Weather is calm at 25°F with a light cloud cover. Wind is reported at about 12 mph but we're surrounded by trees and things at ground level are calm. Perfect weather for a cook!
This bird was not injected so we brined it for about 20 hours using:
- 2 C pickling salt
- 1 C sugar
- 6 C apple juice
- 2 C orange juice
- 1 C lemon juice
- 1 C lime juice
- Sufficient water to bring volume up to 2 gallons.
After brining, the bird was rinsed about 15 minutes and spitted. With the spit in place I stuffed the cavities with:
- 2 limes
- one orange
- 2 onions
- 6 cloves garlic
- sprigs of thyme, sage and rosemary (all fresh from the garden.)
This time I took some little metal skewers and trussed up the openings so the fruit doesn't fall out as the bird rotates. I was also able to achieve fairly good balance so if the bird doesn't shift on the spit, we should get good rotation. Before putting the bird on, I spread the outside with oil. (Ordinary cooking oil - canola.)
|Spitted and trussed and ready to spin!|
|Turkey on and cooker closed up.|
|About an hour into the cook.|
|11:30||Lit lump dumped in the bowl on either side of a double drip pan and cooker closed up.|
|11:55||300°||Closed bottom just a bit more. No desire to rush this one. (Started cook with bottom vent about half open.)|
|12:38||220°/282° (lid/spit)||Added ET-732 probe to spit rod opening for second opinion temperature measurement. The lid therm is reading low!|
|2:50||220°/282°||While out running, temperature started dropping so son put more charcoal in and cleared the vents of ash. Temp seems back up. Probed meat and got about 155°, breast and thigh. Skin on back and legs is splitting so I brushed the bird with more canola oil.|
|4:40||???/300°||180° breast and a little less thigh so it's off and resting.|
Turkey was tasty but dry. The information I saw that suggested I take it to 185° was bogus. Also this bird had no fat. None evident in the usual places and none in the drip pan.
What to do differently next time: Don't go to 180°! If I have one that's devoid of fat, I need to baste more and/or put some butter under the skin. An injection of butter might be good too.