Turkey talk time!
Fresh or thawed turkey is preferred to frozen, of course. And you can definitely speed up cooking time with the Low n Slow method. Just spatchcock your turkey. Spatchcocking is another fancy term for ‘butterfly cut’ your bird. Basically, remove the backbone and open or ‘butterfly’ the turkey. This is what it looks like:
There are various YouTube videos on how to spatchcock a turkey. But if you’ve never done it before, cutting the backbone with a knife can be scary. Here’s an easy solution… if you buy a fresh turkey, ask your butcher to spatchcock it for you. If this option is not available, buy a pair of sturdy ‘straight tin snips’ (they come right & left-handed, get the straight ones). It’s a lot safer than using a knife. One downside to cooking a turkey Low n Slow is that it will come out pale as a ghost. The easy fix to this is to put the turkey under your stove broiler for a bit, and you are good to go.
OR The Quick & Easy Rotisserie Turkey
Personally, I love a rotisserie turkey but depending on the brand of gas grill you have and the quality of the motor, it can be difficult if your bird is too big. Here is a great explanation of the features and benefits of the Fire Magic rotisserie kit:
Fire Magic Rotisserie Turkey
WORDS OF TURKEY WISDOM…
- If you want your turkey to have a ‘done’ temperature of 165f (74 C), set your oven or smoker at 165f (74 C). This ensures all the meat will cook evenly and will not overcook.
- If you want a guestimate of how long it may take to cook a butterflied turkey with the Low n Slow method, go to the handy turkey cooking time calculator atcsgnetwork.com. Set the weight of your turkey, then set the cooking speed to ‘slow’. It will give you an approximation but is not a replacement for a good meat thermometer.
- DO NOT open the door to ‘check on it’ or baste. Your turkey will do just fine on its own.
- Get a remote always-on probe thermometer to monitor meat and oven temperature.
- If you do not have a fancy smoker that can keep its temperature steady for many hours, but would still like the wonderful smell and taste of smoke, place your turkey in your BBQ (gas or charcoal) and use a smoke box or wood chips in foil. Then, keep the temps low for a couple of hours to allow the smoke to do its work. You can then place your turkey in the oven at a steady temperature.
- You are likely to see a pink layer on your meat if you smoked it. Nothing to be concerned about. It’s called a ‘smoke ring’. It’s letting you know you’ve done a fine job.
And if you own a Big Green Egg, go online to their “turkey cheat sheet” (biggreenegg.com) for inspirational ideas on cooking your turkey their way this year!
If you are interested in knowing more about “low n slow” turkey cooking, just stop by and see us at 103rd and Metcalf in Overland Park. We love to talk about our business and our industry! Gobble Gobble!