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The W - Random - What is the best way to grill a Turkey?
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tricia
Bauerwurst








Since: 5.11.05

Since last post: 118 days
Last activity: 2 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.62
I have a small problem that I would like all of you kind Ws to help me with. I have a large party to cook for next week Saturday and I have a large frozen turkey in my deep freezer. This frozen bird is too much for Husband and me to eat, so I would like to serve the turkey grilled for this party. Does anybody have any serving suggestions on how to cook/serve this turkey? I am asking for help because the largest thing I have ever attempted to grill are steaks and brats. Or would it work better to cook the turkey in the oven the day before and reheat/smoke it on the grill the day of the party?
Thanks in advance!




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Deputy Marshall
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Since: 28.6.04
From: Troy, NY

Since last post: 5 days
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.49
Google is wonderful - Grilling a Turkey on a Barbecue (ReluctantGourmet.com).

For some reason, I hadn't heard of anyone grilling a turkey before this thread.



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wmatistic
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Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

Since last post: 24 days
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.44
I would say this is the worst method to getting a juicy bird, but of course it could work. I would use a grill that has a turner on it or else you're asking for uneven cooking. Not to mention that the white meat doesn't have to be cooked to the same temp as the dark meat and there isn't a good way to achieve that with grilling that I can think of.

If you must grill, I would recommend cutting up the bird first and grilling the pieces just as you would chicken. That should work ok at least, if again not being as juicy as it should be or as flavorful, since you have nothing to hold the juices in anymore. Plus if you cook it a day ahead and then grill it you're sure to have a dry turkey on your hands.

Personally I use either frying, which seems almost like cheating for some reason but produces a great turkey, or the Alton Brown method. Either way you must brine the bird the night before as it adds a ton of flavor. Here is a link to Alton's Thanksgiving show from a few years ago where he gives a brine and cooking method that is hard to beat.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_8389,00.html

The foil trick really does help keep the white meat juicy, just make sure you don't open the oven any more than you have to and get a good thermometer that you can keep in the bird while it cooks. I've used a bad thermometer before that I had to keep moving and it lets all the juice spill out so be aware. Also I prefer some changes he made to this in a Bon Appetit article I have where instead of the apple/cinnamon mix inside the bird he just used rosemary, thyme, celery, and onion. The apple taste can be a bit overpowering to me.

Just my personal preference, but if you haven't tried it you will be shocked by the difference in flavor. Though if you just want to cook outside, fry the sucker. Less trouble anyway.
i before e
Chorizo








Since: 17.10.03

Since last post: 1349 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.34
What size is the bird? Because if its under a certain size, you can safely smoke it. Turkeys come out yummy when smoked. If you plan on grilling, here's some simple and quick advice:
1. Stuff the Turkey well. Either use a take on traditional stuffing, only make sure everything is very moist, or use the beer can method. For a turkey, you can probably use one of those giant cans (I think they are 28 oz or something) make the can to 3/4 full and add spices, onions, etc. Remember, when grilling the turkey, the moister, the better.

2. Season the bird. My buddy and I have a method, that's not too hard, where we rub the seasoning on the inside of the skin, as well as on the outside. This makes the bird extra flavorful, and serves as a benefit for people who take the skin off. He likes to rub the spices inside the skin dry. I prefer making a liquid mixture and squirting it in the skin. This adds to the moistness. I use different mixtures. However, since you're bbqing you might like a combination of water, liquid smoke, and the seasonings. Shake well, then either use a syringe or try and get under the skin and squirt the stuff using a turkey baster. Be generous with the seasonings here.

3. Wrap the bastard in tin foil. This locks in the moisture. You're going to want to keep the foil on for most of the cooking time. When you get to the last hour our so (you'll know this by looking up the weight of the turkey, and calculating the cooking time per pound as per your temperature. Some grills don't have an exact temperature gage, but I find that on relatively high heat, a 12 pound turkey can take up to 5 or 6 hours. We no longer go by exact time, rather we just kinda know when to do what.I'm rambling) anyways, when you get to the last hour or so, unwrap the foil and baste. What I like to do is brush with oil or butter. This gets the skin all nice and crispy. leave exposed until the turkey meter thingy pops.

I'm sure there's little nuances you can do differently, but this is the basics of what works for me. I still think smoking is the tasty-est, but you can only safely smoke Turkeys under a certain size ( I think 12 lbs?). If you grill a turkey the right way, I am certain you will have a treat that your guests will be talking about for a long time!
too-old-now
Bockwurst








Since: 7.1.04

Since last post: 1247 days
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.50
Definitely NOT this way!

http://www.wboc.com/Global/story.asp?S=5111048&nav=MXEF

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Whitebacon
Boudin blanc








Since: 12.1.02
From: Fresno, CA

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.65
Yes we do.



    Originally posted by i before e
    For a turkey, you can probably use one of those giant cans (I think they are 28 oz or something) make the can to 3/4 full and add spices, onions, etc.



24 ounces.



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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
I guarantee that you know at least one person who owns the entire rig for doing a deep fried turkey. This person only uses it at most twice per year. Go find this person and borrow said rig.

