NO,No, not YOU, the turkey! That time of year again a d even though no family gatherings here, will still cook a small turkey and enjoy the leftovers....for days! I've been doing this for 3 years now and found this really works, better than brining the turkey overnight. Here's the "science"! Cooking the turkey upside down and in my case, the first 3 hours in a smoker, allows all the juices to drain INTO the breast meat and not to the bottom of the turkey! Very tender and juicy meat is the result. In the first photo, you'll see that I use a cheap aluminum pan, folded in half and then placed on the "V" rack and the purpose for the aluminum pan, is to keep the rack from creating ridges on the top of the turkey. Then in the final photo, you can see the finished product, looking picture pefect!
I have apples/oranges inside the turkey and also spray it with apple juice every 20 minutes or so, and also use applewood chips, for a sweeter smokey taste.Here's the recipe for last years big turkey, 18lbs. This year, just over 10lbs, just for the 2 of us.
So 2 steps, smoke for 3 hours @ 240 and then 3-4 hours, in a pan upright, for the finish. Lots of spices, and rubs to start! Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions or suggestions....
"Put the 18 lbs+ Sam's Turkey on the smoker, @ 240 degrees at 12:00 and took it off after 3 hours. The turkey was upside down for the full 3 hours. Then into the gas grill, right side up for about another 3.5 hours, @325 and was sprayed with apple juice, every 30 minutes or so. Turkey had a pop-up and never popped! Probably should cook a turkey this large for at least 4-5 hours. Turkey was very juicy and had a good smokey taste too. Plenty of Honey-Garlic rubs, Chef Prudhomme Poultry spice and garlic powder. "
Next year, 2018, will start the turkey around 10:00 am and then after 3 hours, move it to the gas grill for the finish, to eat around 6:00......
I can't afford to loose my time cooking.
Whatever come to my dinner talbe is good, if not ask to take it out bring some thing that I like and can eat.
By the way I movdd from my hotel in to an appartment with kitchen but , haven't touch the kitchen , just go out to nearby restaurant for breakfast and am very happy.
All I buy at grocery store is Crackers and wine.
I can go back to Canada now, who wants to go there in the winter and in the middle of COVID19 with quarantine. So I decided to stay for another winter. Technically I need to leave Colombia on the 30th of November or pay a penalty for overstaying. So I may go in to Ecuador .
All is good, I do like it here, so I may come back in January.
Enjoy your holidays!
Hardest thing is figuring out HOW to keep it upside down, luckily we have that roaster rack, which I think is for Prime Rib.....If you don't want ridges on the breasts, just need to use one of those cheap aluminum pans in the rack like I did.....Let me know how it turns out!
Yeah, came out looking good, which I think was helped by the smoker for 3 hours and then the basting with apple juice every 20-30 minutes or so....more or so, as the afternoon went on.....
When cooking the bird upside down, spatchcock the bird.
With any method of cooking any type of bird let it rest for half hour. Or you risk losing the juices. Heating a bird brings the juices to the surface. Resting the bird after cooking allows the juices to fall back into the bird.
Rich I just scanned your comments. Not sure those points were in there.
Learn to pronounce
a chicken or game bird split open and grilled.
split open (a poultry or game bird) to prepare it for grilling.
"these small spring chickens can be bought already spatchcocked"
"experience" from Google, isn't always the best. Cutting or butterflying a turkey, OPENS the turkey and allows the juices to leave the body of the turkey, and potentially creates more surface to dry out, if you aren't on top of this, which most people aren't during the family gatherings....
Being off by 20-30 minutes on my recipe, really doesn't matter, being off on yours, will ruin a turkey.....
Rich - I hadn't thought of that - it would tend to roll. Thank you for that - I think I have a roasting rack if I dig deep. You saved me an intense hunt at the last minute.
David - Always let the meat rest before carving. I don't know about splitting the bird. I have never split a turkey. Something tells me I don't want to remove the backbones - They must add flavor for the gravy?
I seldom cook turkey more than once or twice a year. I prefer chicken.
Posted before I saw the video - interesting fast cooking method!
I would cook more evenly. Flavor would be different as method changed. How I do mine is slow roast with a brown paper bag over the top of it. 325 oven. Part of me likes that it take that long to cook. Put it in early and do other things.
You didn't answer my question, HOW MANY TURKEYS HAVE YOU COOKED? Being an "assistant" or bystander doesn't count, right? So I've cooked maybe 40+ turkeys and have an "experience" background, not a Google or Youtube background......
Rich - "Hardest thing is figuring out HOW to keep it upside down, luckily we have that roaster rack, "
You can get a V-shaped roasting rack that sits in the pan that collects drippings. Mine leaves indentations in the meat, but once you slice the meat, it's not all that noticeable and people will complement you on how moist the breast meat is.
