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  1. Turkey 101 What you need to know about preparing and cooking your turkey By: John Setzler December 5th, 2017 Choosing a Turkey: Size: Out of all the turkeys I have cooked over the years, the best tasting ones are the birds that fall into the 12-14 pound range. I don’t know WHY these birds taste best but they just do. If I need more meat than can be provided by a bird in this weight range, I prefer to cook multiple birds rather than buying one larger than 14 pounds. I feel the same way about turkey breasts. If you are buying just a breast to cook, I recommend buying one that weighs no more than 7-8 pounds. If you need more than that, buy more breasts instead of buying anything much larger than that. When you are deciding how much turkey you need for a meal, figure on about one pound per person. If you are feeding 12 people, buy a 12 pound bird. If you are feeding six people, buy a 12 pound bird so you can enjoy leftovers later! Quality: If you can get a farm fresh turkey that has never been frozen, consider yourself lucky and BUY IT. You will get your best results from a fresh bird. All fresh birds are not created equal. Some of these turkey are air chilled (the best option) and some of them have been liquid chilled. Liquid chilled birds have been dunked in a sub-freezing solution to get them chilled properly. That solution contributes to less-than-optimal moisture levels in the skin of the bird. More water in the skin translates to less crispy skin after cooking. These birds should not have been injected with any solution containing salts or sugars. Organic / Free Range / Cage Free / Et Cetera: If you want to buy poultry that falls into these categories, feel free. If they meet the specifications listed above in the Quality section, consider it a bonus. Just because a bird carries one of these designations doesn’t mean that it’s fresh in terms of overall quality. Know your Chicken: What USDA Poultry Labels Actually Mean http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/02/what-is-organic-free-range-chicken-usda-poultry-chicken-labels-definition.html Frozen Grocery Store Variety Poultry: I have cooked a LOT of chickens and turkeys that were el-cheapo frozen birds. While not optimal choices, they can still be great meals if you cook them properly. These birds are usually frozen solid when you buy them. They are also usually water chilled prior to freezing and they have also been injected with a solution that contains some amount of salts and sugars. These birds are not brined. See the section of this document about brining for more information on that. Your packaging will contain a statement that says something like “contains up to 10% of a solution of water, salt, and spices to enhance tenderness and juiciness…” The 10% number on this label simply means that if you bought a 10 pound bird, you actually bought a 9 pound bird that has about a pound of fluid injected into it. The 10% does not reflect the amount of salt or other ingredients in that solution. During the Thanksgiving season, you can find grocery store variety turkeys for as low as $0.39/lb in some cases. If you are buying frozen turkeys, I recommend buying one or two extras if you have freezer space for them. They can keep a pretty long time as long as they are frozen. A Note on Food Safety: Poultry can carry salmonella among other things. You should be careful and follow a few simple guidelines when handling poultry. When you touch uncooked poultry, everything you touch after that needs to be cleaned and sanitized. Clean with soap and warm water. Soap and warm water is enough most of the time if it has ample contact time. I like to use a solution of bleach and water in the ratio of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water to sanitize my items after they have been cleaned. When I am working with raw poultry, I like to wear a nitrile glove on the hand I’ll use to handle the meat. I leave my other hand ungloved. I use my ungloved hand to handle things I do not want to cross-contaminate like seasoning shakers and other utensils. The work surface you use to prepare the uncooked meat should be cleaned and sanitized before placing cooked meat or any other food you are preparing on it. I like to keep the Clorox Disinfecting Wipes on hand. After I have finished my prep, I will use those to wipe down everything I have touched, whether it was with the gloved hand or not just for safety. Preparing Your Turkey for the Cook: Thawing: If your turkey needs to be thawed, it can take a while in the refrigerator. It can take 5-6 days to thaw a frozen 14 pound turkey depending on the refrigerator in use. Your turkey should be completely thawed before cooking so plan this in advance. If you are short on time you can speed up the thawing process by placing your packaged turkey in an ice water bath. The ice water bath should be kept at a temperature below 40°F/4°C for the entire duration. If you have a