Positives:

You get to try it out without risking a holidy full of disappointed friends (Additionally, you COULD order KFC in a pinch for this if you had to - so you can fall back to that. You can't do that on Thanksgiving generally.).

You don't have to pay for the rig (these people only use them for the holidays)

Deep fried food

Negatives:

Potential to burn your house down (do it outside, not on a deck from what I hear)

Scalding risk

Deep fried food.

(edited by Guru Zim on 10.7.06 1441)


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Since: 5.6.06

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.26
I think you got enough tips already. Good luck on your party.. :)



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Since: 30.1.02
From: South Georgia

Since last post: 966 days
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.98
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Potential to burn your house down (do it outside, not on a deck from what I hear)


IF you deep-fry a turkey, you can easily avoid burning the house down by using the following method:

1)Put the turkey in the EMPTY pot.
2)Fill with water to about two inches above the turkey.
3)Remove the turkey from the pot.
4)Mark the pot at the current water level.
5)Pour out the water and dry the pot thoroughly.
6)Fill the pot with peanut oil up to the mark you made.
7)STILL don't cook on the deck. Take it to the yard. (Hello--> open flame!)

Mind you, this is "How Not To Burn The House Down", and not "How To Deep-Fry A Turkey", but deep fried turkey is AW3S0M3!1! and worth the effort at least once, EVEN if you don't use special seasonings or brine or (insert cooking method here).

It's just too bad that peanut oil is so expensive.... BTW, make sure you don't use regular cooking oil. Peanut oil has a much higher flame-point, so it won't turn into a giant fireball if you monitor your temperature properly. Think of a couple of guys hanging out and watching the temp while discussing the game or downing a couple of cold ones. (Pepsi, right?)



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The Guinness.
Morcilla








Since: 24.4.05
From: San Diego, CA

Since last post: 16 days
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.85
Cook over indirect heat.

Set a rectangular disposable tin drip pan (filled with water, lemon juice, apple juice or Beer) in the middle of the grill and place charcoals around the pan. Cover grill. The heat from the coals will make the water sizzle and create steam. This will help to keep the turkey moist. Season the bird however YOU normally would (Seasoning is a matter of preference). Baste roughly every 20-30 minutes. Add 10-15 coals every hour to keep the medium heat going. Cook 20 minutes per pound.

For added flavor add soaked hickory, mesquite or apple wood chips (or wood chunks) throughout the grilling process.


Some other tips from my experience.

1. Most important, make sure the internal temp is at least 180 degrees before removing from the grill.

2. I don't recommend stuffing the bird. Most of the cook books that I've used in the past recommend not stuffing a grill roasted turkey for food safety reasons. What those reasons may be I am not exactly sure but I can wager a guess.

3. Someone mentioned the "beer can method", that can work really well. However typically you need the bird in a upright position for it to work to its full effect. That can prove difficult if you don't have a high enough lid for your grill or the proper tool for the beer can method.

4. Although I mentioned not stuffing the turkey, it is safe to take a peeled lemon and/or orange and stuff it in the insides (providing you don't over stuff it).





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wmatistic
Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

Since last post: 24 days
Last activity: 4 days
AIM:  
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.45
    Originally posted by The Guinness.
    Cook over indirect heat.

    Set a rectangular disposable tin drip pan (filled with water, lemon juice, apple juice or Beer) in the middle of the grill and place charcoals around the pan. Cover grill. The heat from the coals will make the water sizzle and create steam. This will help to keep the turkey moist. Season the bird however YOU normally would (Seasoning is a matter of preference). Baste roughly every 20-30 minutes. Add 10-15 coals every hour to keep the medium heat going. Cook 20 minutes per pound.

    For added flavor add soaked hickory, mesquite or apple wood chips (or wood chunks) throughout the grilling process.


    Some other tips from my experience.

    1. Most important, make sure the internal temp is at least 180 degrees before removing from the grill.

    2. I don't recommend stuffing the bird. Most of the cook books that I've used in the past recommend not stuffing a grill roasted turkey for food safety reasons. What those reasons may be I am not exactly sure but I can wager a guess.

    3. Someone mentioned the "beer can method", that can work really well. However typically you need the bird in a upright position for it to work to its full effect. That can prove difficult if you don't have a high enough lid for your grill or the proper tool for the beer can method.

    4. Although I mentioned not stuffing the turkey, it is safe to take a peeled lemon and/or orange and stuff it in the insides (providing you don't over stuff it).




See here's the problem with getting a dry bird with this method. And yes I'm going to channel Alton Brown a lot here, but he's proven right from my experience. Dark meat needs to be cooked to 180, but white meat doesn't have to get that high. Can't recall the exact temp for white meat but if you cook the whole thing to 180, you'll have dry white meat. Those little pop up things in birds you buy pop at 180 so you can't rely on them either. That's the point of the foil over the white meat to slow it's cooking while letting the dark meat still get to 180.

Stuffing has to be cooked to a high temp as well and being in the middle means you overcook the bird to cook the stuffing free of disease.

