THIS is how you cook a turkey

Nov 20, 2012 by

If you are cooking the turkey for Thanksgiving this year and are looking for a fail proof method for a super tasty turkey, this is it.

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Look at that bird!  It was tasty.  Very tasty.  And very easy to cook.

We had an extra turkey in our freezer and wanted to cook it a couple of weeks ago, so I thought I would document the process for all those in charge of cooking the bird this Thanksgiving.  And the time to start this process is NOW, because you have to soak the turkey in a brine.  Here’s what you’ll need to do it.

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First, you need a clean bucket.  Got this one from Home Depot as you can obviously see.

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Clean it out and throw the turkey in.  Then pour in 1 bottle of red wine, pick your favorite kind.  That is where you get the lovely purple color.  Also chop up one onion and several stalks of celery and throw those in.  Then add a couple of cups of course rock salt.  You can use kosher salt if you have that.  Then fill up the bucket with water to cover the turkey.  That’s it.  Throw it in the fridge and let it soak for a day or two.

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When you get it out of the brine, your turkey will be bright purple.  DON’T FREAK OUT.  It’s OK, it will not be purple when you are done cooking it.

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Now when you are ready to cook it we need to prep the bird.  This is very easy.  You will need 2 sticks of butter, softened, and a package of bacon.  You can now start to see why this recipe is so awesome.  What is better than butter and bacon?

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Slice up the bacon into 1 inch chunks

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Mix it up in the butter

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The key of this turkey recipe is to get all of that awesome buttery-bacon goodness under the skin.  This part is a little gross, but it is easy.  Wash your hands and dive in.  Lift up the skin and run your hands carefully under the skin separating it from the bird but be careful not to rip or tear it if possible.   Get all the way in there as far as you can.

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Stuff the butter bacon mixture into all the nooks and crannies under the skin.  Then pin down the back of the skin with a toothpick or two to keep all t hat good stuff in there.

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Rub your hands an any excess butter all over the outside of the bird and then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

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Here is the next trick.  Flip the bird over so the breasts are facing down.   That is how you will be cooking it for first part.

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If you have a big BBQ, this is how I like to cook my turkeys.  If you don’t, you can use an oven.  Just follow the directions on the turkey.  Here is how I do it.  Get the BBQ hot.  All burners on high.  When it is hot, throw the bird in and turn down all the middle burners to low and keep the outer burners to medium.  You want indirect heat here, which means you don’t want the heat to be directly below the turkey.

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Throw in some wood chips for good measure.  Also cover the bird with tin foil and let it cook at a medium heat (350ish).  After an hour and a half flip the bird over so breast side is up and finish cooking the rest of the way.  One of the reasons I like cooking in the BBQ this way is it only takes 3 hours to cook a turkey instead of the suggested 4-6 in an oven.  Super moist and super easy.

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Pull the bird out of the BBQ or oven and behold your amazing skills as an expert turkey cooker.  All of the good drippings around the turkey are great for making gravy.

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There you have it.  Very simple, very tasty.

I’ve tried several ways too cook turkey, including the oven, deep frying etc, but the BBQ is my favorite way.  Plus it free’s up your oven to make other holiday dishes.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone and remember to take a moment to pause and be grateful for all that you have and also give back to those who might be in need this year.

Ben…

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  • Nancy

    Ben, that looks awesome! Thanks for documenting and sharing. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • http://www.trulysimple.com Ben

    Thanks nancy! Happy thanksgiving to you as well.

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  • http://www.justechn.com Ryan McLaughlin

    Yikes!!! Home Depot buckets are not made of Food Grade Plastic. If you use them you are poisoning your family. Check out their website, it says “Buckets are not food grade”