Newsletter

November 2015 — The Grilled Turkey Issue

Smoked Turkey on the Grill

“How do I grill the perfect turkey?” That’s the number one question we hear from customers around the holidays. Last week we spent an entire day cooking turkeys on multiple Kalamazoo grills in our Chicago showroom, so in this month’s Thanksgiving recipe issue we’re sharing our two favorite methods. The first is rotisserie roasting, and the recipe below yielded one of the most beautiful, tastiest smoked turkeys we’ve ever had the pleasure of serving. Smoking the bird on a spinning rotisserie ensures it will cook evenly, and the whole exterior will turn a deep golden brown.

We’ve always been a big fan of the second method – butterflied grill-roasted turkey. If you’re looking to accelerate the cooking process and still achieve incredible results, then this is the method for you. Whichever method you choose, roasting your turkey on the grill will yield golden crispy skin and delicious smoky flavors that simply aren’t achievable in an oven. It will amaze your friends and family. And freeing up the oven for other baked goods (pumpkin pie anyone?) is never a bad idea

Finally, no Thanksgiving turkey is complete without a little gravy! Our Mirepoix Gravy recipe uses drippings from the turkey combined with some classic aromatics. The recipe is relatively simple to make, but incredibly flavorful.

As we all know, Thanksgiving is a time for reflection, so we’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our customers for your ongoing support. All of us at Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet are so thankful and proud to be part of such a great company. But to us, Kalamazoo is so much more than a company, it’s a family – whose heart and soul are deeply rooted in integrity, craftsmanship and quality. We take immense pride in creating the world’s finest grills and outdoor kitchens – products that are built so that our customers can enjoy them for a lifetime. From all of us here at Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet we wish you a joyful season celebrating family, friends and all those things in life that truly matter.

Cheers,

Russ Faulk

Russ Faulk Kalamazoo Grillmaster


Rotisserie-smoked Turkey on the Grill

Rotisserie Smoked Turkey

An overnight brine helps create a more succulent and flavorful turkey. This brine is particularly flavorful, and the hints of orange, cloves and cinnamon really shine through. But the real key to elevating the flavor to the next level is smoking the turkey with your barbecue's rotisserie. This infuses the bird with an incredible smoky wood flavor. The rotisserie will cook the bird evenly as it bastes in its own juices. For the best results, we suggest you forget about that infrared rotisserie burner and instead use wood pellets or chunks to generate a gentle, smoky heat from below.

You can watch our good friends Rick Bayless and Steven Raichlen use similar “smoketisserie” setups using Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grills on their popular PBS Television Programs, Mexico – One Plate at a Time and Project Smoke. Although the videos feature roasted chickens and a whole pork loin, the methods they demonstrate are very similar to the method this turkey recipe uses.

Ingredients

12 pound organic, fresh turkey

For the Brine

  • 1 dried ancho chile
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • Freshly-grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 6 quarts ice-cold water plus 2 quarts to boil

Instructions

Preparing the Brine

Place the ancho chile and cloves in a blender or food processor and grind them together. Remove from blender and place in a large pot along with the kosher salt, brown sugar, orange zest, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in 6 quarts of ice cold water to cool the brine.

Brining the Turkey

Discard the giblets and neck from the turkey. Place a brining bag in a large tub or pail. Place the turkey in the bag with the breast side down. Give the brining solution one last stir and pour it into the bag. Squeeze all of the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Refrigerate for 12 hours, or overnight.

Mounting the Turkey on the Rotisserie Spit

Remove the turkey from the brining solution and pat dry. Tie the legs of the turkey together with cotton butcher’s string. Use 2 additional lengths of string to secure the thighs and the wings to the body so that they do not move around as the spit turns. You can read our blog post for a more detailed guide on how to truss a rotisserie turkey. Mount the turkey on the spit with the mass centered on the shaft as much as possible. Use pliers to tighten the forks so that they do not loosen while cooking.

Preparing the Grill

Prepare the grill for rotisserie roasting with strong wood smoke at 300°F. If using a gas grill, we recommend using indirect heat rather than firing up your infrared rotisserie burner, and using wood barbecue pellets for the smoke. If you’re cooking on a Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill, the setup should go as follows:

  • Remove the grill grates and flip the warming rack into the upward position, making room for the rotisserie spit.
  • Place 9 to 12 wood chunks or a pair of wood splits near the rear of the Hybrid Fire Grilling Drawer. Preheat the grill for 10 minutes with the hood closed, and all main burners, plus the ignition burner on high.
  • Carefully relocate the now smoldering wood across the front of the Hybrid Fire Grilling Drawer. Turn off the main burners, leaving the ignition burner on high.
  • Once setup is complete, install the turkey on the rotisserie. Place an aluminum roasting pan underneath the turkey to catch drippings, add 1 cup of water to the pan, and close the hood to begin cooking.
  • Add new wood chunks at the front of the drawer about every 20 minutes, or as often as needed to maintain temperature. (A K750 Hybrid Grill will hold a temperature of about 250°F using just the ignition burner. The additional heat from the smoldering wood will boost the temperature to the desired 300°F.)

