UK BBQ Mag Winter 2016/2017 - Page 9


A BBQ Christmas

An alternative look at cooking your Festive Feast outdoors on the BBQ and with a little imagination let your bird fly free....

It's cold outside...why BBQ?

Good question, but there's some good benefits if you do choose to cook your turkey on the BBQ...the first has to be the taste, no more boring tasteless turkey. Turkey with a hint of smoke and perfectly cooked is a world away from the usual festive fowl.

Secondly it frees up space in the indoor oven for more of the trimmings...but remember you can cook these on the BBQ too, I'm thinking of slightly smoky pigs in blankets, festive fatty's (stuffed sausagemeat wrapped in a bacon weave and smoked) and crisp duck fat roasties with a wisp of woodsmoke.

So what ways can you cook a turkey outdoors...

Traditional BBQ/Smoking

You can simply pop your turkey on the BBQ, season up the skin and cook indirectly at 160c for a few hours until it hits 72 deg C internal in the deepest part of the thigh (I sometimes go a little lower than this if I have a really good quality turkey, but can't advise you to cook it any lower). A little cherry or apple smoke works a treat, and gives wonderful crisp smoky skin.

See Richard's article on Page 80 to pep up the turkey with a brine or injection.

You can either keep the bird intact, or spatchcock it to cook slightly quicker and get the smoke penetrating fully.

Woodfired Turkey

If you have a decent sized woodfired oven, cooking the turkey in one makes a lot of sense, and what nicer way to spend Christmas morning than firing up the wood fired oven to get it up to a nice 160-180c and cook the turkey for a few hours.

Deep Fried

You've all seen the videos of this online, but dipping your turkey into hot oil is most definitely an outdoor activity, there are real possibilities of things going wrong if not carried out coorrectly.

You'll need a very large aluminium pot, and a propane gas ring, go for a 4-5kg bird ensuring it's fully defrosted, and dried out inside and out with kitchen paper.

Before heating the oil, test out the displacement of the oil, by dunking and ensuring the oil doesn't overspill.

Aim for 175 deg C oil temp, and turn off the gas once reached. Once the bird is fully submerged turn the flame back on and cook for around 40-45 mins.

Turn of the heat and retrieve the bird. Allow to rest.

Asado style

This is something I had in my head from earlier in the year, I hadn't really seen anyone cook a turkey on a cross before..

Tom Bray from sorted me out with the cross, and I used heavy duty wire to secure a spatchcocked turkey to the cross.

I had a medium hot silver birch fire ticking away underneath, and cooked the turkey for about 3 hours with the bone side facing down about a foot high over the fire.

I sprinkled regularly a salmuera brine of salt dissolved into water onto the turkey using a couple of sprigs of rosemary.

I flipped the cross over and cooked for another hour breast side facing down, until the internal temperature had reached 72 deg C, and the skin had crisped up beautifully all over. The taste was truly spectacular, and unlike any turkey I had eaten before, being super juicy, smoky with salty smoky crisp skin, defintiely a yuletide winner.