Big Easy Turkey

Late this past spring the folks at Char-Broil sent me one of their Big Easy® Smoker, Roaster & Grill units to test drive. Well, here we are in November and I am still using it quite regularly. I had cooked chicken in it early on, but I'd never tried a turkey. I have since rectified that situation and here's what I found.

Let me start with the bottom line first: This is a serious turkey cookin' machine! It can produce a bird that is very close to fried, with none of the inherent hassle, danger and expense (peanut oil is way expensive).

Here's what I did:

I brined my 16-pound "enhanced" (with up to an 10% solution of who knows what) bird for 12 hours in a light version of my Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Brine (I cut the salt in half because the bird was "enhanced"). We'll appropriately call said bird "Tom" from here on.

I drained Tom very well and then patted him dry inside and out with paper towels.

Tom then got a good coat of peanut oil.

The great thing about the Big Easy is that it requires no preheating. You just stuff Tom in the cage breast-up, drop him in, crank it up to high and ignite. I inserted an oven-safe meat thermometer (calibrated, of course) in the thickest part of the breast for quick and easy monitoring throughout the cook.

Big Easy Turkey

I then let Tom bask in the infrared glow of the Big Easy for 2 1/2 hours when the thermometer read just under 170º.

Big Easy Turkey

Because the bird cooks breast-up, and the cooker is hotter at the bottom (where the burner is), you don't have to worry about the dark meat taking longer than the white. It all just magically gets done at the same time. See, I told you it's easy.

Big Easy Turkey

All that's left to do is remove Tom from his cage and let him rest for about 20 minutes.

Big Easy Turkey

As you can see, the skin comes out crisp and crunchy just like a fried bird, and the meat is moist and delicious.

If you are looking for a nearly foolproof way to cook your holiday turkey, I recommend that you seriously consider this cooker.

Obligatory Disclaimer: This is not a paid endorsement. It's just my honest assessment.

Additional posts about this cooker:
First Look
First Cook
The Verdict


Blogger Unknown said...
That's a fine lookin' bird, amigo! I want some!
Anonymous Medifast said...
We purchased one of those turkey roaster things with the oil and hated it, a lot of money wasted and have tried to use and like, yeah nope.
Will look into your find, thanks so much, very nice looking Tom.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
i have one and i love it! i brine my turkeys as well and it comes out perfect everytime!
Blogger Ty'sMommy said...
That bird looks amazing! I'm going to have to look into one of those gizmos!
Blogger Unknown said...
Thanks. Use the promo code SZTBEPRO when you order here and receive 20% off.
Blogger Unknown said...
I'm told by the folks at Char-Broil that there is a new offer code for the discount, and that they now offer free shipping for orders of $100 or more.

Offer Code: SZCB1

NOTE: After you enter the code in the box on the order page, make sure to click "Apply" (next to it). If the price doesn't reflect the discount and free shipping (orders over $100 only) make sure you double-check the code having been properly applied. If you have problems, don't hesitate to contact customer service.
Anonymous Ken Baker said...
John, I have one of these and I cook all kinds of things on it. I am looking forward to my first brined turkey on it this year! I have cooked a turkey on it before but it was not brined.
Blogger Don's Diner said...
I got The Big Easy from the web site using the discount code. I love the cooker the only problem I had was with the thermometer be sure to calibrate using the nut on the back.Mine still was way off ended up throwing it away and used my digital. Also use the discount and order extra shelves you will need them. Ordering with the cooker and get the FREE shipping.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Does the sugar in the Brine not burn when cooking like this?
Last time I used a Brine with Sugar in the easy it caramelized and the Skin turned black.
Blogger Unknown said...
Anonymous - I've not had a problem with charred skin when brining. The sugar is absorbed and you should rinse brined meats before you cook them, so there would be a very negligible amount of sugar left on the skin.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Did you cook with lid open or closed? Also where did you set the temp? (Hi or Lo) I've searched all over the internet and those 2 crucial elements seem to be left out of every recipe I've found. Please help! I just ordered a SRG and plan on a 20lb Turkey for its maiden voyage on Thanksgiving day.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Can anyone answer anonymous'es question (11/21/13 7:73 PM)? I always wonder the same thing. I just use mine at 75%.
Blogger Unknown said...
Anonymous - I'm sorry, but I don't remember. It was years ago.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Cook on high temp setting with the lid off. Then at the last 30 minutes put the lid back on to promote browning if needed.
Blogger Unknown said...
We cooked our first turkey in the Big Easy and it was PERFECT! The whole family commented on how it was the best turkey they've ever had. We've deep fried the past 10 years or so. No mess, no oil expense, lovely drippings for spectacular gravy with this cooker. This was a great investment. Nhave also cooked whole chickens, pork loin and chicken wings...all have been super!
Blogger Joanne Keeping said...
We got one for Christmas last year and we hardly use our BBQ anymore we love it baked potatoes without foil are the best we have ever had hands down jerk chicken that would make a Jamaican swear he was back home
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I thought sugar was not recommended for the big easy I saw that you use it in the brine?
Blogger Unknown said...
Anonymous - The draining and patting dry pretty much removes any surface sugar.
Blogger Unknown said...
is a 20 lb tom too big?

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