Whole gator on a Ranch Kettle


 

RJ Humphrey

TVWBB Fan
My annual Super bowl party a 22lb gator smoked on a Ranch.
 

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Joan

TVWBB Honor Circle
Oh my goodness, I've had this cookbook for some time now and never knew it had these in it. Two recipes for alligator. Grilled Gators Kabobs and Stewed Swamp Gator. Found these in Rick Brown's cookbook "Grillin' Wild.
 

Brenda T

TVWBB Pro
That is definitely a show stopper!
Honestly, it holds no appeal for me - I don't like for my food to have a face :D….

BUT that bacon wrap!! Oh man that is impressive! I can't imagine how long that took and how much maneuvering was involved.
Not to mention the quantity of bacon.
I would say you definitely have skills! Great presentation. :D
 

Colin

TVWBB Pro
I've had blackened alligator and it was good. Not readily available and expensive here in KS.
Thanks for sharing that unique cook with us RJ.
 

Sam Bee

TVWBB All-Star
Who cares about that gator...now about that smoked bacon....jk, that looks good and I bet it even tasted better...nicely done! Kind of reminds me of the movie "The Waterboy."
 

Tim K

TVWBB All-Star
You just won the Internet!!! I have a million questions, how long was the cook, and at what temps? How many people did that feed, and how often have you done this???
And I thought I was upping my game when I mastered a skillet cookie cake ha ha ha...
Great post, thanks for sharing,
Tim
 

RJ Humphrey

TVWBB Fan
Whole 22-pound alligator smoked on a Weber Ranch Kettle.

Farm raised Louisiana Gator was sourced from bigpopslagator.com

Gator was brined with 16 parts water and one-part kosher salt, sugar, and spices for 22 hours.

I did not have a large cutting board or baking tray large enough for a five- and half-foot gator. I found a ¾” thick piece of oak plywood in the garage, that measured about 24” x 30”. Wood was triple covered with heavy duty aluminum foil. An old dish towel was placed under makeshift prep board to prevent spillage and soak up juices.

My wife used two 14 ounces boxes of seasoned cornbread stuffing, Cajun Holy trinity, and homemade andouille sausage. I made andouille and southern hot link sausages on Friday and smoked them on Saturday. Gator was injected with apple juice, sugar, salt, and spices before being stuffed with a cornbread mixture. Belly cavity was trussed with butchers’ twine.

Outside of the gator was given a liberal coating of rub.

Now the time-consuming task of weaving five pounds of bacon or about 100 pieces. I used thin cut bacon. Several large baking trays were lined with parchment paper and used to assemble the bacon weaves. After bacon weaves were completed, they were placed in the freezer for five minutes to firm up. Parchment paper was used to roll the bacon onto the gator. Legs and end of the tail was wrapped, with no weave. Bacon weave process took about 45 minutes.

I did not want to cook the meat on the Ranch at stock cooking grate height. I have an 11” riser that’s used for a roti, so I drilled eight holes and installed SS ¼-20 x1” screws/nuts around the perimeter. Cooking grate now sits 8” higher than the stock height.

A piece of expanded metal about 24” x 28” was placed on the WRK cooking grate and sprayed with oil. Gator was transferred from the prep board to the grill. Pit temp was 250-275F most of the cook.

Original plan was to smoke IT to 185-190. When IT was 175F in the tail and cornbread stuffing. I sampled the tail and it was juicy and moist. Gator was removed and rested 30 minutes before pulling and serving.

Cook time was seven hours for a 22-pound gator.

Gator is a very lean meat; bacon did an excellent job of protecting the meat during the cook. I’m sure the brine and injecting also helped keep the meat moist and tender.

Ribs, back strap were very tasty, almost as good as the tail meat. Flavor profile is more smoked turkey meets saltwater.

Legs were dark meat and texture was similar a turkey leg, with a hint of frog leg flavor.
 
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RJ Humphrey

TVWBB Fan
You just won the Internet!!! I have a million questions, how long was the cook, and at what temps? How many people did that feed, and how often have you done this???
And I thought I was upping my game when I mastered a skillet cookie cake ha ha ha...
Great post, thanks for sharing,
Tim
Thank you Tim

This was my first gator cook and won't be my last.

Gator yielded about 10-11 pounds of meat and feed 24 people.

Cook was seven hours with a pit temp of 250-275F
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I think you win the Ranch kettle creativity award for the year to say the least! Between the whole pig and the gator, you have placed the barre pretty high for the rest of the world. Well, my world at least!
Strong work!
 

 

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