For most people the traditional turkey is oven roasted. This has been the popular method of cooking turkey for a very long time. Unfortunately, for most people it is not the best way of preparing it. In the old days, turkey was roasted over a real fire giving it a smoky flavor that took it to a whole new level. You can give your turkey this same flavor by preparing it on the grill or in a smoker, or you can try frying a turkey for a fast and delicious bird that is really hard to beat.
Regardless of how you cook your turkey the best way to make a moist and tender turkey is to brine it. Brining Turkey is a process where you soak the turkey for up to 24 hours in a salt water brine. This super-hydrates the bird giving you a taster, more tender and juicier turkey. I have several Turkey Brine Recipes for you to try, but how every you cooking, brine it first. You will definitely notice the difference.It is important when Selecting a Turkey that you get a "natural" turkey that hasn't been saturated with additives. Check the back label for the ingredients and don't trust anything written on the front of the packaging.
A smoked turkey is juicer and possesses a far better flavor than an oven roasted turkey. The secret is in the slow cooking. This turkey will be more tender and juicy than you thought possible. What you will need is a good turkey, a trustworthy thermometer, a smoker and a bit of patience, actually a lot of patience. Even a small turkey, say 12-14 pounds can take 6 to 8 hours. But don't be discouraged because the result will be well worth the wait.
Putting a turkey on the grill, whether charcoal or gas can be a challenge, but if you follow a few basic steps you can cook a traditional bird that will cure you from oven roasting forever. There are a couple of things you need to be prepared for. Of course, you will be grilling indirectly, but because of the heat differences from one side of the turkey to another you will also need to rotate the bird while cooking to keep things even. You will also need to maintain a steady temperature in the 300 degrees F. to 350 degrees F. range. If you follow some easy steps you should have a perfect turkey in 2 to 3 hours.
A fried turkey is both juicy and crispy. Plus it has the added advantage of cooking faster than any other method. A smoked turkey can take 30-45 minutes per pound, but a deep fried turkey will cook in about 3-4 minutes per pound. But remember you are using hot oil and a big bird, so precautions are in order. I strongly recommend you take the whole project outside.
Turkey is a very versatile food, so break the traditions and try something a little different the next time you plan on preparing this bird. I have several great recipes that you can try. You will also find recipes for turkey parts so you don't have to cook the whole bird if you don't need that much turkey.