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Thanksgiving Help!

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Post Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:57 pm
stripegrill medium
medium

Posts: 104
Location: St. Charles, IL
Hey guys, been away for a while looking after the addition of the newest cook to my family (my baby girl). ANyway, my wife has decided that we are hosting Thanksgiving and I have to make the turkey. She said no deep fried turkey. I'm thinking of maybe beer can or smoking. Question is, how big a bird to get (feeding 6 adults) for beer can or smoker. I have a Sunbeam Grillmaster Gas Grill and a Brinkman Electric Smoker. Your help is appreciated!

Post Tue Nov 04, 2003 6:02 pm
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
Congratulations on the new chef in the family. As far as the turkey I would go with a 12-15 lb turkey so that you will have some leftovers. For the method of cooking I would suggest to smoke the turkey - my favorite wood is mesquite for turkey (but that is just my opinion).

Post Tue Nov 04, 2003 6:03 pm
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
According the butterball.com you will need a 9lb turkey to feed 6 adults with some left overs.

Post Tue Nov 04, 2003 6:24 pm
Luke medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 89
Location: Texas

Go with a 12lb. bird, bigger if you want left overs. Couple of tips for cooking the bird...

1) Brine the bird. Turkey is a dry meat, give it all the help that you can by soaking it in a brine over night before you cook it. Need two to three gallons of water and a clean five gallon bucket. I use a 1 cup salt and 1cup sugar to 1 quart water ratio.

2) Have a soft hand with the smoke. While some folks like really smokey turkey I prefer a light smoke flavor that plays well with the taste of the turkey.

3) Stuff it with aromatics. Apples, sage, salt, pepper, onion, etc.

4) Don't go by the clock use a meat thermometer in the thigh.

5) Better practice one before gameday, last thing you want is a house full of hungry friends and family.

Congratulations on the new baby, our daughter arrived two weeks ago. As it turns out her birth is an occasion for que as my family will be coming out to visit.
Live Different

Post Tue Nov 04, 2003 10:15 pm
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
I used to brine until I discovered the wonders of injection marinades. Agree with a bird about 12#, especially if you are going to use a rotisserie since most rotisserie motors are not meant to turn big birds. I learned that lesson the hard way trying to do a larger bird on a weber 22 1/2" rotisserie; burnt the motor out. I stuff mine with apples and smoke with apple wood. I have my own injection marinade I devised and my won rub but I baste it with a pure maple syrup mop.

However you do yours, be sure you do a lot of your prep ahead of time, enjoy and don't forget to catch some football :D

Post Wed Nov 05, 2003 8:25 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Stripegrill- Congratulations on the new addition. Thats just great.
As far as this topic goes there's another thread in the archives here on just this topic. Its titled "Thanksgiving". It's got some great info fom Dkirn, Airfoils, myself and a guest. Check it out. I remembered typing a rather long post on smoking a big bird (not the sesame street type: before Dkirn critizes my humor :wink: )
Beyond that I'd say (and this should be no surprise coming from me) GO BIG! I don't care what buterball says, thats not enough meat. In my house 6 of us put a serious hurt on a 20+ lb bird every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thats the only thing to do if you want leftovers. Which to me is almost better than the firsts. Plus if you've got a group with and overconcentration of dark meat lovers or white meat lovers you'll be thankful for the extra size.
Good Luck and Enjoy!
Image

Post Wed Nov 05, 2003 10:07 am
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
Grand scale gets extra points for the Big Bird joke!

Post Wed Nov 05, 2003 1:49 pm
stripegrill medium
medium

Posts: 104
Location: St. Charles, IL
Thanks for all the congrats and the suggestions. Seems to me that the prevailing view is to smoke, Problem is wife is not crazy about smoked food (I know, she is kind of strange). I'm thinking of 15# bird so I can have a samich at midnight! I like the idea of the apples, and will certainly incorporate that, along with apple wood for the smoke.

Post Wed Nov 05, 2003 1:52 pm
stripegrill medium
medium

Posts: 104
Location: St. Charles, IL
Forgot one thing. What type of injector marinade would you use?

Post Wed Nov 05, 2003 2:47 pm
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
Steve has 3 recipes in his book Sauces Rubs and Marinades that are a good jumping off point on pages 111-113. Mine is a variation of the cajun recipe replacing the white wine or vermouth with apple cider (or juice) and the rajin cajun rub with my own mixture. NOTE: the straight up cajun recipe is awesome in a turkey stuffed with apple and smoked with apple wood. Try that first and then tinker with it.

EDIT: I forgot to add that if you do not yet have an injector I highly recommend a metal one not plastic as the plastic ones don't last long at all. Aso, when concocting a mixure with herbs always be sure to strain the marinade through a seive so you don't gum up your injector.

Post Thu Nov 06, 2003 8:19 pm
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
When you use the apples - do you put them in whole or sliced up??

Post Thu Nov 06, 2003 10:06 pm
Luke medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 89
Location: Texas

I quarter the apples. I also microwave them a bit first with some cinnamon so as to start them releasing their flavors.
Live Different

Post Thu Nov 06, 2003 11:36 pm
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
Luke - Thanks for the tip I will try that when I smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving.

Post Fri Nov 07, 2003 1:20 am
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
I cut mine in eighths and then just stick'em in there.


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