Wednesday, May 12, 2010
We decided to test drive the Char-Broil Big Easy today. It's an oil-less turkey fryer but also a smoker and grill that Barry sent out to see what we'd think of it.
I love deep fried turkey, but I don't love the heat, mess, and the cost of all that peanut oil. So, this sounded like a good idea - infrared to cook the turkey with no oil and very little mess. The heat source - the 20 pound gas bottle.
To get smoke, you fill up this little side box with wood chips. My favorite chips or chunks for grill smoke wood are Baxter's which I added to my OpenSky store. I've tried a lot of wood chips, and his are just fresher and packed nicer.
I must say that I never did see much smoke. With the box so far from the heat, there just wasn't much smoking going on. But, the smell of the wood was still there and excellent. I didn't detect it much on the turkey though.
As you can see, you have a chamber here with the Big Easy. I put in the rack and rasied the turkey about to the middle. It can go on the bottom with a second turkey or other meat on top. The unit will hold a lot of food, but we were just cooking for tonight with four eating.
Or you can add the grill grate on top and grill with the lid open like a traditional gas grill.
The recipe booklet was not a big help. It said to use a rub and smoke up to 165 degrees. Hum. That's awfully basic I must say.
I used a little olive oil and rubbed on Chef of the Future Cajun seasoning which is a great product. Don't let the cajun part fool you. This is not a hot seasoning. It is nicely balanced with great flavor. I serve it lots of ways and to all family and friends, so it makes a terrific multi purpose seasoning or rub.
I also added some parsley - more for color than anything. It adds a tad of flavor but mostly just makes dishes look prettier.
Smoke time on low was an hour and 40 minutes and then a rest time (in tin foil) for 15 minutes, so that gives you a ballpark on time. The turkey breast was right at 4 pounds. A full turkey will take quite a bit longer. I'll try to do one of those and get the numbers for that too.
The smoked turkey breast turned out looking real nice, but the proof is in the eating when it comes to grilling or smoking. And, I can say that the turkey breast was very moist and though it did not have a lot of smoke taste, the cajun seasoning took care of that.
I had been wanting to try out Diane's Sweet Heat Holiday Cranbanero Jam, so this was a perfect time. It wasn't a holiday, but we had turkey, so I broke out the jam. These jams are sweet but with some heat. The cranberry is a mild one - just a hint of heat.
Whoa buddy. The smoked grilled turkey with the hot cranberry jelly was fabulous. I like cranberry sauce fine (though others in the family do not), but this is much better than the store cranberry products. It was the perfect topping for our Char-Broil Big Easy turkey. And, I must say that we ate the whole thing and then wished we had done two turkey breasts after all.