Friday, September 13, 2013

DRAFT Orange and Bourbon Brined Turkey on the Grill

Since our daughter, her husband, and the grand baby are visiting from Florida, we decided to have Thanksgiving on Labor Day.   Brett and his girlfriend came over and we had the whole family back home at the same time for the first time in several years.  

For the turkey, I used an orange and bourbon brine to add flavor and moisture.  The brine worked because the turkey tasted great and my daughter said it was the juiciest turkey she's ever had.   The smoky flavor of the bourbon and the citrus tang is subtle but there, just the way I like it.

Two notes on brining.  First, if you can, get a bird that has not been pre-brined "packaged in a solution" but if you don't have a choice, cut the amount of salt in this brine in half.   Second, thaw the bird before brining.  I know it seems like a good idea to use the brining time as thaw time too, but the brine won't penetrate frozen meat particularly well.

I also spatchcocked the bird which means butterflying it in reverse, cutting out the backbone.   This technique helps the bird cook faster, more evenly, and I prefer the presentation of a laid out turkey.   I used the cooking times, temps, and technique that Pitmaster, Chris Lilly, used for his Charcoal-Grilled Turkey with Fresh Herb Butter at the Kingsford Invitational last year.  That bird was also spatchcocked.