Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

BBQ My Way

November 15, 2012

BBQ: Turkey preparation requires attention to details

As Thanksgiving approaches, attention will undoubtedly turn to the traditional recipes and food preparation styles we are all comfortable with for the big holiday meal.

Today I will cover some basic turkey cooking/grilling tips as well as provide you with some turkey leftover recipes that I know you and your family will love.

First, let me explain the benefits of moving the turkey preparation outside. If you grill / smoke the turkey on a traditional kettle grill and utilize hardwood chips with your charcoal, or use lump charcoal made from real wood, your turkey will have wonderful outdoor flavor.

Personally, I prefer hickory, and it's easy to find. You will also free up the kitchen and oven for the preparation of the side dishes and desserts. Following are some key pointers for grilling a turkey.

1. Size: Don't overdo the size of the bird. If you have a standard 21.5-inch kettle grill, any turkey over 16 to 17 lbs will not fit. Remember, you are using indirect heat, meaning the charcoal is stacked on one or two sides and none of the bird can be directly exposed to the coals. If you would like to see how we set up the grill and grill a turkey, visit our YouTube channel (www.YouTube.com/BBQMyWay) and in the “search channel” box enter “smoked turkey.”

2. Thawing: If you buy a frozen bird, give it at least two to three days to thaw in your

refrigerator. If the bird still has frozen areas on Thanksgiving morning, place in a large bucket and cover with cold water. Allow a small stream of water to trickle in from the faucet and allow it to trickle out and over the top of the bucket. By continually (and slowly) replacing the water, you maintain a temperature and water movement that will speed up the thawing process. Of course the best solution is to buy a fresh bird that is not frozen.

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