More than One Way to Cook the Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey What’s Thanksgiving without the turkey? Sure, there are other alternatives but if you’re a stickler for the traditional meal, a turkey is as necessary as eggnog for Christmas. If turkey is the star of the show, why...

Thanksgiving Turkey
Thanksgiving Turkey

What’s Thanksgiving without the turkey? Sure, there are other alternatives but if you’re a stickler for the traditional meal, a turkey is as necessary as eggnog for Christmas. If turkey is the star of the show, why not make the star shine? It’s hard to shine when you make the turkey the same old way, year in and year out. If roasting comes to mind, it’s time to try something different, something more adventurous and novel to make your Thanksgiving turkey the talk of the day.

Try these:

  • Brining

As the word implies, brining involves salt and lots of it. Actually, there’s a science and reasoning to the process. Brining involves soaking the bird in a brine solution (1 cup of salt to 1 gallon of water) for extended period of time (or one hour for every pound of meat). So, a little preparation is necessary but the result is well worth it, according to brining experts. The salt breaks down the protein chains and allows the water to migrate inside, thereby allowing the meat to become juicier and more tender. To ensure an even more flavorful bird, use spices and switch up the brine solution with the addition of wine, beer, juices, soda or even tea. After brining, you can use your favorite method to cook the bird. The result may be too mouthwatering to put in words.

  • Grilling

For the diehard grilling fans, why not turkey? It’s hard to grill a large bird, granted. But why not deconstruct it, that is, cut the bird into breast halves, quarters and wings and set them on the grill. That way, you can monitor the cooking time of each part and prevent overcooking it. You can also season different parts of the bird with different seasonings to make it interesting. Consider these possibilities: use exotic spices such as turmeric, curry, sumac or go with the true and tried: rosemary, thyme, tarragon, lemon, salt and pepper (to name but a few). Think spices, rub and marinade and go big with flavor.

Turkey being cooked on a smoker grill
Turkey being cooked on a smoker grill

  • Smoking

For a laid back Thanksgiving preparation, smoking does the trick. Season it well and fire up the smoker. The temperature range should be between 235 to 250 degrees. Once the wood chips (use a good hardwood such as cherry or apple) smoke, put in the turkey, shut the grill lid and allow the heat to cook the meat to perfection. Rotate the bird from time to time to ensure even cooking. The amount of time needed depends on the weight of the turkey. As a general guide, allow for 30 to 40 minutes per pound.

These are a few suggestions. You can also try deep frying, steaming or rotisserie.  For more information on how you can make your Thanksgiving turkey different (and therefore exciting) this year, contact us. We also offer a whole range of kitchen ware to help make your preparation a breeze.