For other gas grills, remove the grill grates and place a roasting pan below the turkey. Add 1 cup of water to the pan. Use any combination of burners other than the rotisserie burner or burners located directly below the turkey and adjust for 300°F temperature. Wrap a generous amount of wood pellets in aluminum foil to create a tube. Pierce the foil packet with a fork in four places along its length and place the packet in the grill above an active burner. Prepare additional packets to swap out every 30 minutes, or as needed.

Roast the turkey on the rotisserie, ensuring strong wood smoke and indirect heat. Cooking time should take 12 to 15 minutes per pound, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours total. Remove the turkey from the grill when the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Let rest for 20 minutes before carving. We suggest using the drippings from the roasting pan to make Mirepoix Gravy.


Grill-roasted Butterflied Turkey

Grill Roasted Butterflied Turkey

If you want to cook a delicious grill-roasted turkey, but don’t have hours to spare – butterflying is a great option. Butterflying, also referred to as spatchcocking, is a common technique that involves opening up the bird so that it lays flat on the grill and the heat can penetrate it faster. This allows you to use a higher heat and cook the bird in just 75 to 90 minutes. The resulting presentation might not be up to the standards of Martha Stewart, but the flavor definitely will be. But if you carve the turkey before bringing it out to your guests, nobody will ever know the difference. In addition, the quicker roasting time and higher temperature can yield slightly juicier meat and crispier skin. And an overnight brine helps deliver even more succulent results.

Ingredients

12 pound organic, fresh turkey

For the Brine

  • 1 dried ancho chile
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • Freshly-grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 6 quarts ice-cold water plus 2 quarts to boil

Instructions

Preparing the Brine

Place the ancho chile and cloves in a blender or food processor and grind them together. Remove from blender and place in a large pot along with the kosher salt, brown sugar, orange zest, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in 6 quarts of ice cold water to cool the brine.

Brining the Turkey

Discard the giblets and neck from the turkey. Place a brining bag in a large tub or pail. Place the turkey in the bag with the breast side down. Give the brining solution one last stir and pour it into the bag. Squeeze all of the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Refrigerate for 12 hours, or overnight.

Butterflying the Turkey

Remove the turkey from the brining solution and pat dry.

Use strong kitchen shears and a heavy knife to cut out the back bone of the turkey. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can use the backbone to start a turkey stock to make gravy, or simply discard it if you are making our Mirepoix Gravy. Next, use a paring knife to cut the breastbone loose. You can either remove it, or simply slice under each side to help you open up the bird to lay flat.

Preparing the Grill

Prepare the grill for indirect cooking at 450°F to 500°F. If you’re cooking on a Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill, the setup should go as follows:

  • Remove the far left or far right grill grate from the grill and set it aside. Load the Hybrid Fire Grilling Drawer above that burner with a moderate load of charcoal.
  • Preheat the grill with the main burner underneath the charcoal and the ignition burner both on high. The grill hood should be closed and the vent on the top of the grill hood open.
  • Once the charcoal fire is lit, turn the main burner beneath the charcoal to low. Leave the ignition burner running. Add a couple of wood chunks on top of the charcoal fire. After you have placed the turkey on the grill you will need to add fresh wood chunks every 20 to 30 minutes to refresh the smoke. Keeping the grill grate out of the grill will give you convenient access for adding the wood chunks as you go.

Roasting the Turkey

Tuck the ends of the turkey wings up and over the shoulders, then place the turkey on the grill grate in the indirect grilling zone with the skin side up, and breasts toward the fire. Close the hood and roast at 450° to 500°F, remembering to add fresh wood chunks periodically. Gently rotate the turkey to orient the legs toward the fire after the first hour of cooking. The turkey will be done when an instant-read meat thermometer reads 165°F. This should take about 75 to 90 minutes.

When finished, remove the turkey from the grill. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving. We suggest serving with our Mirepoix Gravy.


Mirepoix Gravy for Smoke-Grilled Turkey

Mirepoix Gravy for Smoked or Grilled Turkey

Drippings are the one thing that often aren’t utilized after roasting a turkey. Grill-roasted turkeys don’t typically yield a lot of drippings - usually not enough for a gravy base. But the drippings are incredibly flavorful and a real shame to waste. So we’ve come up with a gravy recipe that uses a classic aromatic vegetable base, a browned roux and those rich, flavorful smoked turkey drippings. If your turkey doesn’t yield enough juice, don’t worry – this recipe is still incredibly delicious sans drippings. Enjoy! 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1 tablespoon plus 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 32 ounces low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Turkey drippings (optional)

Instructions

Sauté the diced vegetables in a large pan with 1 tablespoon butter until softened and slightly browned. At the same time, melt the remaining butter in a separate pan over medium heat. Add the flour, and stir slowly until you have a medium-brown roux. Remove from heat and reserve.

Combine the sautéed vegetables and chicken broth in a blender or food processor and process until the texture is perfectly smooth. Return this to the sauté pan over medium heat. Add any turkey drippings you may have collected from the grill or carving board. Add the roux and bring to a boil to thicken while stirring slowly. Season with salt to taste. Remove from heat and transfer to a gravy vessel.

Innovation is at the heart of every Kalamazoo product. Each part of the collection — from grills and pizza ovens to refrigeration and cabinetry — represents a significant departure from the established norm. Our passion for outdoor cooking and our fiercely independent design philosophy drive us to establish new industry benchmarks. Consequently, our list of exclusives and innovations speaks for itself.