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Old 11-05-2013, 09:31 AM   #207
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Join Date: 06-18-12
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Originally Posted by Wampus View Post
I've never deboned a gobbler. Not sure how it would affect the cook really.
I've seen where people have deboned and then trussed up a turkey or chicken into a nice tight "roll" so it would cook evenly throughout. While that makes a lot of sense, I'm not sure how it would affect overall cook length.

The one cool thing about NOT deboning and just leaving it "au natural" is that you get more surface area that way which means more smoked skin!

I've also never tried bacon at all on a turkey. Personally, I think if you brine a bird, you'll not have the "juiciness issue" that's usually a challenge for a lot of roasted or smoked turkeys. I'm a BIG proponent for brining in general, but especially for turkeys.
Deboning would shorten the cook time, even with the bird rolled and tied into a roast. The bones seem to soak up a lot of heat and slow down how fast the meat absorbs the heat. As an example, a couple of days ago I made a boneless pork loin roast that cooked in 1 1/2 hours. The recipe I used calls for a loin roast with the ribs still attached, and it takes 2 1/2 hours. Same temp, same oven, add bones = more time.

Having said all of that, use temp as your guide for done-ness and you'll be golden.

I wouldn't worry about the bacon for juiciness. It might add flavor, which is always good. Brining is the way to go, but I usually dry brine with salt and pepper instead of wet brining. In terms of flavor and juiciness between the two I don't see much difference, I dry bring because I don't have the room in my fridge for a turkey in a pot.

Originally Posted by Wampus View Post
I think so.

I've done turkeys on the kettle before and the challenge always seems to be to prevent the sides (legs and thighs) from getting scorched due to the more direct heat from the coals on the sides.

Obviously, it depends on the size of your turkey and how you set up the kettle with charcoal. Perhaps a nice diffuser with coals UNDERNEATH is a good plan of action? You'd have to either lift your diffuser up or hang it from the cooking grate to prevent the direct heat, but I think it may be worth the effort.

ANYTHING is possible. Just depends on the prep and amount of effort you're willing to put into it.
Never done a turkey on a kettle, but have done an 8 lb chicken. I took an aluminum pan and cut and shaped it so the sides reached all the way up to the bottom of the cooking grate. When I started the charcoal I used the aluminum pieces to corral the coals on the sides and the height acted as shields to limit the amount of direct heat to the chicken. It should work the same for a turkey with some adjustments for the size difference.
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