I have the turkey in a big roasting pan, full of apple juice which helps keep the turkey moist too. I think the 3 hours in the smoker, the apple juice does work from drying out the turkey, but I do it on the grill too....we'll see in a few hours! ENJOY!
Rich, all I can think of now is how good your turkey will taste...and...the next day piled high on a slice of Euro style bread (freshly made Panera bread comes to mind) with dressing topped with homemade cranberry sauce and the other slice of bread!
I cook chicken pieces skin side down in the slow cooker. Great idea for a turkey. Enjoy your gourmet feast, Happy Thanksgiving!
A slow cooker will make chicken tender especially with the skin side down (I totally agree with your advice). You could cook a small turkey as long as you can fit it it inside a slow cooker. It will cook itself without tending it except for turning the chicken pieces (or whole chicken) after many hours if you want the meat to be even more tender.
The beauty of it is its impreciseness (how about that for a word!). However many hours you want to leave it alone, it will be very happy to sit in its increasing juices until you come home OR turn it to cook even more hours!
If your last turning is right-side-up the skin will be nice and crispy. You may want to drain some of the fat if you want more skin to be crispy towards the bottom of the chicken. The smaller the whole chicken (especially Perdue) the more flavorful. The meat falls off the bone and is very tender. Chicken bought already cut up comes from a bigger bird and not as flavorful as buying a small whole bird.
Your method infuses the meat with smoke which is worth the effort and a slightly drier meat which is nice also.
Thanks and will try this when we go and buy a new slow cooker, which dies on us during a pulled pork episode......
Not sure, but I think I've added some "equity" to this turkey, which Hedge Fund Managers might see as an asset, depending on the resultant turkey completion. Might even offer an IPO.....Initial Poultry Option.....Cook LOW and SELL HIGH....
I cooked it upside-down - I found the rack I thought I had and that worked just fine keeping it in the upside-down position.
I do my stuffing separate so it wasn't stuffed and it was 15 pounds
For some reason ( David's comment about splitting and cooking at 450 ) I guess made me unconsciously set the oven to 450. I did not split the turkey but this is what happened.
In about an hour and 15 minutes later I started smelling the turkey like it was done. That's when I discovered my temperature mistake. I uncovered it at that point and turned the temp down to 350 and cooked it for about 30 more minutes.
Took a temp and it was done! There were not a lot of drippings but used what was there for the gravy - they were rich so I could add enough water.
The turkey was the best I ever had and the gravy was just fine! This will be for sure my new turkey cooking method. Thank you!
THAT could have been a disaster! Good thinking! Essentially, you "rapid" cooked the outside and then slowly cooked the rest of the inside! I had just the opposite happen! Mostly.
I had the turkey upside down in the smoker for 3 hours, and in the first 2 hours, adding wood chips about every 20-30 minutes and then let it sit. The temperature was 225. Checked on the third hour and the smoker wasn't working! Temp inside had dropped to 122!!! Tried to get the smoker to work and decided to move it to the grill, which wasn't even on yet and hot!
Got the turkey right side up, grill up to 325-350, and started cooking there! Lost almost an hour, but caught up and eat about 30 minutes later than planned, but was delicious!
I will look at the smoker today and try and see if it can be fixed, might just be a bad element....
I cooked my turkey upside down for the first time this year. I also cooked it at 325 when I normally cook it at 350 or 375. No brine - just a fresh turkey (not frozen) rubbed with garlic butter and salt and pepper. It was one of the best "slides right off the bone" turkeys I've ever made. I was inspired to do that this year by this post. Thanks Rich!
To Val's point- less drippings when cooked upside down, but enough to make a gravy.
Another big hit was my homemade mashed potatoes. Boiled potatoes, skin on, then mashed them up with salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, butter and heavy cream. I like the skin and I am also too lazy to peel. So it's win-win.
Glad to hear this! I smoke the turkey upside for the first 3 hours, @225, and catch all the drippings in a pan underneath the turkey. Then under that pan a bit, on a lower rack, is a large pan of water, that also keeps the turkey from drying out. Then the last 3-4 hours, right side up on the gas grill @350 and get even more drippings.
Sounds like my "smashed potatoes"! I use red/New potatoes and leave the skins on too. Mostly garlic and sticks of butter....like me some butter! Not mashed but more broken up a little, until the sections are kinda dime-sized, which is nice and chewy.....
Here's another great red/new potato recipe we have for Christmas and the famous Prime Rib I make. Red potatoes quartered, Brussell sprouts, halved, a couple of thick slices of sweet raw onions, chopped and then thrown in a large plastic bowl, mixed with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, then placed on a large cooking sheet and roasted.10 minutes before they are done, add a 1/4 cup or more of crisp bacon on top......you drooling yet?
Stay tuned for my Prime Rib recipe I post about 2 weeks before Christmas......since it involves "aging" the meat for 10 days or more.....