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Thanksgiving Test Turkey


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Since I purchased my Akorn,I have given my family plenty of samples of what it is capable of doing, So naturally,  I have been nominated to cook the Turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. I have made plenty of whole chickens and turkey roasts but haven't attempted a full Turkey. So on Saturday I decided to do a small test cook. I got the Turkey for 89 cents a lb so I got a 15 lb turkey for right about 15 dollars with tax. This helped with the decision to test out the turkey. I thawed the turkey in the refrigerator per the instructions. On Saturday, I made a paste of butter and diced herbs (Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme) and coated the skin and under the skin with the paste. I then quartered 1 small onion, 1 apple, and 1 lemon. I put them in the bird cavity with the remainder of the herbs. I heated my grill up to 325 indirect and put the turkey on the grill. I only snapped 1 picture of it and it was right about the 3 hour mark. I took the bird off at breast temp of 168 and let rest for 20 minutes before carving. Great bird. Everyone thought it was delicious.2013-11-09-14.56.21-HDR.jpg?fit=724%2C72

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Looks good, I hope mine come out just as well when I do a bird on the Akorn for Thanksgiving. Wife won't let me do a test cook because she doesn't want to be eating turkey for the next week as there is just us and our 5 year old son.

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The meat was not very smokey. I added some applewood chips for some smoke but the smoke flavor was similar to any chicken I have done, which is not very smokey. There was a noticeable smoke ring but I'm sure with a little mesquite chunks you could get it as smokey as you want.

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Jazzbert,

 

My recommendations are

  • make sure you can hold 325-350 degree indirect for 3-4 hours.
  • Find a recipe that fits the taste you are looking for
  • make sure you monitor the temps

This is the main points that I took from hours of research for making the turkey.

Good Luck

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Thanks bigldevil20.

I am considering doing a bird on the Kamado for Xmas. It would be my first. Any recommendations, besides practice, which I will?

If you are looking for more of a smoked turkey, I would keep the temp down to 300-325, a few big chunks of apple or pecan mixed with your charcoal, and extend the cooking time until you reach the desired internal temperature of 165° in the thigh. You can bump up your temp to 375° for the last half hour to brown the skin. This wilI give you a smoked flavor nearly all the way to the bone. If desire a more traditional roasted turkey, with a dark crispy skin, but lightly smoked, cook the turkey at 375° from the start. I've done turkey both ways, and I have to say, presentation wise, 375° gives great results. However, for smoky goodness through the entire bird, I prefer to cook it at about 300° with a good amount of apple, and I also cook it til about 175-180° in the thigh. This certainly isn't the norm, though... Just my personal preference.
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