refrigerator large enough to hold a bucket that will hold your turkey, fill that bucket with cold water, put your turkey in and put the entire bucket in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. In most cases that will thaw the bird completely. If you are planning to brine your turkey, the brine process will usually finish thawing a partially frozen bird. Brining: Some people like to brine their turkey to introduce extra salt, sugar, and moisture into the meat before cooking. This is an optional step. If you choose to brine your turkey, you should either buy a commercial brine mix and follow the instructions on the packaging or prepare your own brine mix from scratch. My personal preference on brine solution is a ratio of 1 cup of sea salt and 1 cup of sugar per gallon of cold water. You may add any other herbs or seasonings to the brine that you may like but this salt and sugar ration works well for me. When you brine your turkey, the turkey should be completely covered in brine solution and the brine should be kept at at temperature below 40°F/4°C at all times. You should brine your turkey in a bucket or other container in the refrigerator to keep it cold. You can also use an insulated cooler. If you use a cooler, you might want to put your brine and turkey in a brining bag and surround it with ice inside the cooler to keep it cold. If you are working in a cold climate and the outdoor temperature is cold enough to keep your brine below the recommended temperature, you can simply set the brining container outside with a cover on it. You should brine the meat for 1 to 1 ½ hours per pound. If your bird is partially frozen you can go for 2 hours per pound if needed. The Food Lab: The Quick and Dirty Guide to Brining Chicken or Turkey http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/11/quick-and-dirty-guide-to-brining-turkey-chicken-thanksgiving.html The Food Lab: The Truth about Brining Turkey http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/11/the-food-lab-the-truth-about-brining-turkey-thanksgiving.html These two articles are worth your time to read. They give you everything you need to know about brining and some possible reasons why you might want to skip the brining process. The first article also gives you information on the dry brining process and how to do it if you choose. Injecting: There are many commercial and homemade options for injecting additional flavor components into your poultry. My favorite is a simple injection of melted butter (unsalted). Sometimes I like to add a tiny amount of garlic to that butter for some added flavor. Injecting your turkey or chicken is another excellent way to improve the moisture and flavor. You can tailor the injection and its flavor profile to suit your own taste. Be careful with brining and injecting. Try to keep things simple and don’t over do it. You can easily over season by these methods, especially if you choose to do both. Start simple. See what works for you. Make small changes the next time you cook if you think it’s necessary. Spatchcock or Whole Bird: The ‘spatchcock’ technique is a popular method of cooking whole chickens and turkeys. This is simply a term that means to butterfly the bird or open it up and spread it out flat. There are lots of videos on YouTube on how to do this process. I recommend checking some of those out before you decide to try it. The process simply involves cutting out the backbone of the bird and laying it flat. The advantage of this process is that the bird cooks faster and more evenly. It’s easier to get the breast meat and the dark meat to finishing temperatures at the same time. I prefer the spatchcock technique unless I am cooking a whole bird on a rotisserie. Knife Skills: How to Spatchcock a Turkey https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZxWF0VyK60 Removing the Wishbone: I also prefer to remove the wishbone whether I am spatchcocking or cooking the whole bird. I prefer to do this before the cook as well. Removing the wishbone makes it super easy to remove the breast meat from the bird in two large whole pieces. Removing a Wishbone from a Raw Turkey https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JUWZ6G74WQ Seasoning the Exterior of the Bird: There are a lot of great commercial poultry seasonings out there or you can easily make your own. Once you decide what you will use to season the outside of your bird, loosen the skin of the bird and make sure you get a good amount of that seasoning between the meat. You can also add that seasoning to the outside of the skin as well. Be aware of the sugar content of your seasoning. If your seasoning has sugar in it, you will need to avoid cooking at temperatures above 325°F/163°C. Sugar can scorch and turn black at these higher temperatures. Cooking the Bird: Direct Heat vs Indirect Heat: There are two basic techniques for cooking. One is over indirect heat with a heat deflector between the fire and the bird. The second method is over direct