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Turkey Cooking Tips

Posted On 17 Nov 2020
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Ready to save some room in the oven this Thanksgiving? Why not save the oven for the casseroles and put your grill or smoker to work. 

Here are some great suggestions to Grill or Smoke your Turkey this holiday season, or anytime of the year.

Keep it Covered – We suggest covering your turkey with foil or a lid during roasting. This will help keep the moisture locked in in it’s own personal space to help the heat penetrate through all layers. In the last hour of cooking, take the covering off to cook up the skin and give it a beautiful golden finish. Make sure when you take the bird out, you let it rest uncovered as well!

Bakin’ with Bacon – A lovely bacon wrap can provide some intense smoky flavor. But keep in mind you need to watch what types of brines you use. Bacon inherently has a lot of salt as does brines and seasoning.

Smoking – Adding some smoke to your turkey before roasting it? Here are some tips to remember:

  • Smoke your turkey at a low temperature of 165 – 180 degrees

  • Smoke time is NOT part of cooking time

    • If you need to cook for 3 hours and want to smoke it for an hour, add that hour to the total cook time.

  • Use fruit woods like cherry, apple or maple for a more well rounded smoke flavor

  • Use hardwoods like alder, mesquite or hickory for that heartier smoke flavor

Turkey Breast Only Cooking – 350 Degrees for the first 20 minutes, then turn down to 275 Degrees until done.

  • 4-6 Pounds = 2 Hours

  • 6-8 Pounds = 3 Hours

Just Wait a Minute – For ALL Cooking options, allow the turkey to rest for about 15 minutes prior to carving to allow the juices to settle.

Don’t Miss the Drippings – Make sure to save your pan drippings. They make the best gravy to complement your meal.

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Grill Specific Tips

Traeger Cooking Times per pound:

       11 to 18 minutes per pound, set at 350 Degrees

 

 

Big Green Egg Indirect/Direct Cooking Times per pound:

       11 to 15 minutes per pound, set at 350 Degrees INDIRECT

         8 to 10 minutes per pound, set at 375 Degrees DIRECT

 

 

Weber Indirect/Direct Cooking Times per pound:

       11 to 18 minutes per pound, set at 350 Degrees INDIRECT

         8 to 10 minutes per pound, set at 375 Degrees DIRECT

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Turkey Cooking Perfection

325 and Above – Do not Roast the turkey in an oven with a temperature lower than 325 Degrees. Poultry should be roasted at a minimum 325 Degrees or higher to avoid potential food safety problems.

Don’t Bag It – In the past there were techniques that included placing your turkey in a brown paper grocery bag. However present day grocery paper bags may be made of recycled materials and are not considered safe for food preparation.

Keep an eye on the Heat – Be sure to use a meat thermometer to determine the correct degree of doneness. Turkey is done when the thigh reaches 180 Degrees Fahrenheit.

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