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Bier Meister

basic turkey

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1 14-16 lb turkey (thawed)

2-3 tbs olive oil

1 C + 2 tbs butter (2 1/4 sticks- 1/4 inch dice)

2 tbs minced thyme

2 tbs minced rosemary

2 tbs minced sage

2 tbs parsley

10 C chricken broth

3 C diced onion (1/2 inch)

2 C diced carrot (1/2 inch)

2 C diced celery (1/2 inch)

2 lemons (halved)

S&P

 

 

preheat oven to 425. remove neck, gizzards, etc. rinse tureky inside and out. pat dry. create a pocket between meat and skin. rub whole bird with olive oil, salt, and pepper. mix thyme, parsely, sage, rosemary in a small bowl. evenly distribute in the pocket and outside of the bird.... if you need more make more :D evenly distribute about 2 C of butter inside those pockets. stuff the bird with 1 C onion, 1 C carrot, 1 C celery, and 2 lemons. tuck legs under and tie legs (trousing).

 

roast for about 20-30 min, reduce temp to 350. cook 30 min.. pour 1 cup of broth over turkey. add abut 1 tbs of butter to roasting pan. cook 30 min. baste with pan drippings. pour another C of broth over the bird. and add another tbs butter to pan. cover loosely with foil and roast until therm reads 175 at thickest part of thigh....basting with a cup of broth and tbs of butter every 30-45 min. this should take about 1 hour and 45 min + or -.

 

for gravy (base)-

melt 2 tbs of butter. in deep skillet over high heat. add 2 c onions, 1 c celery, 1 c carrots.... saute until brown. add 6 cups of broth and bring to boil.. reduce heat to med-low and simmer for about 45 min uncovered. strain.

 

strain pan juices from the turkey... whisk in gravy base. melt 2 tbs of butter in large sauce pan over med heat. add flour and whisk constantly until our roux is golden brown (about 6 min). gradually add the gravy base/pan juice mixture into the roux. increase heat and whisk until gravy thickens, boils, and is smooth. reduce heat to med. reduce gently until it reduce to about 4 1/2 cups..whisking often (about 10 min). season gravy with s&p.

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Sounds fantastic Bier!

 

I'll be brining one bird for the thursday group and will do another traditional one for the friday family. I was digging through my notes/recipes to find a different bird/gravy and this looks perfect. Thanks! :D

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Thank you, Bier Meister! I love to read these as I am one that loves to steal good ideas. I have never lossened the skin and rubbed all the oil or spices on the bird like that but I think I will give it a try this year. Also I have never tossed that bird in there at a higher temp to roast for the start then turn down to my standard 350 but I think I will also follow that. And if I am reading right, you are not putting all the stock in there with the bird to start but rather adding it every 20-30 minutes at the rate of about a cup and pouring it right on the bird. Another idea that I will use.

 

Thanks for the post, Bier.

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Whether roasting or smoking the turkey, I am a big advocate of brining it. There is a noticeable improvement in flavor and moisture when you do.

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I did this yesterday for Christmas dinner... I had about 25 people over at my house, and this was only my second time roasting a turkey. Everyone loved it! Thanks for the recipe. :D

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Whether roasting or smoking the turkey, I am a big advocate of brining it. There is a noticeable improvement in flavor and moisture when you do.

 

'teve, bier,

 

I'm interested in any smoking techniques for a turkey. I usually go with a 9-11 lb-er, just for the sake of time.

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i rarely smoke meats. i think det, unta, sundaynfl, CD, and seattle lawdogs have more experience in that area.

Edited by Bier Meister

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A couple things to note when smoking a turkey:

 

You're safest (from bacteria) once the bird is past 140 degrees...so a little bump on higher heat before smoking it is better. Or, if you quarter your turkey and do pieces, it's a little easier and easier to brine. I usually leave mine whole but use a smaller turkey (9 lbs or so) and a little higher initial temps. I've heard that you want to get it above 140 degrees within 2 hours. With larger birds, you'd be wasting it if you smoked it at high enough temps to get there so either roll the dice with salmonella or find an alternative. (Personally, I think the 2 hour rule is a little tight too so I'll definitely push that to 3+. Even though you don't want to mess with Salmonella, govt agencies have a history of tightening up things a little too much).

 

In the last couple years, I have moved from smoking my turkey, to planking my turkey. I get my planks from bbqwoods.com. This year, I did an 18 lb turkey on the planks on my propane grill. I still cooked over low heat, but not quite as low as I would have in a smoker. The planks do a good job of blocking the meat from direct heat and still giving off a great smoky flavor. After many hours on the grill though, the planks will dry out...it doesn't matter how long you've soaked them for and are likely to catch on fire...You want the edges burning a bit but you don't want them bursting in to flames....er...or so I've heard.

 

With the planks, I'm still getting decent smoke rings but it a little easier to tweak the temp, get past that 140 degrees, hold steady, etc. Of course, once I get a BGE, the turkey will be going on that.

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'teve, bier,

 

I'm interested in any smoking techniques for a turkey. I usually go with a 9-11 lb-er, just for the sake of time.

