smoky turkey with crispy skin
Inspired by, Cool Grandpa and many years of cooking turkey.
Use the Be Cool Grandpa “Best Poultry Brine”. Plan ahead and brine the turkey for 24 to 36 hours. (Grandpa Note: This is the best brine for ALL poultry products.)
- 1 turkey 15 to 23 lbs.
- Canola Oil for brushing the turkey 1 whole orange, quartered.
- 4 onions, peeled and quartered
- 1 cup apple cider
Step 1 - Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey's cavity. Submerge the bird in the prepared brine, cover and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours.
Step 2 - Remove from the brine and place on a baking sheet, breast side up, lined with a wire cooling rack. Place uncovered for 24hours (or at least 12 hours) in the refrigerator for the skin to dry out. This important step will help achieve a crispy skin.
Step 3 - When you are ready to cook the turkey, remove the bird from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature, about 2 hours or so. (Grandpa Note: this is an important step to make sure it cooks evenly.)
Step 4 - Preheat the oven or indirect grill to 425 F.
Step 5 - Stuff the cavity of the bird with as many of the orange and onion quarters that will fit. Save the rest for the pan.
Step 6 - Place the bird breast side up on a roasting rack within the roasting pan. Truss the bird so the legs and wings are snug. Add the remaining onion wedges to the bottom of the pan along with garlic cloves and bay leaves. Add the cider then top with enough water so there is a good quarter inch of liquid in the bottom of the pan.
Step 7 - Brush the turkey generously with canola oil and place in the preheated oven or grill.
Step 8 - After 30 minutes reduce the heat to 350 F. and then monitor for perfect coloring, covering the bird with foil if over browning.
Step 9 - Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thighs reaches 165 F. and the juices run clear, about 3 to 3 1/2 hours, depending on your oven and size of the bird.
Step 10 - Remove from oven and let rest with loosely covered foil, for at least 20 minutes before carving.
This has taken many years too perfect, and we continue to tweak the process as our family dynamics change.
Regarding brining, I know there's a debate whether it's important to brine or not to brine. I say, if you have the time brine.
This method will usually result in a fairly crisp skin. It’s the flavor of the skin that's the priority. My goal is to have the turkey cooked evenly all at the same time so the meat has great flavor, and there are great drippings for gravy.