heat with no heat deflector. Most traditional turkey cooks are done over indirect heat with a heat deflector in place. More recently people are venturing into direct heat cooking with a spatchcocked turkey. This is accomplished by putting the turkey on the grill directly above the flame with the heat deflectors removed. The grill grates are typically placed in the highest position available above the fire. Indirect heat (roasting/smoking) provides the most even cook of the bird. Direct heat (grilling) is a much faster cooking process that gives you some char on the outside of the bird during the cooking process. The indirect heat process is mostly hands free once you put the bird on. The direct heat process requires a good bit of attention during the cook because you will be flipping the bird regularly to keep it from burning on one side or the other. At What Temperature Should I Cook? Here you will find a LOT of different information on how to cook a turkey. There are a lot of ways to do it and the results vary with each of them. When roasting/smoking over indirect heat you can cook your turkey at temperatures anywhere between 225°F/107°C and 425°F/218°C. Lower temperatures take a lot longer and provide a heavier smoke profile on the bird. Higher temperatures take less time and provide a lighter smoke profile. Skin texture on the turkey or chicken changes based on your cooking temperatures also. Lower temperature cooks may not get the skin as crisp as a higher temperature option. This is where you should take some opportunities to experiment. I like to cook my turkey and chicken at 375°F/190°C. If you are grilling your spatchcocked turkey over direct heat, you will want to settle your grill temperature around 350-400°F / 177-205°C. The grate level temperature over the direct fire will be hotter than this and in a perfect range for this kind of cook. You need to stay with the turkey during this cook and flip/turn the bird every 5-8 minutes for even cooking. What Kind and How Much Smoking Wood Should I Use? Poultry is like a SPONGE with smoke. It absorbs smoke quickly and it absorbs a lot of it. I can not stress enough how important it is to use smoke wood sparingly on poultry. Until you have a lot of experience with smoking poultry, I recommend using no more than ONE chunk of smoke wood. I also recommend using a wood with a light smoke profile such as cherry, peach, or apple. For some people, the charcoal alone provides enough smoke for poultry. Apply the “less is more” theory of smoke on this cook and adjust to your taste in future cooks. When is the Bird Finished Cooking? This is another big area of debate in the cooking world. For food safety reasons, the FDA recommends that the meat be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F/74°C. This is the temperature at which harmful pathogens will be killed INSTANTLY. Here is another article that I use to help me figure out finishing temperatures for my poultry: The Food Lab’s Complete Guide to Sous Vide Chicken Breast http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/07/the-food-lab-complete-guide-to-sous-vide-chicken-breast.html The pasteurization time chart in this article is of high importance to me. I like to cook my chicken and turkey to an internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast to 150°F/66°C instead of 165°F/74°C. As long as that temperature is reached and achieved for a minimum of 2.8 minutes, you will have the same pasteurization effect that you get instantly at 165°F/74°C. The benefit of cooking to the lower finishing temperature is more moist meat. As you heat muscle fibers, they contract and squeeze out moisture. Heating them less cause them to contract less and squeeze out less moisture. When checking the temperature of your turkey or chicken to determine when it’s done, you should check in the thickest part of the breast. That is the thickest part of the meat on the entire bird and it will be the last part to be done. Don’t worry if your leg and thigh temperatures go a good bit higher than your target temperature because they definitely will. The dark meat can handle much higher temperatures without drying out. The breast can not so pay attention closely to the breast meat temperatures. Resting the Bird: When your cook is complete, cover the bird with aluminum foil and let rest for a minimum of 20-30 minutes before carving. Carve your Turkey or Chicken and Serve! These links provide two excellent videos and commentary on carving your turkey! The Culinary Institute of America: How to Carve a Turkey https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=939uGzs484M Bon Apetit: How to Carve a Turkey https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzmMVDooNx4 Some Useful Tools: The Briner - The Ultimate Brine Container (2 container kit) http://amzn.to/2hTTWbS These brining buckets are fantastic. I got the kit of two because the large size is perfect for large turkeys and other large cuts of meat that like to brine