Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Smoke-Grilled Cider-Basted Turkey


Smoking adds a robust flavor to turkey that I really like. This basting mixture helps keep the breast moist without foil. If you used foil it would not allow the smoke to penetrate the bird. When you cook the turkey in a grill or smoker you cook using indirect heat. If you tried to cook the turkey without using indirect heat you would cook the outside before the bird was all the way cooked. I prefer the gas grill but many like using charcoal briquettes.

This recipe uses a standard 22 1/2 inch grill with a smaller turkey around
12 to 14 pounds. It is too risky to try to cook a larger bird on a grill especially with the factors of cooler weather in many areas working against the grill. It you have a breeze you have to be very vigilant with watching to make sure the gill maintains a temperature of 325 degrees F. I have made barriers around the grill at times when the weather is cold. I also suggest using a meat or grill thermometer to watch the temperature.

When you cook this turkey I suggest using a aluminum pan because the pan gets covered with smoke.

First mix the cider baste:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup shallots or red onion
2 cloves garlic minced
1 cup of apple cider
1/2 cup dry white wine or water.
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon salt.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat add the shallots and garlic and cook until softened. Add the cider, spices and slat. Reduce the heat and simmer 190 minutes.

One 12-14 pound turkey
1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon salt

Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey, Rinse the turkey inside and out. Pat dry. In a small bowl mix all of the ingredients. Fill the neck cavity with the mixture and use a skewer to close. Put the remaining into the body cavity. Fold the turkey wings over and tie back. Tie the drumsticks together. Place in a large disposable aluminum foil pan.

For a Gas Grill:
For a gas grill preheat and place wood chips in a box or wrapped in aluminum foil with a few holes. Turn off one burner and have one on medium. Place the pan in the middle of the grill. Pour 2 cups water in the pan. Baste the turkey with the cider mix as the turkey cooks. Cover and grill until the meat thermometer reads 180 degrees F. If turkey starts getting too brown tent it with foil. Add more water as needed.

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