Alternative Turkey Cooking
Different Cooking Ideas
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I admit that I like to experiment in the kitchen and have a couple of different ways to roast my turkey. One favorite way of mine is to preheat the oven to 400F. and roast the bird for the first 45 minutes with the breast side down at 400 degrees. Lower the temperature to 300F. and continue cooking with the breast side down for an additional 45 minutes. Baste once every hour with turkey or chicken broth. After the turkey has cooked for one and one-half hours, turn it over and cook breast side up until the internal temperature in the deepest part of the thigh reaches 165F.
I also sometimes like to stuff my bird not with stuffing, but a little mixture of 1 quartered orange, 1 quartered lemon, and 1 cup mixed coarsely chopped celery, yellow onions and carrots, a sprig of chopped rosemary, 2 sprigs of thyme and a little salt and ground black pepper.
Grilling Your Turkey
A couple of things to keep in mind if grilling is the way you decide to go: the cooking times here are estimated and you must monitor the temperature of the charcoals and the turkey's internal temperature to ensure that the bird is cooked thoroughly and safely.
Prepare your turkey, as specified above, rinsing it well under cold running water and patting it dry, and if desired, brining for a couple of hours or overnight. Tie the drumsticks together with heavy kitchen twine and season the turkey as desired.
Preheat a gas grill. (Alternately, prepare a charcoal grill large enough to hold the turkey with the lid closed. Divide a large bag of charcoal into two piles on the bottom of the grill, leaving the middle space open for a drip pan. Open the vents in the lid and bottom of the grill. Light the charcoals, and position the grill rack 6- to 8-inches over them when they are white-hot and covered with white ash.)
Set the turkey on the prepared grill and cover the grill. If using a gas grill, turn the settings to low. If using a charcoal grill, position the turkey on the grill rack over the drip pan, and add additional coals to both briquette piles every hour to keep the temperature constant. Every hour rotate the turkey 180-degrees and turn as necessary.
Allow 15 to 18 minutes per pound for an unstuffed turkey cooked on a covered grill. For a stuffed turkey, allow 18 to 24 minutes per pound.
To ensure the turkey is properly cooked, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the inner thigh, avoiding the bone. The turkey is ready to come off the grill when the thermometer registers 165 degrees F and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced. Transfer the turkey to a platter, loosely cover with foil and let it stand for 20 minutes before carving.