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Roast Turkey on the barbecue

Christmas is coming and if you’re in a suitable climate, you may be wondering about using the barbecue for Christmas lunch, just for a change, or as an experiment.  Here’s the FlamingFood check list to ensure the perfect Christmas barbecue-roasted turkey.

First, why use the barbecue when you’ve got a perfectly good oven in the kitchen?  There’s only one answer to that – have you ever tried smoke cooked turkey?  Mmmmm, once you have you’ll never go back to a boring gas or electric roasted one.  If you’ve got friends or family over for lunch, it also gives the men folk an excuse to escape the over-excited kids, and removes a major task from the women folk – am I being a tad sexist there?  C’mon admit it … barbecue cooking is man’s work, isn’t it?

Right, now we’ve divided the labour and escaped from another showing of the Wizard of Oz, or White Christmas, let’s make a check list of things to do, and not do, for barbecue roasting your Christmas bird.

1. Don’t get a bird that’s too large.  2-16 pounders (1-8 Kg) will be more tender and yield more leftovers that a 25 pounder.  If you’ve got a drum style grill as opposed to an egg / kettle style ball on a tripod, you’ll have space for two smaller birds (shortening the cooking time) rather than a single big one.

2. Go for a fresh bird. At this time of year you can usually locate a fresh turkey easily.  Save the defrosting time and get better flavour. If you defrost, do so IN the refrigerator.   It takes about 6 hours per pound to defrost in the fridge – a bird that’s too big will take almost a week to thoroughly defrost, and trying to do it on the kitchen table will allow the meat to go bad.

3. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the turkey is neither over or under cooked. Insert it in the deepest part of the thigh next to the breast.

4. Remove excess skin and fat before cooking. You can use it in the making of stock or gravy.

5. Allow extra preparation and cooking time for a stuffed turkey.  Stuff it loosely.  Don’t cram it in.  Do the rest in a baking dish.

Buy it on Amazon6. Season the bird the evening before so you will not be pressed for time on Christmas morning.  Slide your fingers between the skin and the meat on as much of the bird as possible. Make sure you place the seasoning under the skin.   You will be surprised how much skin can be separated from the flesh.

7. Cover the breast with foil to help keep it from cooking as quickly (thus drying out) as the dark meat. Remove foil for the last few hours of cooking.

8. Baste regularly – about every 30 minutes – this could become a pain if your grill is standing in six inches of snow, but you must do it to have succulent and tasty meat.

9. If you have a side-pit (heat coming from one side), rotate the turkey each time you baste.

10. For prettier, more even carving, remove each piece of the turkey from the carcass and slice them on a cutting board.  Take the legs off first, then the wings, then carve the breast.  Since this is the best part of the process, with lots of finger licking that you don’t realise you’re doing, choose your favourite wine (or beverage) and enjoy the process.

I hope each of you have a wonderful Christmas and look forward to seeing you again in time for New Year.

Cookin!

[wordbay](bbq smoker grill, old smokey bbq grill, kettle bbq grill, drum bbq grill)[/wordbay]

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