Half a turkey on a 22" kettle. How should I do it?


 

Darren Lebner

TVWBB Pro
Will be sitting in salt/water/citrus brine. Then what? Rub? Glaze? How to cook? Don't have a SlowNsear but can improvise with coal baskets and water container. Have a Vortex cone but I don't see how it would be appropriate here.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Treat it like a big chicken half, are you thinking of slow smoke?
I think I would go more on the hot fast train, baskets and cherrywood. Won’t take long maybe an hour+?
 

MichaelLC

TVWBB Super Fan
Probably full open on all to keep the temp up, but more experienced here may have better advice.

Another option may be to do it as a beer can turkey with the Vortex. Wide end up sitting on charcoal grate.
Pan or heavy foil in the bottom. Turkey half set upright in the middle on the pan/foil. Coals evenly around the outside of Vortex.
 

GrantT

TVWBB Super Fan
We often do 1/2 turkeys as I try to buy them on sale and cut them in 1/2 before freezing them... A full turkey is too large for us. We brine etc. and then I just toss them in oil/seasoning as desired and drop them bone side down in a big 16" cast iron pan, and roast them (oven or Kamado) at around 425 degrees until the breast is 150. We prefer our dark meat well done, so if the thigh/leg is not higher than 180 at that point, I'll cut it off and keep cooking while the breast rests....

Note...we are not fans of "smoked" poultry as a main course....we love it as a snack/appetizer and do it differently if we want "smoked" meat vs. cooked main course meat.

All the drippings left in the pan make an amazing pan gravy...sprinkle some flour over the fat/drippings, stir/cook well and then add stock/seasoning etc.


Note: ever looking for a super-fast chicken dinner, the method above also works amazingly well and is so fast. Spatchcock a chicken, give it a generous rub of olive oil, seasoning etc, and into the cast iron pan and 425 oven. It is usually done in roughly 30-40 minutes. Again, the drippings make a super-easy pan gravy. So fast/easy.
 
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DanHoo

TVWBB Honor Circle
@GrantT 's style sounds good, but I'm not sure I have a CI pan that would fit half a turkey.

I think I would cut it in half again so the breast could be cooked to a different temp from the leg/thigh.

When I wet brine turkey I rinse it off very well and put it back in the garage fridge with cheesecloth over it so the skin dries out a bit.

good luck, and post pics.
 

Darren Lebner

TVWBB Pro
OK, folks. It was yummy. Thanks for all the suggestions. They helped to make a happy dinner!

First I lightly brined the turkey with some salt, sugar, chopped onion, grated garlic, and a juiced orange. Kept it in the fridge for 36 hours.

Drained the brine, let it further drain off in the pot, waited till it was no longer fridge temperature cold, and patted it dry. I used the following simple rub, substituting dry rosemary with freshly picked, which I diced very fine.


Thanks, @MichaelLC, for the inverted vortex suggestion. I placed a round aluminum pie pan with some water underneath the cone to deflect heat upward, add moisture, and to catch the drippings. Full coal baskets were placed on opposite sides with just enough coals to cover the lower grate at the head/tail ends of the turkey.

20211203_135719.jpg

Put the turkey in, covered the lid, and left lower and upper vents wide open. Temperature went up and stayed at 500 degrees for quite some time. After over an hour, the temperature went down below 350, so I decided to open the lid and add a few fresh coals to the sides, not to the baskets. That worked nicely, slowly sending the thermometer up past 400 for the duration of the cooking.

Total cooking time was 2 and a half hours. I could have removed it 10-15 minutes earlier to get a more succulent turkey breast. The skin was semi-crispy and very tasty. Even those at the table who usually avoid skin competed for what there was. The dark meat was very soft and was super easy to remove off the bones. The breast was moist and very tasty.

20211203_162548.jpg
The next time, I'll cook it to a lower maximum temperature. I think I'll also glaze it once or twice during the 2nd half of the cook, to add some sweetness to the flavors.

Again, thanks all. I've been BBQ'ing since my father taught me how as a child. However, I've leaned a lot more so far, just by being a member here for only a few weeks now.
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Looks good! I’ve been thinking about doing the inverted Vortex technique for some time, going to visit some friends and not cooking for a few days, maybe I’ll do this when we get back! Glad it turned out well!
You can find so much help here you should never have a major failure with the planning help you will find. Good folks!
 

Darren Lebner

TVWBB Pro
Looks good! I’ve been thinking about doing the inverted Vortex technique for some time, going to visit some friends and not cooking for a few days, maybe I’ll do this when we get back! Glad it turned out well!
You can find so much help here you should never have a major failure with the planning help you will find. Good folks!
I didn't even know about a vortex cone until I joined the forum! Got it recently. I see I'll be using it more often, both upright and inverse!

Next up, soon: cold smoking.

Like I said in another conversation here: this forum is a bad influence on me. I keep on buying this and that accessory to improve my grilling results. Also, I have a dying old 22" kettle. On the one hand, I'll keep on using it until the kettle bottom drops out from fatigue. On the other hand, I can't wait to replace it with something else. Will have to wait and see...
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Have you been converted to the Vortex chicken wing school? Once you do a batch of those the light goes on and you will never look back! I go really simple, I toss a bunch of frozen wings in a big ziploc bag with rub of choice (lately, McCormick brown sugar maple) and let them thaw overnight then toss them on the next evening and not touch them for about forty-fifty minutes. A great, easy, enjoyable appetizer.
 

Darren Lebner

TVWBB Pro
Have you been converted to the Vortex chicken wing school? Once you do a batch of those the light goes on and you will never look back! I go really simple, I toss a bunch of frozen wings in a big ziploc bag with rub of choice (lately, McCormick brown sugar maple) and let them thaw overnight then toss them on the next evening and not touch them for about forty-fifty minutes. A great, easy, enjoyable appetizer.
I'll be doing wings, drumsticks, and other chicken parts, too, weather and time permitting. I like doing a spicy (but not hot) rub of salt, paprika, cumin, pepper, garlic, turmeric, ginger, and curry.
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I'll be doing wings, drumsticks, and other chicken parts, too, weather and time permitting. I like doing a spicy (but not hot) rub of salt, paprika, cumin, pepper, garlic, turmeric, ginger, and curry.
I do wings year round, snow, rain, whatever. It’s a really great tool in the grilling arsenal.
 

MichaelLC

TVWBB Super Fan
I just did wings lay night with the Vortex in my 22" kettle.

Just salt, pepper, and baking powder for the cook then tossed with BBQ sauce on some and peri-peri on others for me.
 

 

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