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.
Right up front, no pics. I was so happy with the results of my cook that I couldn't wait to get in carve this up and give it go. Maybe next time.
Spatchcocked the chicken, rubbed with a home made rub of salt, pepper, paprika, onion & garlic powder, celery salt and put in the fridge to dry the skin. Bird went on for about 45 minutes around 225 to give her some smoke (and I still have a little trouble getting up to 300-325 anyway so thought I use it to my advantage), than on up to 350 to an internal of 165. Removed and rested for about 10minutes, just couldn't wait any longer. It was super tender, great flavor, juicy and super easy to make on the Vision. Only disappointment was the skin could have been a little crispier. A baked potato for me, sweet potato for the CFO, along with a tossed salad and warm popovers. Oh yea, a nice white wine to wash it all down.
Super pleased with this cook. Can't wait to try some bread on it this weekend.
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!
Assembly of the akorn jr was easy. Especially with help from my 9 month old son lol First cook on the acorn jr. Two cornish hens. I rubbed them with olive oil and cowboy rub. When they were almost finished I put a little homemade bbq sauce a friend gave me on them. They were very good. Fell off the bone. I let the grill get too hot at first, but I brought it back down to between 300-325 and watched it until it got to 165 on the probes. I do not trust the akorn jr temp gage at all. My probes were saying it was 75-100 degrees hotter than the gauge on the dome. I used the bbqube for indirect cooking. I think it was a great investment. I plan on using a pie pan or something to put liquid under my meat sometimes.