November 2017 - The Thanksgiving Issue

smoked turkey in smoker cabinet


Thanksgiving, although not traditionally a grilling holiday, is one of the best opportunities of the year to do some outdoor cooking. I love the flavors that can only be created with a live fire, and moving some of the cooking outside can relieve a lot of the pressure on the indoor kitchen as family and friends gather.

I have developed a new recipe for smoked turkey that I am sure you will love. I started by making a delicious white wine brine then let the turkey sit in it overnight to create more flavorful, succulent meat. The turkey was then cooked low and slow for 4 hours, bathed in flavorful apple wood smoke until the skin was a rich golden brown. We placed a pan filled with white wine and garlic underneath the bird to collect the drippings, later using them to make a rich gravy.

All of us at Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet wish each of you a wonderful holiday. We are thankful for everyone who shares our passion for outdoor cooking and entertaining.



Apple Wood Smoked Turkey

Apple Wood Smoked Turkey

I cannot recommend this turkey highly enough. It is simply amazing. Tender and juicy with just the right amount of smokiness – not like barbecue, but definitely present. The white wine brine is key in yielding juicy meat, and it adds a subtle flavor that is ever so slightly fruity. The turkey drippings are collected in a pan to make a wonderfully smoky white wine and garlic gravy that will transform mashed potatoes into the most heavenly side.

Plan on brining overnight, for at least 15 hours, and about 4 hours of smoking time.

Note: If you would like to smoke the turkey in the Hybrid Fire Grill, we have described a few methods in our Barbecue Techniques Grilling Guide. We recommend using our barbecue wood pellet adapters and following option one.


For the Brine:

  • 2 cups water plus 8 cups cold water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 red onions, quartered
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and cracked
  • 2 tablespoons whole juniper berries
  • 2 tablespoons whole mustard seed
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 750ml chilled white wine (we used 2015 Groth Sauvignon Blanc)

12 to 14 pound free range turkey

For Inside the Bird:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, cut into eighths
  • 1 red onion, quartered
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

For the Gravy:

  • 750ml white wine
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and cracked
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 turkey brining bags

Roasting rack

Aluminum roasting pan

Apple wood chunks for smoking


To make the brine, bring 2 cups of the water and 1 cup of kosher salt to a boil in a large pot. Simmer and stir until the salt is dissolved. Stir in the turbinado sugar until it dissolves. Stir the red onions, garlic, juniper berries, mustard seed and bay leaves into the hot liquid. Remove from heat and let the flavors combine for 5 minutes. Add the cold water and chilled wine to the brine.

Remove the neck, giblets, trussing and any temperature probes from the turkey. Place one brining bag inside the other then place the turkey inside the inner bag and pour in the brine. Remove as much air as possible and seal the inner bag. Seal the outer bag for security. Refrigerate overnight, brining for 16 to 24 hours.

Prepare the smoker for 275°F, smoking with apple wood for flavor. We recommend preheating the Kalamazoo Smoker Cabinet for 1 hour before putting in the food.

Remove the turkey from the brine and discard the brine. Thoroughly rinse the turkey under cold running water then pat it dry inside and out. This helps make the skin extra crispy when cooking. The turkey should sit out at room temperature for about 20 minutes before placing it in the smoker.

Brush the outside of the turkey all over with olive oil. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Stuff the turkey cavity with lemon, onion, rosemary and butter. Place the turkey in a roasting rack with the breast side up.

For the gravy, place the wine, broth, garlic and rosemary in the roasting pan.

If available, insert a meat thermometer (the Kalamazoo Smoker Cabinet includes one with the pit computer) into the thickest portion of the turkey thigh, making sure to not get it close to the bones. Set the meat thermometer alarm to 165°F.

For the Kalamazoo smoker cabinet, remove the top shelf. Place the roasting pan on the bottom shelf, and place the turkey with the roasting rack on the shelf above the roasting pan. If your smoker does not have multiple shelves, place the roasting rack in the roasting pan, but make sure the turkey is not touching the liquid in the pan.

turkey in smoker

Smoke the turkey, maintaining moderate smoke, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours.

Once the turkey has reached 165°F, measured at the deepest part of the thigh, remove it from the smoker and let it rest on a carving board for 20 minutes before carving.

apple wood smokey turkey

To make the gravy, start by making a roux. Brown the flour in a large pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, once it has darkened almost to the color of light brown sugar, add the butter, combining thoroughly. Add the liquid from the roasting pan. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Continue whisking until the gravy has thickened to the desired consistency.



Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Grill Roasted Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

I recently had the pleasure of dining at The Tipsy Pig in San Francisco. Their Caramelized Brussels Sprouts appetizer was a real stand out. This dish, inspired by the original, makes a great side for a festive meal. My take emphasizes the crispy leaves from the original. Bacon, Romano cheese and Tuscan bread make it a hearty dish with a “gravitas” that is appropriate for the season.


  • 2 pounds small Brussels sprouts, rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked crisp and chopped coarse, drippings reserved
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 generous slice Tuscan bread from a day-old loaf
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Heavy aluminized steel sheet pan or other grill-safe pan. (Make sure pan does not have a non-stick coating.)


Prepare the grill for indirect grilling at 500ºF.

Remove and discard the base of each sprout. Quarter lengthwise and place in a large bowl. All loose leaves also go into the bowl. These will become the crispiest bits.

Use a fork to whisk together 2 tablespoons bacon fat with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil mixture to the Brussels sprouts and toss to thoroughly combine. Reserve the remaining 2 tablespoons.

Gently tear the bread into very small pieces, compressing it as little as possible, until you have 2 cups worth. Toss with the remaining oil mixture and season lightly with salt.

