We cooked four turkeys four different ways to find out which outdoor cooking method yielded the best results.
To help their dark meat and white meat cook and finish in unison, I butterflied three of our four test turkeys.
I also removed our turkey's wing tips as they're not particularly appetizing, and tend to burn.
Another step in prepping our turkeys was to coat them a little olive oil and hit them with a heavy dose of an herb rub. The olive oil helps the dry rub stick. The main components of the rub were parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. I also sprinkled them with a light amount of salt.
A charcoal chimney starter was also key to have on hand. I used it to have a supply of lit briquettes ready to go for the Weber Classic grill.
I monitored temperatures inside two of the three grills we used (the Weber and the Big Green Egg) using thermocouple sensors linked to data logging software. For the third, I relied on the included pit and meat sensors the Traeger Timberline 850 comes with.
Once the Big Green Egg hit roasting temperature, in went the turkey.
I also used the ConvEggtor heat deflector accessory on the Big Green Egg.
Once the turkey was in the Traeger Timberline 850, I activated the "super smoke mode" for 30 minutes.
In addition to the charcoal briquettes, I placed a chunk of applewood directly on the coals inside the Weber Classic.
With the Weber Classic ready to go, I added the turkey on the indirect heat side of the grill.
Now that three grills were all set, it was time to get the deep fryer set up.
Don't even think about deep-frying a turkey without the proper safety gear. You'll need heat-resistant gloves, some sort of eye protection and other clothing to insulate against oil splatter.
Hot oil, fuel and fire demand that you have some form of grease-rated fire extinguisher device at the ready.
Our turkey fryer kit came with a hook that attaches to a metal stand. We used it to lower the bird into the frying vat.
We put the turkey headfirst on the stand, then attached the hook.
After the oil reached 350 degrees F, we slowly lowered the turkey into the pot.
We took our time lowering the turkey into the hot oil. Bad things can happen if you go too fast.
We weren't taking any chances, and had our extinguisher ready.
Once in the pot of oil, our turkey stayed there for 50 minutes.
We confirmed the that the turkey's breast had reached 160 degrees F with an instant-read thermometer.
Our fried turkey certainly came out looking golden brown and delicious.
After 3 hours, the turkey in the Traeger was done.
It took 3 hours for the Big Green Egg to finish cooking its turkey as well.
The roasted turkey that came out of the Weber Classic was incredibly good. Its skin was magnificently crisp and crunchy and boasted a smoked barbecue barklike texture.