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underthehood

almost ruined dead buzzard day dinner

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So for the first time ever I was selected to host dead buzzard day. Now let me give a little background. 1. I don't much care for turkey and once a year is once too many. 2. Last time I cooked one was about 15 years ago perhaps and I FRIED that one. So now I have set the background.
So I offered to my family to cook a prime rib, roast lamb, almost anything. Nope had to be dead buzzard and oh the request was out there for me to somehow satisfy everyone's taste for dark meat over white. So rather than 1 large bird I chose two "smaller" ones of just under 9 lbs each. I also wanted to cook them in the grill(s) so I decided to turn to my "fleet flagships" my Wolf gigantor and my Summit 450. The Wolf would do Infrared rotisserie duties and the Summit a conventional roast/smoke.
Now the trick here was going to be timing. I wanted both done at the same time and with enough time to let them rest for minimum 30 minutes. Things were going along very well. A mix of hickory and pecan wood in each grill producing aromatics. I should also mention I concocted a wonderful brine of kosher salt, real maple syrup, lemon, bay leaf, thyme, pepper corns and sugar. BTW thank HEAVENS I decided to brine them for 2 days (reason to come).
So at 12:30 both birds went on the respective grills. Smells on my deck were WONDERFUL. about an hour in I decided to temp the birds. Now came my first "oh s&*t" moment. I forgot to turn off/down the IR burner I had a nearly done bird looking wonderful at about 145F. Went to the Summit. Another beautiful bird but only at 115F. ARRRGH!
So I took the catch pan out from the Summit bird (allowing more heat to get to it) and went WAY down on the outside burners on the Wolf and off with the IR. Short while later another "oh s&*t". Now the Summit bird was passing the Wolf. So back on with the IR (but lower) and cranked the outside burners up and tuned down the Summit burners. Of course the Summit continued to shoot up and in the blink of an eye shot up to 180! Luckily I caught the Wolf bird as it was shooting past 170. Pulled both and carved. Somehow both were tasty (still pretty juicy) had wonderful smoke rings (and yes for you purists who say gas grills cannot do this news flash they CAN). I can only attribute my salvation to VERY high quality birds from Mary's Turkey Farm in California, the long luxurious bath the birds took prior to cooking, my skill as a cook, and my ultimate faith in the Lord :D
Of course I had made giblet gravy (again a first time since I never eat buzzard) and to my surprise the gravy was outstanding.
After reading my little novella I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving

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Hood,

Did not respond earlier because I successfully avoided turkey on Thanksgiving and had my fingers crossed to double dip (read avoid) at XMAS.

 

No such luck. As XMAS approached the invite list was getting large and wife and daughter wore me down. I too hate turkey with a passion.

 

So it was settled turkey would be added to the already planned menu of ham (oven), brisket (BGE). What to do with the turkey? Daughter pipes up remember when you did the turkey on the roots with oranges and sage. Unfortunately I did so broke out my old copy of Weber Grill out Times and located the receipe. Then decided to throw her a curve ball. Decided to do it on the Holland. As I have said in the past Holland's do the best job with fowl than anything I have in the herd.

 

Prepped the bird set it in a roasting rack (Holland's have no rotis) and commenced to cooking this 15lb turkey. Daughter was a bit miffed I was not doing it on the Genesis.

 

Once done have to admit the turkey looked fantastic with crisp skin and moist meat. Got plenty of compliments on it.

 

A take away is I have used this Weber receipe 3x twice on the Genesis and now once on the Holland. Its a keeper.

 

Quick search with Google for Webers rotis turkey with sage, oranges and cloves and the recipe can be found if interested.

 

I avoided the turkey but put a "hurtin" on the brisket and ham.

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Yeah it's not that I "hate" turkey with a passion it's just so......................I don't know not special. Sounds like a good recipe though. I think if I had only done one buzzard rather than 2 on 2 different grills with 2 different methods it would have been better. If I ever do this again I will either do the 2 birds on one grill in conventional manner. Thankfully my Wolf is so huge I could do that or one slightly larger bird using one method only. The good thing was I had flavor on these birds spot on. I just over cooked them slightly. My goal had been to remove them at 160 but because I was working so hard on other things and trying to time them to come off the same time I ended up pulling one at 180 and the other at 185. The brine saved my a$$ though. LOL

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