and cure such as briskets that I use to make pastrami or whole fresh hams. The smaller brine bucket is perfect for whole chickens and other smaller cuts of meat. The part of these buckets that make them unique is the plate that comes with each bucket that allows you to keep the meat submerged more easily in the brine. The plate turns and fits between the ridges in the bucket so your meat not float above the surface of the brine. This also allows you to use less brine. The Beast Injector http://amzn.to/2Bmf9U2 The Grill Beast Injector is a perfect tool for injecting flavors into your meat. I have been using this one for over a year now. It’s my go-to injector over several others that I have, including the one below. SpitJack Magnum Meat Injector Gun http://amzn.to/2hR3SCO The SpitJack Magnum kit is probably the Rolex of the meat injector tools line. I have had one of these for several years and it works very well. It gives you some serious precision control over injections. You can dial in the quantity it dispenses with each pull of the trigger. It’s pricey but if you are the guy or girl who demands top of the line, then this is your tool. Thermoworks ThermoPop Instant Read Digital Thermometer http://www.thermoworks.com/ThermoPop The ThermoPop is the best bang for the buck in the instant read digital thermometer community. For $29 you can get super fast temperature readings. You can spend an additional $70 if you want and get a temperature reading about two seconds faster from the ThermaPen model. The instant read digital thermometer is the best solution to knowing when your meat is cooked to the proper temperature. I don’t recommend leave-in thermometer probes for Turkey simply because I cook my turkey at around 375°F/190°C. I don’t get consistent results with ANY of them when cooking at this temperature range. You might have better luck with these if you wrap the exposed part of the thermometer with aluminum foil. I find that the exposed part gets hot enough that it radiates heat into the sensor portion of the probe causing it to read higher than the actual meat temperature. If you choose to use a leave-in probe to measure your meat temperature when cooking at the higher temps, ALWAYS double check it with an instant read thermometer for accuracy.
  2. Sometimes simple is best, and today's cook is no exception. I present to you, Simple Smoked Turkey Legs: 250°F on Big Joe for about three hours over some Pecan and lump, generously coated with some Plowboy's Yardbird Rub.
  3. Thanksgiving is rolling up on us once again and I wanted to do another Smoked Turkey video with a bit of a different flavor profile this year. This recipe definitely stands up and shouts! Brine Recipe: 2 gallons of ice cold water, divided 1 cup kosher salt 1/2 cup sugar or brown sugar 2 tbsp fresh thyme 1 tbsp ground mustard 1 tbsp peppercorns 1 tbsp granulated garlic 2 tbsp dried onion flakes 1 cup hot sauce (I use Frank's) Take about 8 cups out of the 2 gallons of water and put it in a small stock pot. Dissolve the salt and sugar in the water over low heat. Once that is dissolved, add the rest of the ingredients and continue to heat. Remove from heat just before it boils and cool to room temperature. Add this mixture back to the rest of the cold water and keep chilled until ready to use. When you brine your Turkey, the brine needs to be kept cold so do it in a well-insulated cooler or in a large bag in the fridge. Brine your bird for at least 1 hour per pound Injection Recipe: 4 sticks unsalted butter 1 12-oz bottle of beer 1 tbsp sea salt 1 tbsp paprika 1 tbsp of your favorite bbq rub 1 tbsp ground mustard 1 tbsp garlic powder 1 tbsp finely ground black pepper Melt the butter and then add the beer. Bring to a slow boil. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue a very slow boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use. Using a meat injector, inject as much of the injection solution as possible. Save a little bit for basting the turkey while it's cooking. Dry Rub Recipe: 3 tbsp Kamado Joe Peach Rub (or your favorite BBQ rub) 3 tbsp Kamado Joe Poultry Seasoning (or your favorite poultry seasoning) Combine these ingredients and coat the outside of the turkey before putting it on the grill! Preheat your grill to 350 degrees and set up for indirect cooking. Add a couple chunks of your favorite smoke wood. Cook the turkey until the temperature in the thick of the breast reaches 160-165 degrees. Let rest for 15 to 30 minutes and serve hot! This 20 pound turkey too 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete on the grill.
  4. If you haven't tried dry brined spatchcocked turkey before you're missing out... created a quick how to for those unfamiliar with any of the techniques. Still working out how to make videos so appreciate your candid feedback.... but not too candid lol jk
  5. 1 hour in to my first turkey on the Akorn. I let it smoke @ 250 then upped the temperature to 325 to cook and crisp. More updates to come.
