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.
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.
This spice blend would work equally well for pork or beef, I used beef of the 80/20 variety. The more fat the better.
1.5 pounds of ground meat
3 ts dried sage
1 3/4 ts salt
3 ts dried basil
1 ts ground black pepper
2 ts onion powder
1/2 ts dried marjoram
1 ts crushed red pepper
1 1/2 ts fennel seed
Combine spices only in a small bowl and mix them. This helps make sure you get even distribution in the meat. Then put the meat in a bowl and spread 1/3 of the spices and mix with hands until incorporated, then another 3rd, mix and finally the rest of the spice blend. Ball the meat, cover it tightly and place in the fridge for 24 hours to allow the flavors to develop. Next day form the meat in to 2 oz balls and press to 3/8" thick. Grill, pan fry or roast until done and enjoy!
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?
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!