Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December Recipe - Smoked BBQ Turkey

It's been awhile since I have shared a recipe with you, but after this past weekends trial run of BBQ'ing a Turkey i just had to share the results.

With milder then average temps BBQing this years Turkey was a no brainer, all it took was a little preparation and some snow removal.. here is a step by step guide on how to BBQ the perfect Turkey

Step 1 - It's all about the brine

if you skip this step you might as well stop now, brining a turkey ensures it stays flavourful and moist giving even novice Chefs a chance at immortality.

My brine consists of equal parts 2 parts Apple Juice to 1 part water. I then throw in 1 cup of salt, a few Bay leaves, a few sprigs of Thyme and 2 tsp each of mince garlic and ginger.. then a hand full of peppercorns to top it off.

Place the bird in breast side down and and refrigerate for 24hrs (you can go for less, but I wouldn't)

Tip: All in all you should be looking at 2 quarts of liquid for a 10-13lb bird. I do a test run by putting the Turkey in an empty pot and covering it with water 4-5 cups at a time, once covered I know how much I need.

On the day of the cook your turkey should come out of the brine for a couple hours prior to hitting the grill. This will allow the excess moisture to run off and ensure a crispy skin.

Step 2 - Fire Up the Grill

Time to fire up the grill. You have two options here.. low and slow (225 for 6+ hours) or the faster version at 350 for about 3 hours.. I chose fast for this cook.

Once the BBQ has hit temp and stayed their for 15 minutes or more you are ready to add the wood chunks or chips. I prefer Chucks, simply because Im lazy and there is no need to soak them, they burn longer then chips and I find it much easier to determine the right about needed to get that smoke kiss (3-4 2 inch chunks)

Step 3 - The Rub down & Stuff

A basic salt and pepper rub will do the trick, but since Im BBQ'ing this Turkey I decided to use a BBQ rub, meaning it contains paprika salt, sugar and a mix of spices. Watch the sugar level on your rubs as the more sugar they have the quicker the skin will char up. 

Apply some serious pressure and make sure you get this rub to stick to the bird.

Tip: I like to give my Turkey its rub down prior to doing the injections. Too much pressure on the bird while rubbing it down can push the marinade out.. so rub first then inject

For a BBQ'ed Turkey I opted to stuff the cavity with aromatics over a traditionl bread stuffing, This turkey was jam packed with onion, apple and thyme. Slice each in quarters and stuff in as much as you can

Step 4 - Prepare the Injection & Basting Sauce

Just like the brining stage, this is a very important step to adding flavour and moisture to your Turkey. I keep it pretty simple by melting 3/4 cup of un salted butter and toss in a handful of bay leaves and thyme. I let this mixture soft boil for a good 10 minutes to get the flavour of the herbs into the butter. Let it cool and then begin the injection process.

Tip: for added flavour you can add various liquids to your injection, apple juice and beer are my two fav add-ons.

When give your bird it's shots of liquid gold, be generous, cover as much of the breast as you can, and be sure to give the thighs and legs some love as well.

Step 5 - Get it on the Grill 

As mentioned above there is two ways you can do this, for the purposes of this recipe I went with a higher temp (350) and shorter cook time (3hrs). No matter if you are going slow and low and fast and high, the key to a good cook is to leave the bird alone and let the BBQ/Smoker do it's thing

I don't touch the Turkey for the first 1.5 hours of the cook, this mean lid down and no basting at this time. Once it hits the 1.5 hours I will take a peek, adjust the birds position if needed and give it its first baste using the left over butter mix from the injection.

For the last 1.5 hours of the cook I will baste the Turkey every 45 minutes (so two more times) prior to taking it off the grill.

Checking the temp at 2.5 hrs, this will let you know if you are on track or if the brid will need more time. You are looking for an internal temp of 165 in the breast and thighs and slightly higher on the legs. use an instant read at this time, as your probe may be off a bit during longer cooks,

Step 6 - Let it rest

Once off the grill I allow the bird to rest for 30-45 minutes prior to cutting. This allows the juices to redistribute and keeps your Turkey super moist.

Step 7 - Carve and Enjoy

No words needed.. time to eat

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