 

 

 

I always brine my turkey overnight. Take it out of brine for about an hour to let it come to room temp. I like milder woods such as cherry or apple for the bird. I always smoke about a 10lb bird (I fry another 10lb to go with it). I use indirect cooking method (this may seem obvious, but then again, it may not.) I like to smoke the bird around 225-250 degrees. I've also "roasted" one on my Egg at 350 with apple wood that still had a nice, smoky flavor. I usually go for internal temp of 160. Take the bird off and rest it for 15-30 mins.

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I again urge brining your bird (unless you plan on frying it). It adds flavor, it's more moist, and the turkey is more forgiving in that you can still overcook it a bit and it will remain moist.

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Can someone describe exactly where to check the temperature? (or point to a link) Do those pop up thingys tend to be accurate?

 

Also why do some say 140 degrees and some say 160 degrees?

 

 

I ran into a bit of trouble with the temperature thing last year and ended up with a late (but still delicious) bird because I had to throw it back in the smoker.

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Can someone describe exactly where to check the temperature? (or point to a link) Do those pop up thingys tend to be accurate?

 

Also why do some say 140 degrees and some say 160 degrees?

I ran into a bit of trouble with the temperature thing last year and ended up with a late (but still delicious) bird because I had to throw it back in the smoker.

 

I take the temp in the meaty part of the thigh and near the end also check the thick part of the breast. I always shoot for about 160 and then let it rest. I think 140 is too low and I'd be concerned about salmonella, but that's me. If you go by those little pop up things, your turkey will be at risk to be dried out.

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One of you turkey briners explain how you do it. I'd like to try one this year. TIA.

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One of you turkey briners explain how you do it. I'd like to try one this year. TIA.

 

I made mine per Alton Brown's instructions below and it worked out well:

 

For the brine:

1 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 gallon vegetable stock

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1/2 tablespoon allspice berries

1/2 tablespoon candied ginger

1 gallon iced water

 

Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.

 

Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.

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I made mine per Alton Brown's instructions below and it worked out well:

 

For the brine:

1 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 gallon vegetable stock

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1/2 tablespoon allspice berries

1/2 tablespoon candied ginger

1 gallon iced water

 

Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.

 

Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.

 

This is generally what I do but I always brine it overnite. I also always crush up garlic and throw it in. I loves me the garlic. You can throw in whatever herbs you like.

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I've posted this in the past:

 

First--the chemical reason that brining works from my friend, Alton Brown:

 

Meat is made up of cells. Cells are surrounded by membranes, which function like borders between countries: they are discriminating. Any substance that wants in or out of the cell must present papers and pass a rigid inspection. the substance that moves across this border most often and most freely is water.

 

The micromilieu of meat is all about balance. Inside the cell there are dissolved solids--salts, potassium, and the like--and outside there's...well, it depends. Drop a pork chop in a bucket of distilled water and there's nothing but H2O outside the border. In this case, the border officials are unhappy because there'a a lot more salt inside the cell than outside, thus no balance. So the border temporaily opens, and the guards allow some water to move into the meat and some salt to move out into the water. Eventually, the meat will lose a good bit of its native flavor to the water.

 

However, if there's salt in the water (even as little as a few hundred parts per million), the border guards, ever desirous of equilibrium--will throw open the borders and allow both salt and water to move across the membranes. Now this is where things get really interesting: after 8-24 hours there's more salt in the meat, and more water has to be retained to balance it--that's just the osmotic way. So now you've got cells that are perfectly seasoned with salt and nicely plump with water, which if you think about it is something of a paradox: salt pulls liquid out of meats, yet the right brine can pump water into meat.

 

But wait, there's more. Like a molecular Trojan horse, the water can harbor other substances, specifically water-soluble flavors like brown sugar or various herbaceous elements whose flavors have been extracted via brewing. This means you can sneak various and sundry flavors and seasonings into the meat.

 

And yet there's more. When salt gets into meat cells it runs into certain water-soluble proteins. {My book shows a pic of a meat cell slowing opening up} Notice that they've gone from tight little separate springy things to big loose coils that have managed to get all tangled up with each other. During the cooking process, this tangled-up structure traps water almost like a gel, which means two things:

 

1. Brined meats are jucier when cooked

2. Since they hold more moisture, brined meats are more forgiving of overcooking

 

Now this year, I'm trying a different brine from my friend, Alton.

 

1 gallon hot water

1 pound kosher salt

2 qts vegetable broth

1 pound honey

1 7-lb bag of ice

Turkey (giblets removed)

(although it doesn't call for it, I'll be adding garlic--I love garlic)

 

Combine the hot water and the salt in a 54 qt cooler (I just use a 5 gallon bucket from home depot). Stir until the water dissolves. Stir in the vegetable broth and the honey (and the garlic). Add the ice and stir. Place the turkey in the brine, breast side up, and cover with the cooler lid (or place into the refrigerator if using my bucket method). Brine overnight, up to 12 hours.

 

Also from Alton:

 

Temperature matters: meat proteins are more extractable around 34 degrees meaning that the tissues in question will hold on to more water if brined at refrigerator temperatures.

 

 

 

And that is the story of brining.

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Thanks guys. I am going to try brining all kinds of meats. :D

I have never cooked a turkey but think I will try this year. I usually go camping but this year am staying home with the wife (newlyweds). I will probably do a small bird but I am anxious to try brining and bier's recipe. I might have to get more info since I am a complete newbie at this.

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congrats. just give a holler. happy to help out

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