  6. That damn artic vortex is lounging over Alberta, Canada like a drunk who won’t leave his chair at his favourite dive bar. It’s the 13th day of -27 F - -32 F windchill cold. I had to use my torch to thaw the upper and lower vents to open them. It’s one of the worst February’s we’ve had in 21 years. Normallly it’s 10 F to 40 F most recent years with the expcetion of the odd cold day. We are getting use to warmer winters. it was too cold to use the Joetisserie last night so I opted for roasting instead. I decided to make a trurkey breast and roast vegetables in a foil pan using the same method used to cook a spatchcock Turkey. I just had lump banked to the front and rotated the cook halfway through. This ended-up backfiring on me: I started to run low on lump with the Turkey still at 155 F; I used the oven to finish the final 5 F for a 160 F finished temp. The Joe dropped to 225 F from the original 325 F cooking temp. I could’ve added more lump to recover the temp back to 325 F to finish the cook on the Big Joe; it wasn’t worth it for 5 degrees. The oven finished the turkey in 10 minutes. It was a mistake to run a half load of Maple lump and one halfmoon defector in the insanely bitter cold temps. I would’ve been better off if I had used a 80% full Kick ash basket of lump with both deflectors in both sides versus trying to use a half load method in the bitter cold. It worked out the the result was great as you can see from the picks below. For a laugh, I had to use my torch to close the lower vent because it froze open and I couldn’t close it without taking a torch to it for 20 seconds to thaw it. This is Alberta cold; not that Texas cold some American think is actually cold. Thank god it wasn’t Winnipeg/Minneapolis cold. Everyone has their limits.
  7. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas is a time of scorching temperatures. However we are still exposed to the familiar tunes and culinary desires of a Northern, cold Christmas. With temperatures at 40 degrees C (104 Fahrenheit) turning on the oven was not a favourable choice and so placing big bird in the Kamado was the sound choice. Only had a KJ for a couple of month now, and the first time I had ever cooked a turkey (regardless of cooking appliance). It was a success!! Some say I’ve now graduated to an adult now that the bird has been conquered, albeit 15 years later than planned. With my wife being pregnant I took the road less travelled for my family by not stuffing the bird with the risk of listeria etc and instead I lightly filled the cavity with the aromatics (onion, garlic, lemon, sage, oregano, rosemary) from the brine mixture. The quality of the KJ resulting in a more consitent temperature throughout the cook and the fact the bird wasn’t stuffed resulted in a much quicker cook than expected. Meater sounded the alarm to this news which allowed me to save Christmas. Meater has caused controversy in this forum, but so far I can’t fault it. Happy Cooking!
  8. In my drum smoker, I would just allow the rendered chicken or turkey fat to drip onto the charcoal coals and make smoke. It was, by far, better than those done on my Cookshack Fast Eddy PG500 pellet pit. Yet, every kamado discussion I read advises deflector plate or catch pan use. Has anyone just let the birds drip? How good was the result?
  9. tDid the obligatory turkey for thanksgiving, but this was the first time on the Joetisserie. Truth be told, this was only the third time I ever used the Joetisserie. My setup was, coals banked to each side, with an old metal bread loaf pan in the middle. I filled the pan with water, mainly because I was afraid of grease hitting hot metal and making greasy smoke. I had air dried the bird for about 15 hours in the fridge, then rubbed it with olive oil. We sprinkled rub on the outside, and also worked some up under the skin. Also, we injected the breast with garlic butter. The turkey really turned out tasty and juicy, but the skin was not crisp, in fact, we threw most of the skin away. Did the water pan cause the rubbery skin? The water was pretty much boiling, and maybe the vapor wasn't good? I just can't imaging letting all that grease run into my grill, nor can I imaging the grease dripping into a screaming hot metal pan with no liquid. Suggestions, comments, criticisms, etc........
