grates and the mysterious "flave-o-bars" under them to have enough room for my whirling dervish of meat. I suspect a smaller bird may not need all of that stuff removed. I placed some type of wood chips in there but I doubt it did anything. A tray made out of foil or something is also needed to catch the juices, a bit tricky to get everything aligned so wing tips and such are not bonking into stuff. What I do remember is it cooked faster than I estimated. I think I had a 22 pounder and it seems it was done in 3 hours, almost too soon. But once you had it all set up it was nice to have an empty oven for all the other stuff.

This year was on the Traeger smoker/grill! I went with apple wood and with my fancy remote thermometer I can "set it and forget it". A very handy tool, about $35 with a metal probe and cable to stab into the thigh, run the cable out to a shelf on the bbq and plug in the transmitter. Then turn on the wireless LCD gage, select “turkey” and it starts reading the temp. Take it inside and set it on the counter and once it is up to the proper and safe cooked temperature and alarm goes of and you’re done.

Although we ordered a 22-24 pound bird, we ended up getting a 28 pounder!

Hey Mr. Blogger Man!

Yes, Billy…what is it now?

Will that thing even fit inside your bbq? HA!...I bet it didn't!

Well, if you must know, I asked the butcher to cut it in half…so now I essentially had two 14-pound birds and cooked them accordingly, gut side down.

Oh…well what about stuffing, huh?…bet you didn’t think of that huh? I bet it all fell out inside your bbq and made huge mess. Wish I saw that!

(I would like to stuff you) I normally do not stuff the birds, Billy...too mushy…I just used a little light olive oil and salt and pepper…and of course the apple wood. Oh, I think I hear your mother calling you.

What about the drippings huh?...how did you make gravy, huh?

Shut up, Billy…I already explained that on my last post.

I think it came out great. A little smoke flavor, not too much as I had it on “smoke” for an hour then turned it up to 375. I chose not to make stock out of the carcass as I thought the smokiness would be off putting in a stock.

Sorry...no pictures.

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