Also I've read that basting is kind of a waste of time, because the liquid doesnt really soak in past the skin very much so the central meat doesn't get any benefit and every time you open the lid you release heat and slow the cooking process leading to again a dry bird. This is why I recommend brining because it takes whatever flavor you put in the brine and lets it soak into every inch of the turkey. Then there isnt any need for basting.

The Guinness.
Morcilla








Since: 24.4.05
From: San Diego, CA

Since last post: 16 days
Last activity: 2 hours
AIM:  
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.85
    Originally posted by wmatistic
      Originally posted by The Guinness.
      Cook over indirect heat.

      Set a rectangular disposable tin drip pan (filled with water, lemon juice, apple juice or Beer) in the middle of the grill and place charcoals around the pan. Cover grill. The heat from the coals will make the water sizzle and create steam. This will help to keep the turkey moist. Season the bird however YOU normally would (Seasoning is a matter of preference). Baste roughly every 20-30 minutes. Add 10-15 coals every hour to keep the medium heat going. Cook 20 minutes per pound.

      For added flavor add soaked hickory, mesquite or apple wood chips (or wood chunks) throughout the grilling process.


      Some other tips from my experience.

      1. Most important, make sure the internal temp is at least 180 degrees before removing from the grill.

      2. I don't recommend stuffing the bird. Most of the cook books that I've used in the past recommend not stuffing a grill roasted turkey for food safety reasons. What those reasons may be I am not exactly sure but I can wager a guess.

      3. Someone mentioned the "beer can method", that can work really well. However typically you need the bird in a upright position for it to work to its full effect. That can prove difficult if you don't have a high enough lid for your grill or the proper tool for the beer can method.

      4. Although I mentioned not stuffing the turkey, it is safe to take a peeled lemon and/or orange and stuff it in the insides (providing you don't over stuff it).




    See here's the problem with getting a dry bird with this method. And yes I'm going to channel Alton Brown a lot here, but he's proven right from my experience. Dark meat needs to be cooked to 180, but white meat doesn't have to get that high. Can't recall the exact temp for white meat but if you cook the whole thing to 180, you'll have dry white meat. Those little pop up things in birds you buy pop at 180 so you can't rely on them either. That's the point of the foil over the white meat to slow it's cooking while letting the dark meat still get to 180.

    Stuffing has to be cooked to a high temp as well and being in the middle means you overcook the bird to cook the stuffing free of disease.

    Also I've read that basting is kind of a waste of time, because the liquid doesnt really soak in past the skin very much so the central meat doesn't get any benefit and every time you open the lid you release heat and slow the cooking process leading to again a dry bird. This is why I recommend brining because it takes whatever flavor you put in the brine and lets it soak into every inch of the turkey. Then there isnt any need for basting.





The only thing I would dispute is the dry bird. My method has proven to work for me. The bird has never been dry. However I am going to implement the foil process next time but cook it the same way. If I can take away the basting process I would be a happy camper. I still stick by not stuffing the turkey (unless its with a lemon or an orange). That would be based upon the tips I used when I first learned the process of grilling a bird. Maybe by using the foil it does help to ensure all the bacteria that was festering inside the bird gets cooked at the right temp thus cooking the stuffing entirely. As a person that suffered for 3-4 days from food poisoning, I am just not interested in chancing bacteria from the bird.



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Corajudo
Frankfurter








Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 54 days
Last activity: 6 days
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.76
    Originally posted by tricia
    I have a small problem that I would like all of you kind Ws to help me with. I have a large party to cook for next week Saturday and I have a large frozen turkey in my deep freezer. This frozen bird is too much for Husband and me to eat, so I would like to serve the turkey grilled for this party. Does anybody have any serving suggestions on how to cook/serve this turkey? I am asking for help because the largest thing I have ever attempted to grill are steaks and brats. Or would it work better to cook the turkey in the oven the day before and reheat/smoke it on the grill the day of the party?
    Thanks in advance!


So--what did you decide to do, and how did it turn out?



"Teach children that they have great potential because they are human." -Warrior
tricia
Bauerwurst








Since: 5.11.05

Since last post: 118 days
Last activity: 2 days
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.62
    Originally posted by Corajudo
    So--what did you decide to do, and how did it turn out?


I was going over in my mind all of your helpful suggestions (thank you!), when Husband came home with a rotisserie attachment for the Weber kettle grill we have. I then threw up my hands and then told Husband that now the turkey was his task for the party. I did prep the turkey for him by injecting it with butter and stuffing the body cavity with apples. Husband then stuck the turkey on his new toy and wrapped the turkey with aluminum foil. During grilling, most of the apples fell out of the body cavity and burned in the drip pan and the butter oozed out.

However, a lot of guests told Husband that they liked the turkey. Several even claimed that it wasnt dry. I am not sure if they were being polite. But some of the turkey lovers are known for their sharp tongues and honesty, so maybe they did enjoy it. I thought my piece of turkey was dry. But maybe the sight of the turkey catching on fire when it was removed from the grill by Husband clouded my opinion. Luckily our power washer was close by. Luckily this was long before any of our guests arrived to our party. And luckily there was so much other food to eat that if we had ruined the turkey, nobody would have noticed. Well, at least the bird didnt go to waste and it isnt taking up space in our deep-freezer.




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