When it comes to cooking turkey, there are many methods available, and grilling, in particular, has become a popular choice for many people due to its health benefits. Grilling allows the fat to drip away from the turkey as it cooks, keeping the meat nutritious and full of flavor. However, there are also other methods, such as oven and microwave cooking, that can yield delicious results. In this article, we will discuss the different types of grills available on the market and provide basic instructions on how to properly use them to cook a turkey.
Covered Charcoal Grill
Using a covered charcoal grill is a classic method for cooking turkey. To prepare, make sure that the equipment is well cleaned and the charcoal is of good quality.
Start by arranging the charcoal in a pyramid on one side and setting it alight until it becomes red hot. Place a thermometer on the food rack to check the temperature of the grill, giving the cook an accurate reading of the meat’s temperature while cooking. In the center of the grill where the turkey will be placed, arrange the charcoal evenly around the edge. Place the grill rack and set the prepared turkey on it with the breast side up.
You then need to maintain the temperature and cover the grill, and while it cooks, uou can add seasonings for the turkey to have flavor; but avoid using softwood like cedar and pine as they can give the food a different taste and make the turkey’s skin turn black.
You wil be able to tell when the turkey is ready as the inner thigh temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit, and that’s why using a food thermometer is important to ensure that the turkey is properly cooked.
Covered Gas Grill
Another option for grilling turkey is using a covered gas grill. This can be provided by using either propane tanks or natural gas. If the gas grill has only one burner, place a water pan under the grate to create indirect heat. If there are two or three burners, turn off one burner and place the turkey in that area away from the flame. Remember to use a food thermometer to check the turkey’s temperature when cooking.
Aside from grilling, turkey can also be roasted using an oven. The oven provides a great way to cook turkey, whether in whole or in parts. Cooking the turkey in parts is advisable as it allows for even cooking. A full-size microwave oven with 650 to 700 watts can only accommodate a small turkey ranging from 8 to 10 pounds. Check the turkey’s temperature by inserting an instant-read thermometer in different parts of the meat. When the turkey’s inner thigh temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit, it is ready to serve.
Electric Roaster Oven
An electric roaster oven is a convenient appliance to have as an extra oven for cooking large roasts. Heat the oven to about 325 degrees Fahrenheit and place the turkey on an oven rack or any other meat rack to keep the turkey out of the juices that collect in the bottom of the oven. Leave the cover throughout cooking and remove it as little as possible to avoid slowing the cooking process. Check the internal temperature of the inner thigh until it reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
Oven Cooking Bag Method
The oven cooking bag method is one of the safest ways to roast turkey. Preheat the oven using an oven-cooking bag to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Shake a tablespoon of dry flour around to coat the empty bag and avoid bursting. Make sure that the pan is large enough for the turkey to sit comfortably in the center and that there is enough space for the bag to enlarge during cooking without touching any part of the oven or melting. Insert a meat thermometer through the thickest part of the plastic to check the temperature of the turkey’s thigh, and make sure it reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can I use soft woods like cedar and pine for grilling turkey?
Answer: No, you should avoid using softwoods like cedar and pine for grilling turkey because they can give the food a different taste and make the turkey’s skin turn black.
What type of oven is best for cooking turkey?
Answer: A conventional oven is best for cooking turkey. However, you can also use a convection oven or a microwave oven to cook a small turkey.
What is the best way to ensure that the turkey is fully cooked?
Answer: The best way to ensure that the turkey is fully cooked is to use a food thermometer to check the temperature of the meat. The inner thigh temperature should reach 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
In conclusion, there are many ways to cook a turkey, such as on the grill, in the oven, with an electric roaster oven, or in an oven cooking bag. Each method has its advantages, and it’s up to the cook to choose the method that works best for them. When using any method to cook turkey, it is essential to use a food thermometer to ensure that the bird is fully cooked and safe to eat. With the right cooking equipment and techniques, you can enjoy a delicious and healthy turkey meal for any occasion.