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Turkey on the Akorn Grill for Thanksgiving, any tips?


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I brine my turkey over night. I been using Alton browns recipe for a while but now I smoke it instead of roasting it in the oven. If you do frozen, just make sure you start defrosting it early enough.

On the akorn I like to do mine spachcook now, faster and more even cooking. But if you do yours whole don't put stuffing in the middle.


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I did a 20 lb bird last Thanksgiving my Akorn and it was awesome. I brined for 24 hours, cooked it at about 250 with oak, pulled it when thigh reached 165, foiled it, wrapped it in a blanket and put it in my cooler for transport to my daughter's house about 40 miles away. Family said it was the best turkey they had ever eaten. I agree with bigdl. Don't stuff it.


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Yup, I've done a turkey on the Akorn the past few Christmases and I've had success with the following:

 

  • Thaw turkey entirely before cooking
  • No stuffing
  • Some sort of rub/seasoning all over
  • Big ol' drip pan underneath with whatever I have on hand splashed in (chicken stock, water, beer, etc.)
  • Cooked at about 300 or so and if memory serves me right, it takes just a few hours.

I also throw in a few orange halves into the turkey cavity for added something ;)

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I've done a turkey on the Akorn for the last three years, this year it will be done on the Big Joe as the Akorn bit the dust. 

Sam's Club usually has thawed Butterball turkeys for $.99/lb this time of year, I grabbed three last year and cooked two for a dinner at work. My go to method is to cook indirect at 375-425°F over lump and Pecan wood. I season the skin with a mix of kosher salt, cracked black pepper, and paprika for a nice color, season under the skin with Montreal Chicken, and do a butter injection. For my uber tasty turkey, I place a bacon weave and one halved jalapeno under the skin, same seasoning on the outside, and let it cook as normal. I also skip the stuffing and truss my bird for even cooking. As for brining, I skip this step as most store bought birds are already enhanced and I don't feel the extra work adds anything to the cook. 

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I have a large extended family and Thanksgiving is one of our get together's. In the past we always cooked a 25lb, or whatever larger we could get, bird but the last few years they just don't carry them that large anymore, so we do 2 birds now. I started doing one on my Akorn and one regularly in the oven. Last year everyone requested both be done on the grills. I did one on my Akorn and one in the Big Joe, they both came out great and this is the way Thanksgiving will be done from now on. Doing a Turkey is very easy it's just like a big chicken after all. I also have something called a Turkey Canon that I use for one bird. It does a good job but I haven't bothered to get a second one, as I think just doing it flat on the grill works just as well. I have found that the 14-16 lb range turkeys seem to work out the best for me, as far as getting the breast and dark meat finished at the same time.

I also don't brine my turkeys because of the enhancement most brands already come with. I do like to inject the breast with a flavored butter mix before cooking and make sure I get the seasonings under the skin. These are the birds from last year  turkeys_zpsuqdgygvy.jpg

 

and one of them finished

 

 smoke1_zpsc6c946bf.jpg

 

You can see the juice on the foil under the bird, they come out very moist.

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I was gonna ask eventually myself, I've done lots of chickens on the grill but not a turkey.  Can't imagine it being too much different but just take a little longer.  I've never brined before, have to find something to put it in I guess.

Brine kits are available from Amazon, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, etc. and include a zip lock bag large enough to hold a turkey. Takes a lot of the guesswork out of the brine solution. Of you have a favorite brine mix the bags are available separately.


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I have done about 5 turkey's and a couple turkey breasts on my akorn so far .. all were frozen, thawed, unstuffed and just seasoned. I use a drip pan on top of the diffuser stone and they all have turned out perfect. My only downfall is gravy.. I tried making it with the drippings once and the flavor was way overwhelmingly smokey and tasted terrible. Some people cook a smaller turkey in the oven just to get juices for gravy and that's what I plan on doing this year.

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If you're in an area where un-enhanced birds are regularly available, they are a much better candidate for smoking (and especially brining).

I've used this brine recipe a few times and like it a lot.  You can generally cut back on the amount of salt, maybe just brine a little longer:

http://virtualweberbullet.com/turkey6.html

As others have said, a large food grade bucket or the XXL Zip Loc bags are great for brining.

 

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On 11/6/2016 at 8:39 PM, JPDVM2014 said:

I smoke a turkey every year. I have never brined. Just salt and pepper. I'll third the no stuffing. It cooks way faster and more evenly.


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Very Good = Simple = KISS

You can even cook it nekked and it well turn out good on a kamado, especially if it has been "enhanced", which most have been.

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