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