Spread the sprouts and leaves into a single layer on a heavy-duty aluminized steel sheet pan. Season generously with salt and pepper, and place it in the indirect grilling zone. Roast, tossing the sprouts once, for 10 to 15 minutes or until the edges of the quartered sprouts are thoroughly browned. Mix in the bacon and bread and continue roasting until the bread is crisped and the sprouts are caramelized, about 15 minutes more. Sprinkle on half of the Romano cheese and toss again. Remove from the grill, transfer to a serving bowl and top with the remaining cheese.

Sliced Sweet Potato Roast

Grill Roasted Sliced Sweet Potato Roast

As soon as we saw this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, we knew we had to make it on the grill. A little wood smoke and slightly more intense heat really help bring out extra flavor. We have adjusted the cooking time and temperature so this can be roasted alongside our pesto rolled lamb leg.


  • 3 pounds garnet yams (skins left on)
  • 1 large shallot, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter (or use clarified butter to reduce the moisture content, recommended. To make your own clarified butter check out this info from Alton Brown.)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt
  • Fresh-ground black pepper


Cut off and discard the pointed ends of the yams. Slice the remainder thinly and uniformly. We used our trusty ceramic-blade Kyocera mandolin to make short and precise work of this task, slicing at 0.5mm thickness. Slice the shallot as thinly as possible as well. Reserve.

Prepare the grill for indirect grilling at 450°F. If desired, prepare wood chips for smoking during the final 30 minutes of cooking (recommended).

Whisk together the melted butter and olive oil, and pour about 1/4 of it into an 8-inch round, grill-safe baking dish or cast iron skillet. Spread evenly on the bottom and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Arrange yam slices in the dish, starting around the perimeter. After every 5 or so slices, add a sliver of shallot between yam slices. It is better to add the shallot as you go, rather than trying to insert them after all the yams a layered in place. Once the dish is filled with tightly-arranged slices, brush the remaining butter and oil mixture over the top and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Cover the dish with foil and place in the indirect zone of the grill. Roast, covered, in the indirect zone for 45 minutes. Rotate the dish halfway through for even roasting. Remove the foil cover and continue roasting for 30 minutes more so the edges of the yams become browned and crispy. Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Smoked Chocolate Pecan Pie

Smoked Chocolate Pecan Pie

The Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill was designed with a deep firebox, to allow heat to evenly circulate throughout the entire grill. It is this even heat that makes the Hybrid Fire Grill perfect for roasting and baking – cooking techniques that are not possible on most other grills. This month we have taken advantage of the incredible flavors that can only be created with a live fire from the grill. We used Pecan Wood Smoker Pellets to infuse this glorious grill-roasted pie with a subtle smoky, nutty flavor. If you’re looking for a show-stopping holiday dessert that your guests are sure to love, our Smoked Chocolate Pecan Pie is a must-try.


For the Pie Crust

  • 1 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick + 2 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 4 tablespoons ice water

For the Filling

  • 2 cups pecan halves, toasted (1 cup chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (melted and cooled)
  • 2/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons  smoked maple syrup (we used Runamok’s Pecan Wood Smoked Maple Syrup)
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


For the Pie Crust

In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add in all of the butter and process until you get pea size crumbs.

Continue to process and add ice water one tablespoon at a time. Crumbs will look like course sand. Be careful not to over process.

Pour out mixture onto a clean surface and form into a ball. You’ll find the mixture will want to stick together quite easily. Work as quickly as you can so that the butter does not melt. Cold butter makes for a flaky crust.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and press down to form a disc. Refrigerate for two hours, or overnight.

For the Filling

In a large bowl, mix together melted butter and brown sugar until combined.

Pour in melted chocolate and mix thoroughly.

Add in corn syrup, maple syrup, eggs, and salt. Combine well.

Mix in chopped pecans.

Baking the Pie

Prepare the grill for indirect roasting at 375°F with strong wood smoke. If using a Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill and pellet insert, the technique is as follows:

  • Remove a grill grate from the right side of the grill. Place a 2 pellet inserts in the valleys of the Hybrid Fire Grilling Drawer below the surface you have removed. Fill with the premium pecan wood pellets.
  • Preheat the grill with the ignition burner on LOW and the left main burner on MEDIUM. Make sure the active main burner is the one away from the pellet trays. Allow the grill temperature to settle at 375°F for about 15 minutes, adjusting the burners as needed.
  • Light the front of the row of wood pellets using a torch or paraffin cube. Once thoroughly started, blow out the fire so that the pellets continue to smolder on their own, but do not show an open flame.
  • Replace the grill grate above the pellets. The pie will be roasted directly above the pellets for maximum smoke.

Butter a 10-inch cast iron skillet on all sides.

Place the cold pie crust dough between 2 layers of plastic wrap to help keep the crust from sticking to the rolling pin, and to help keep the dough as cold as possible while you are working with it. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thickness and 14 inch diameter.

Remove the top sheet of plastic wrap off the crust, and gently turn it over into the buttered cast iron skillet. You should have some extra crust hanging over the edge of the pan. With the second sheet of plastic wrap still on the dough, gently press the crust into the pan so the crust is touching all sides.

Carefully remove the plastic wrap. Use the prongs of a fork to pierce the bottom of the pie crust all over so that air can be released while it is baking. Trim the crust and flute or crimp the perimeter.

Pour the pie filling into the crust and top with the remainder toasted pecan halves.

Place the pie in the indirect zone of the grill and bake for 50 minutes or until filling is set. Rotate the skillet halfway through cooking.  

Cool completely before serving.

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.

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