BIG EASY BARBECUED TURKEY

Source: BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
Method: Indirect
Yield: Serves 8 to 10


FOR THE INJECTOR SAUCE:
1/3 cup chicken stock (preferably homemade), at room temperature
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 tablespoon Cajun Rub (see recipe below)

FOR THE TURKEY:
1 turkey (8 to 10 pounds), thawed if frozen
4 tablespoons Cajun Rub (see recipe below)
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

You'll also need:
Kitchen syringe; 3 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably hickory or oak), soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained

MAKE THE INJECTOR SAUCE: Combine the stock, bourbon, and Cajun Rub in a bowl and whisk to mix.

Remove the packet of giblets from the neck or body cavity of the turkey and set aside for another use. Remove and discard the fat just inside the cavities of the turkey. Rinse the turkey, inside and out, under cold running water, then blot dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Season the inside of both cavities with 2 tablespoons of the Cajun Rub.

Fill the kitchen syringe with the injector sauce. To do this, push the plunger all the way down, place the tip of the needle in the sauce, and slowly draw the plunger up: The syringe will fill with sauce. Inject the sauce into the turkey breast, thighs, and drumsticks. Don't be surprised if a little sauce squirts out; this is OK. Truss the turkey; this is optional, but it will give the bird a more dignified appearance. Rub the outside of the turkey with the oil and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Cajun Rub all over it, patting it onto the skin with your fingertips.

Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. If using a gas grill, place all of the wood chips or chunks in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center, preheat the grill to medium, then toss 1 cup of the wood chips or chunks on the coals.

When ready to cook, place the turkey, breast side up, in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook the turkey until the skin is nicely browned and the meat is cooked through, 2-1/4 to 2-3/4 hours. To check for doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of a thigh but not so that it touches the bone. The internal temperature should be about 180 degrees F. If the wing tips start to burn, cover them loosely with aluminum foil; if the skin starts to brown too much, cover the bird loosely with aluminum foil. If using a charcoal grill, every hour you'll need to add 12 fresh coals and cup wood chips or chunks to each side.

Transfer the grilled turkey to a platter, cover it loosely with aluminum foil, if you have not already done so, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Untruss the turkey, if necessary, carve, and serve.

CAJUN RUB


Yield: Makes about 1 cup

1/4 cup coarse salt (kosher or sea)
3 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons dried thyme (preferably ground)
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly ground white pepper
2 teaspoons ground dried sage leaves
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Combine the salt, paprika, garlic and onion powders, thyme, oregano, black pepper, white pepper, sage, and cayenne in a small bowl and whisk to mix or place in a jar, cover it, and shake to mix. Store the rub in an airtight jar away from heat and light; it will keep for at least 1 year.

© 2006 Steven Raichlen | site design Benjamin Wilchfort