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Gravy on Kamado?


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Happy Holidays all!  I had a question about gravy, whether it's for a turkey or a prime rib.  Is it possible to use the drippings from the pan from a bird or roast and make gravy from it on a kamado charcoal cook?  I would think the taste would be overpowering but I've seen other posts about those using drippings from their cook for gravy and thought I'd ask here.  I haven't done a roast or turkey yet (we usually short smoke, then fry the bird) but wanted to get experiences from those that have made gravy from their charcoal cooks.

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As long as you don't set your drip pan directly on your deflector where it will overheat and fry then burn anything in it. I the drippings from turkey, prime rib, and such to make gravy, au jus, and sauces.  I usually start off with some chicken broth or beef broth in the pan. Use something to create an air space between your deflector and the bottom of your drip pan. Some folks us copper elbows, others use large bolt or nuts (nothing galvanized because of the vapors it puts out when heated). Other folks use a long sheet of aluminum foil rolled into a long sausage or snake shape and then made into a wreath to set the pan on. Personally, I use ceramic kiln blocks that make a 1  5/8 air gap between my stone and my drip pan. Just remember to check the liquid in the pan during the cook so you won't burn the drippings. I usually wrap the liver, heart, giblets, and neck in 3 piece thickness of aluminum foil to make a water tight pouch, I add some broth and olive oil also with some herbs and garlic. Also, I often pull my drip pan during the cook, and replace it with a fresh one. In my mind the ingredients for gravy cook pretty quickly and don't need to be in the for the entire cook.  Hope that helps. 

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5 minutes ago, keeperovdeflame said:

As long as you don't set your drip pan directly on your deflector where it will overheat and fry then burn anything in it. I the drippings from turkey, prime rib, and such to make gravy, au jus, and sauces.  I usually start off with some chicken broth or beef broth in the pan. Use something to create an air space between your deflector and the bottom of your drip pan. Some folks us copper elbows, others use large bolt or nuts (nothing galvanized because of the vapors it puts out when heated). Other folks use a long sheet of aluminum foil rolled into a long sausage or snake shape and then made into a wreath to set the pan on. Personally, I use ceramic kiln blocks that make a 1  5/8 air gap between my stone and my drip pan. Just remember to check the liquid in the pan during the cook so you won't burn the drippings. I usually wrap the liver, heart, giblets, and neck in 3 piece thickness of aluminum foil to make a water tight pouch, I add some broth and olive oil also with some herbs and garlic. Also, I often pull my drip pan during the cook, and replace it with a fresh one. In my mind the ingredients for gravy cook pretty quickly and don't need to be in the for the entire cook.  Hope that helps. 

Much better explanation of exactly what I was thinking. I have done this many times on my gas grill and thought the kamado would be no different other than the direct heat. 

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11 hours ago, keeperovdeflame said:

As long as you don't set your drip pan directly on your deflector where it will overheat and fry then burn anything in it. I the drippings from turkey, prime rib, and such to make gravy, au jus, and sauces.  I usually start off with some chicken broth or beef broth in the pan. Use something to create an air space between your deflector and the bottom of your drip pan. Some folks us copper elbows, others use large bolt or nuts (nothing galvanized because of the vapors it puts out when heated). Other folks use a long sheet of aluminum foil rolled into a long sausage or snake shape and then made into a wreath to set the pan on. Personally, I use ceramic kiln blocks that make a 1  5/8 air gap between my stone and my drip pan. Just remember to check the liquid in the pan during the cook so you won't burn the drippings. I usually wrap the liver, heart, giblets, and neck in 3 piece thickness of aluminum foil to make a water tight pouch, I add some broth and olive oil also with some herbs and garlic. Also, I often pull my drip pan during the cook, and replace it with a fresh one. In my mind the ingredients for gravy cook pretty quickly and don't need to be in the for the entire cook.  Hope that helps. 

What he says!

I did a spatchcocked Turkey last week, and that was my original plan, but I ended up putting the bird on a rack over a sheet pan as in the picture below. (You can see another drip pan underneath - which was the original plan. This was set up off the heat deflectors...) The sheet pan was full of onions, carrots and celery and some sprigs of thyme and sage. I then added a bottle of white wine.