  10. I did a practice run for thanksgiving over the weekend with a 13lb bird. I did it in much the same manner as I roast a chicken, which I do pretty much weekly with astounding results. Dry brined, spatchcocked, seasoned with herb butter under the skin, and cooked over indirect heat (although I did the turkey at 350, where I normally roast chickens around 400-450). Once the thickest part of the breast hit 145 I opened up the dampers and let the temp soar to about 500 to crisp up the skin until I hit a breast temp of 150 for a minute or two, at which point I pulled the bird. The resulting turkey was a mixed bag. I oversmoked it, but that's easily remedied. The breasts were cooked to perfection, very tender and moist. The dark meat was overdone, which is a shame because that is the best part of the bird! Obviously the difficulty with poultry is the difference in temp between white and dark meat, and the fact that they both cook differently. The size of a turkey only exacerbates this. Would breaking down the bird before it goes on the grill be a viable solution to making sure it doesn't dry out? I figured if I monitor the temp of both dark and white meat I can pull each right when their temp is perfect, and that would also grant me a little more surface area for seasoning. I know it's not quite the typical presentation for a turkey but I'm going to be carving it before it gets to the table anyway, and I'd like as few variables as possible on the big day so I don't ruin dinner!
  11. 1.25 Lb Honeysuckle Sweet Italian turkey sausage links (you could use their 1lb Mild Italian Turkey Sausage Roll but my grocery only carries the links) 1 Lb turkey thigh bacon 1 package steam in bag spinach 1 medium onion or 1.5 cups frozen chopped onions (I HATE chopping onions) 2Tbsp minced garlic 2Tbsp vegetable spread In a medium sized skillet over medium heat melt the spread and add onions and garlic, saute till the onions just start to brown Add ~2 cups of the frozen spinach to pan and heat till mostly dry (the steam in bag type has much less water with it than the block type so it works better for this type of preparation, no need to wait forever for the excess water to boil off) Create weave with bacon (this took all but 2 strips for me) Remove sausage filling from casing and place into 1 gallon freezer bag, flatten to ~ 1/4 in thick filling the bag Cut freezer bag and place turkey sausage sheet onto bacon weave Transfer filling from pan to sausage sheet Roll weave and sheet over filling Cook in Kamado at ~350F for ~45 minute, internal temperature should be around 170F
  12. Here's my yahdbyrd. Dry brined for in the fridge for two days. Then oiled it up put some salt & pepper garlic & onion powder and some of Paul Prudhomme's poultry magic. Cooked it over a full load of lump and 4 pieces of cherry wood with the heat deflectors in place. Filled an aluminum pan with carrots, onions, celery, water, and some chicken stock. Slapped the Byrd on at 350° and let it roll till the breast read 160°. Best Byrd yet!
  13. We've been invited to a party tomorrow evening, when asked what we could bring the hostess replied " a smoked turkey would be nice, I'd like to serve it cold as an appetizer in petite finger sandwiches." So, on the Akorn it will go. I'll post picks when cooked, so far brined, buttered, and rubbed. I do have the turkey stand so this one will be standing style instead of spatchcock.
  14. Got a 14lb bird and dry brined it for 18 hours with salt, raw cane brown sugar and black pepper. spatchcocked it - using a reciprocating saw to cut out backbone - scored skin first. seasoned bird with a stick and a half of butter 1/4 cup of Tony Chacheres cajun seasoning. Kamado was around 275 for the 2 1/2 hours I cooked it - Lump with 3 pieces of oak wood thrown in. as soon as deep internal temps got to 166 I pulled turkey out and let it sit for 20 minutes before cutting. I had never dry brined or spatchcocked a turkey before - I will likely never cook a turkey a different way again - ever.. it was the juiciest, most flavor full and most evenly cooked DOMESTIC turkey I have ever eaten. Puts frying them to shame as well. and I used a heat deflector.
  15. Smoked 15lb turkey, brined, injected, added a small piece of cherry chunk for smoke @ 300-325 degrees, for just over two hours. Pulled when the breast hit 165 degrees. Turned out really good! Decided to make gumbo with the left overs. Made the stock from the bones. Everything prepped and ready to go. Made roux with bacon grease and flower. All done, now to leave it on a slow simmer for the day. After sitting on a low simmer for the majority of the day. Added some zaterains creole seasoning, oregano, salt, pepper, and thyme. I've never had authentic gumbo before, and I dont think this is the traditional way of making gumbo? But this is the third time I've made it and it seems to be a hit at home and in my office. Plus, it was a great way to use some of the left over turkey.
