By Karsten’s Ace Hardware

Well the weather is certainly cooling down now and we are all spending more time outside these days. Why not take advantage of the cooler weather and plan your big Turkey Day event around your patio and your grill?

No matter what type of grill you like to cook on, your friends at Karsten’s Ace Hardware are here to help. Cooking on gas, wood or charcoal has never been easier and there are countless recipes out there.

For gas cooking, think Weber. For the best in wood-fired pellet grills, think Traeger Grills. And for the ultimate in chunk charcoal grilling and roasting on a ceramic cooker, there is only one grill to consider – the Big Green Egg.

If you have your grill and your fuel (gas, wood, charcoal), it’s time to pick that favorite recipe. And being that it’s November, many of us are thinking turkey. One of our favorite ways of cooking a turkey is to brine it overnight and then cook it to a golden, crispy perfection with juicy meat.

Here are some tips and tricks for that perfect Thanksgiving Turkey:
1. Start with brining your turkey. If you want guaranteed great flavor, 5280 Culinary Brine Kits are the ticket – and convenient too – just add water and follow the directions.

2. While the turkey brine helps moisten the meat, the skin needs to be nice and dry in order to get that crispy finish.

When you remove the bird from the brine, remember to let the cavity drain well. Rinse the bird and pat it dry. Dry skin = golden skin.
3. Let it rest. If you have the time after letting it brine overnight in the fridge, you can also let it air dry in the fridge one more night. Place the bird on a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack so the bird is elevated and not sitting in liquid, and let it air dry overnight. The skin will air out, while retaining the bird’s internal moisture.

4. Cooking the bird evenly is key. Any of the grills mentioned above are ideal because you can control the temperature and it’s designed to circulate hot air – no need to worry about tying up the wings and thighs!

5. For smoking on a Traeger, Turkey by Rob Cooks suggests putting the turkey on the Traeger at 180 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours, 225 degrees for another hour, and then finish at 325 degrees.

6. Whatever you do, make sure the meat is fully cooked. Due to carryover cooking, we recommend pulling your bird off the grill at 5-10 degrees F below the target finished temperature. As the bird rests, the internal temperature will rise, level out, and then begin to drop as it cools. When it levels out is where you want to hit your target temp. If you were to pull it at 165 degrees F exactly, it could rise as much as ten degrees during the rest resulting in a sad, overcooked bird. For a finished turkey it’s best to aim for 165 degrees F in the breast and 175 in the thigh. Use caution when taking the internal temp to stay away from the bones as this will give you inaccurate reading.