With Thanksgiving Day coming here is a great method for cooking your Turkey Day bird based on the biker classic beer butt chicken. This produces one of the juiciest roasted turkeys you will ever taste. This recipe works best with smaller turkeys in the six to 12 pound range.
Beer Butt Turkey:
What you need: A roasting pan with rack, meat thermometer foil and oven preheated to 350 degrees.
One Turkey approximately 10 pounds
One 24 ounce can of beer (Foster’s and Heineken work well)
Poultry or complete seasoning
Salt and Pepper
Remove the giblets from a fully thawed young turkey. Rinse the cavity of the bird removing any excess fat and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the bird inside and out with pepper and seasoning blend. Bahia complete seasoning is a good blend for the rub. It has salt in the blend so I do not add salt to the rub, just a little more fresh ground pepper. If the blend you use does not have salt added rub the bird with Kosher salt and the herb blend.
Pour out half the beer into a frosted mug for the chef and insert the beer can tab side up into the bird’s cavity. This allows the bird to roast horizontally without the beer spilling. With a toothpick, cover the turkey’s neck opening with skin and pin in place to hold the steam in the bird. Cooking time varies but 15 to 20 minutes per pound is average in my oven. Cover the bird with a foil tent for the first half of the cooking time. Removing the foil for the second half of the cooking time produces a fantastic dark brown crispy skin. When the bird has roasted for about 12 to 15 minutes per pound insert the meat thermometer into the inside of the thigh without being in contact with the bone to get an accurate temperature.
Remove the turkey from the oven when the internal temperature is 162 to 165 degrees and let rest for 15 minutes minimum with the beer can in place before carving. Note: The temperature of the bird will rise a few degrees as it rests so don’t freak at the slightly lower temperature. If you over-cook to the 170 plus degree range the moisture drops. No one likes a dry turkey so don’t do that!
Common mistakes are not starting with a fully thawed bird, over-cooking and leaving the giblets (neck, liver etc.) in the cavity. Thawing time varies. Let the frozen bird sit in the refrigerator for 18 to 36 hours and then let it sit out of the refrigerator for about an hour before removing the giblets. If the giblets are thawed the bird is thawed. If your refrigerator is set very low it may take a little longer to thaw. Don’t try any thing silly like warm water or microwaving to speed the process. Just make a few more snacks and have a later dinner. It is perfectly legal to thaw and rub the bird the day before cooking and return to the refrigerator until you are ready to start cooking if you are worried.