  16. Very thankful that the pecan mini logs I ordered on Friday showed up in basically two business days instead of the eight they projected. Got an unbelievable price on them plus free shipping. One 20lb turkey and one brisket just shy of 17lbs. I find that I am trimming more fat off of Costco Prime briskets than any other brisket I come across. It is a gret product however. Brisket properly peppered and salted- threw it on the grill @ 11:30pm. Problably will put the turkey on @ 9am for a 1pm early dinner time.
  17. bought this 16 lb bird fresh. brined it and used a herb rub with butter. smoked this at 325-350 with a pecan and an apple wood chunk. I was very surprised when it was done in only 3 hours. I almost took it off sooner but luckily i probed the other thigh . one was at 180F but the other was at 160F. had to keep it warm in our oven for 2 hours waiting for our company to come over since it was done way sooner then i had planned. It still turned out fantastic and juicy though.
  18. I will be smoking/grilling a turkey on my vision kamado for thanksgiving. This will probably be my 4th Turkey i have done on a kamado overall but its been about 2 years since i did one last. i did a trial run of my Turkey cook with 7 large bone in chicken thighs last night utilizing the same temp as i would use when i do the turkey - 325 with my smoking stone/diffuser in place. I did not use a drip pan above the diffuser but i plan too when i do the turkey. it was very windy last night and 40F in Chicagoland which gave me some sporadic temps but i was able to manage 330F with some close monitoring. I cooked the thighs to 180F internal and took them off. Theyhad a sever acrid aroma . they still tasted ok but that acrid aroma will not do . I attribute this major mistake do to the fact that i had no drip pan and the huge amount of grease sizzling away on my smoke stone penetrated the meat. Or was the wind a major contributing factor? also do you think its possible the olive oil i brushed the skin of my chicken with absorbed this acrid flavor? My vision was clean and the so was the grate and i always make sure i do a burn off after my low temp smokes. i waited until my temp settled into 325 before i put on all the poultry so their wasnt a huge amount of smoke billowing out of the top. i used lump charcoal with two medium sized chunks of pecan. Looking for all your opinions on this so we can all avoid any thanksgiving mishaps. i did notice John did not use a drip pan when he smoked his turkey on the Kamado Joe in this video. if his turkey was fine i am concerned there was some other major factor in my cook that caused my problem.
  19. I️ am planning on smoking a turkey for Thanksgiving. In past experience I️ ended up burning the outside and the inside not done. I️ think the fire is too hot. Help!! How do I do a smaller fire that will last? Do I add wood/charcoal after a while? If so how? I have a deflector plate.
  20. I'm planning my Thanksgiving turkey cook, and am undecided on whether to spatchcock it or use the a Joetisserie. Thoughts?
  21. Nothing puts me in mind of fall quite like chili. Though I admit that none of my friends would ever define this as chili as it contains beans and a few other things to ease my conscience and qualify as healthy. Started out with 3lbs of ground turkey that I smoked for 3 hours on the Big Joe. Garlic and jalapenõ, cowbell, mexibelle, poblano and bell peppers that I roasted on the Joe after pulling the turkey, black and kidney beans, white onion, carrot, etc. Topped with red onion, yellow bell pepper- most of which I dropped putting the lid one- and extra sharp cheddar. I unfortunately didn't get a pic of anything on the smoker. Had to snap this picked quickly before the couples devoured the pot.
  22. 1st Turkey yesterday. Rubbed the day before, and left her in a cooler full of ice, until it was time for the heat. Almost 5 hours for a 12# bird. started around 250, and rose steadily to 350 to finish @ 162 in the breast. Drip pan with water, one large onion sliced, and some fresh rosemary. Sprayed with Cranberry juice every 1/2 hour after the first hour. It turned out perfect. Family was raving. "Can we have this for Thanksgiving instead of Sister-in-Laws?".......LOL
  23. Well seasoned Turkey burger topped with grilled mango on cracked wheat with roasted veggies.
  24. Decided to jump right in with the first cook on the new KJ Classic II with a Turkey on the Joetisserie. This is a 12lb bird stuffed with onion, lemon, rosemary, sage and thyme. Cooking at 375. Should take 2 to 2.5 hours. 1 hour in. Spinning Video
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