Thanksgiving Day turkey cooking has come a long way since I was a kid. I still have fond memories of seeing mom cook her turkey in that special oven bag enclosed in the massive roaster we only brought out once a year. Those turkeys still have a place in my heart, but….
That was then and this is now. As a backyard BBQ enthusiast, I have come to find out there are so many ways to add an extra punch to your turkey. You can brine, inject, season, glaze, spritz, and my favorite smoke and fry. Let’s discuss these methods and some of the products out there that are turkey fan favorites.
This method is as easy as adding salt, sugar, and spices to water and placing your turkey in overnight. No need to bore you with the science behind this method, just know that brining will provide you with the juiciest bird you will ever have. While there are thousands of recipes out there, here are some ready to go brine kits to make things simple.
This brine combines a unique blend of spices, brown sugar, salt, and Worcestershire to make sure your turkey is moist, tender, and super flavorful. The Kosmos Q team has received numerous awards on the BBQ competition circuit, so you know it has been tested and you know it’s good.
Here is another contest winner ready to take your turkey to a whole new level. Their top secret recipe has been turned into an easy dissolvable powder. This handmade product uses the highest volatile oil content spices available to insure your next turkey is full of flavor and moisture. Can be used for all other proteins as well.
You have probably seen these folks on social media or YouTube, maybe you have been lucky enough to take their class. They put out some pretty amazing products and this brine is no different. Again imparting their own spice blend will create the end result any turkey lover wants. Combine this solution with a rub of their Holy Voodoo rub and you have a match made in heaven. You can get the whole kit here.
Finally a must have is a vessel large enough to soak your bird for hours. These brining bags work great!
Much like brining this method allows you to place seasonings and flavor directly into the meat. Injecting is also fantastic way to introduce a ton of flavor and moisture into some of the areas prone to drying out during a long cook. Also a preferred method for frying as rubs left on the outside can get lost in that process. Here are a few favorites.
This injection is a tried and true favorite and even comes with an injector! Not just for turkey, this injection will add that Cajun punch to any protein you heart desires. Tony’s can also be used as an amazing marinade for fish and vegetables.
This world championship winning formula was created by the barbecuing legend David Bouska. Can be used in chicken or turkey recipes and will provide instant moisture and intense flavor deep into the meat. Choose from original, chipotle, honey, or rotisserie flavors. Make sure you get these early as they sell out fast!
This method of adding flavor is fantastic, but you really need to have a quality injector to complete the job. This injector provides multiple needles for different consistencies and a brushes for cleaning.
So we have all been there. We have cooked the perfect turkey or chicken and been left with a rubbery mess of skin. Frying a turkey will definitely take care of that problem, but glazing can help as well. Simply increasing the temp at the very end and glazing will help any skin not suffer a rubbery fate.
While there are many different glazes on the market, this one really gets the job done. The name says rib candy, but this versatile glaze is fantastic on turkey, chicken, or pork. You can really use the glaze at any time during the cook without fear of burning. Comes in 10 amazing flavors and is guaranteed to impress your family and friends.
Tried and true rubs are an amazing way to add flavor before and after the cook. Rubs are great when applied under the skin with just a little bit of butter and fantastic as the finishing note after slicing. Just like glazing a rub can add another dimension to the flavor of your skin as well.
This rub packs a punch and adds just the right amount of sweet with a little heat to really send your taste buds into a frenzy. This competition blend is fantastic on all proteins and can really elevate the taste of your vegetables, potatoes, eggs, and even popcorn.
This combines the punch of citrus with real maple sugar along with a little heat from peppercorn to provide a fantastic mild flavor to any turkey. This unique blend is also proven to be a winner with any other protein and vegetable dish. Dizzy Pig’s blend is all natural and contains zero wheat gluten, dairy, MSG, peanuts or tree nuts.
Perfected since the 80’s this tried and true rub comes straight from the pit masters at Rudy’s to your next cook. This rub will not only take a turkey to the next level, but can also be used as a base layer rub on many other cooks like pork and brisket. Pro tip: you can even add some to that holiday morning bloody mary.
Looking for a no salt rub with a ton of flavor? Try Chairman of the Bird Gourmet Turkey Rub.
These flavor enhancers are just a few of the hundreds of options out there. We hope you give these a try for your next cook and elevate your turkey experience.
Bonus smoke and fry recipe: This is easy folks and will be a game changer if time allows. Next time you do a turkey or whole chicken, smoke the bird using a combination of hickory, apple, and cherry. Take the bird to 145-155 degrees internal temp in the thigh area. Once you’ve reached temp, pull the bird and let set just to reabsorb the juices. While that is happening get your turkey fryer up to temp (oil or oil less is fine). Once up to temp take your poultry and drop it in to reach your desired safe temp of 165 in the breast and slightly higher of 170ish in the thigh. The result will be a smoky bird with that coveted crispy skin we all love from the fryer. The juices will also get locked in providing some super tender meat. Enjoy!