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Thanksgiving is a little more than a week away. Unless you’re buying fresh, you already have your turkey. If you’re going to your grandma’s or your mom’s house for the big feast, you know what to expect – the traditional Thanksgiving turkey being pulled out of the oven shortly before it’s time to eat.
But what if you offered to cook the bird this year? Or maybe you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner yourself. Switch things up a bit and cook the turkey in your outdoor kitchen. It will make the house less crowded, free up the oven, and let you try something new.
There are 3 main ways to cook your Thanksgiving turkey outside in your outdoor kitchen. Grilling, smoking, and frying. Make sure you take several days to thaw a frozen turkey so that it’s ready to be prepared and cooked.
Now, let’s take a look at each method.
Grilling a Turkey
Grilling a turkey gives you a flavorful bird with easy cleanup. It also doesn’t take much longer to cook than roasting it in the oven takes. You’ll want to use 2 large aluminum roasting pans (double up) and you will grill the bird in the pans. This protects your nice roasting pan from getting damaged on the grill, and you can just toss the pans when you’re done. You can also make gravy directly on the grill if you want, using the drippings.
It’s important to start with a full tank of propane, and plan on checking on the bird every 20-30 minutes. And make sure you have an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness.
Grilled Turkey Recipes
Google grilled turkey recipes and find the one that speaks to you. There are a lot of them out there. Consider stuffing the cavity of the bird with citrus, onions, and spices for extra flavor. Improvise on the various rubs if you would like.
Smoking a Turkey
If you have a Kamado, Big Green Egg, or pellet grill you may want to try smoking your turkey. As with anything smoked, smoking a turkey will take longer than grilling it. But it’s worth the wait!
Now you can Google “how to smoke a turkey” and find all sorts of different recommendations. But we’re turning to the turkey experts: the folks at Butterball for the basic directions on how to smoke a turkey. But in those other results you find, choose a recipe that sounds mouth-watering, and have fun with it!
We especially like this smoked turkey recipe we found at the BBQ Guys.
Frying a Turkey
Last but not least, we come to frying a turkey. Don’t try deep frying a turkey inside. It’s just not safe. No one wants to burn the house down on Thanksgiving. Set up your fryer well away from your home and anything that could possibly burn if there’s a flareup. We don’t mean to scare you, but we’ve seen one too many videos of frying gone wrong.
Hot oil and water don’t mix, so it’s critical that you completely thaw the turkey and pat it dry. This includes making sure the cavity doesn’t have any lingering chunks of ice. If you absolutely must have a deep-fried turkey, follow these turkey fryer safety tips from the U.S. Fire Safety Administration. And watch the instructional video below.
Make It Exceptional. Make It Woodfield.
If you don’t yet have an outdoor kitchen, we can help. We deliver an exceptional experience when it comes to your outdoor kitchen design and installation. We design and build custom outdoor kitchens for clients throughout the Baltimore area, including Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Cecil County, Harford County, and Howard County.
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