 

IMG_5210.thumb.jpeg.551404602d5b59d3d7e376283a8480b0.jpeg

 

I cooked the turkey for 2 hours and the juices from the bird mingled with the wine and veggies came out great. I got a bit fancy and made a separate turkey stock with the giblets, backbone, neck and more veggies, then combined that with the pan juices and a roux to finish the gravy off.

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Thank you all for the tips!  I would have made the mistake of drip pan on deflector.  Does the drip pan stay in the entire 2 hour cook(or so..depending on size of bird) and do you baste at all or just keep the lid closed the entire time?

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I've never been left with anything other than a pan full of grease in my drip trays, which is why I use drip trays.  Although I have not filled them with water or other liquid, it seems whatever water comes out of the meat is evaporated pretty quickly.

 

If I want gravy, I collect whatever resting juices I can and use that instead to flavour your gravy, and it's not over smoked and greasy .

 

As far as basting a turkey, no I never have, if you're looking you aren't cooking so they say.  I like to brine mine and it keeps them moist and juicy inside, and the skin gets nice and crisp just letting it do it thing in there without spraying it down.  In fact I don't mop anything except maybe ribs at the very end.   Let us know how it goes!

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  • 2 weeks later...

The only time I haven’t liked the gravy from the drippings is when I added smoking wood to smoke a turkey.  I found the gravy, and turkey for that matter had way too much smoke flavour. Because of this I started doing indoor and outdoor gravy for people’s taste preferences.  Outdoor is as described above.  Indoor, I put neck, wingtips and giblets in a pot along with chicken stock, apple, onion, herbs, carrots and chicken broth (everything I have in my drip pan) and simmer it for several hours on low while the turkey is cooking and then make the two different gravy’s.  Actually I usually make a third gluten free gravy for my ciliac brother in law as well. 

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@Lumpy_Coal we are lucky, we have a local butcher who sells tubs of really good premade frozen gravy, beef or turkey.  I usually keep one or two of each in the freezer.  When I plan on making gravy off the Kamado, my wife will defrost and heat up the “indoor gravy”.  Easy peazy! And it’s good quality. 

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5 hours ago, JeffieBoy said:

@Lumpy_Coal we are lucky, we have a local butcher who sells tubs of really good premade frozen gravy, beef or turkey.  I usually keep one or two of each in the freezer.  When I plan on making gravy off the Kamado, my wife will defrost and heat up the “indoor gravy”.  Easy peazy! And it’s good quality. 

Maybe I’ll have to start doing something like this and just make extra broth too freeze and make gravy when needed.  

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We don't like "smokey" gravy so for us that is a no.

 

But, I don't cook turkey for "presentation" any more (we just don't do the traditional "table" setting/carving etc)....so I no longer actually cook whole birds.  I find the whole process to be a waste of time, energy etc....ie. the hard way!  It really makes no sense to cook whole birds.   

 

The day BEFORE the actual turkey cooking, we make sure our turkey is thawed (if it was frozen) and cut out the spine, take out the neck, gizzards etc, and make our gravy/drippings/stock.  I also quarter the bird (white and dark separate) and dry brine those parts and into the fridge they go.  It is so nice to have the gravy done the day before - it allows much more time for visiting and less stress on turkey day.  You can "tweak" your gravy and have it perfect and ready to go for the following day.

 

On turkey day, we roast the white/dark quarters separately as appropriate - oven, kamado (both) - some people loved smoked flavor turkey, I find others prefer traditional oven roasted so we usually do 50/50.  We roast at high temps so the quarters are cooked and rested in just a few hours total.  As white/dark meat require different ideal temperatures, I find cooking the quarters much easier to control to get perfect results.  I rest turkey at LEAST for 1 hour after roasting so that leaves the oven and BBQ free to finish up or cook all the side dishes.  It all comes together very easily.

 

We do our stuffing in the slow cooker as well during the day in parallel, so really just the final touches have to be done last minute.

 

It took some time to get my more traditional wife to consider this method...but you could not get her to go back now...

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