I didn’t grow up with much of a Christmas tradition. We were poor, and often far from family. If Grandma and Grandpa were in town, or at least close, we would see them. Sometimes aunts and uncles, even cousins.
So I wasn’t the best at establishing traditions for my kids either. In fact, although I like order and some would even say ritual, I don’t do much traditionally. I’m a hybrid author: I’ve self-published and published with small presses. And I’ve written everything from short stories to novels, humor to fantasy, and even a little erotic romance.
The only tradition I keep nearly every holiday, mainly because a holiday is my best excuse, is grill a turkey. It is so much more moist and better than cooking it any other way, at least that I have found. How, you ask?
You turn your grill into a humid oven. You’ll need a charcoal grill (okay, I guess I am traditional) or a gas grill with two sides, so you can turn one off. You’ll need a pan you don’t mind putting in the bottom of the grill, and getting a bit messed up. I use one of the disposable foil ones, after ruining two of my wife’s baking pans over the years, (another story).
Build a fire, or light the burner, on one side, put the pan filled with water on the other. The turkey goes over the water. This is called indirect grilling (it’s not truly “smoking” the turkey). As the water evaporates, it keeps everything in the “oven” moist.
I like turkey to be super moist. The first step is injecting it with something. Melted butter and rosemary is one recipe: or as simple as melted butter and soy sauce (about a 1 to 1) mixture. The soy sauce gives it a smoky flavor. Reserve whatever you don’t inject for basting.
Depending on the size of your turkey, it will take about three hours or so. Check with a meat thermometer near the breast bone and thigh bones.
That’s it. I stuff mine as well, but you don’t have to. In fact, you can do almost anything to make this your own. But I promise the turkey will be one of the best you’ve ever had.
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