Beer Can Turkey?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by watermelonslim, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. watermelonslim

    watermelonslim Meat Mopper

    Never done a beer can chicken or turkey, but I see a lot of people say the chicken is great. Think I'll try my hand at it for the Thanksgiving turkey.

    When you do this beer can thing, do you punch a hole in the bottom of the can or cut the can in any way? Or do you leave the beer in the can? And do you think one of those beer can chicken stand things would work with a turkey or does it need a special stand? Would you recommend this with Jeff's maple turkey? Mine's already soaking in his maple brine recipe so I'm committed to the maple at this point.
  2. watermelonslim

    watermelonslim Meat Mopper

    Also, do you try to seal the turkey up? In this video:

    He has the legs and wings tied tight to the torso, with the beer can pretty well sealed, and an onion plugging the neck cavity.

    But in this video:

    He leaves the legs and wings loose, and doesn't seal it up.

    Man I hope I don't screw this up. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Usually you would drink half the beer and add 1-2 Tbs of your fav Rub to the can and set the bird on it. It's a bit tricky to get the bird to stay standing, maybe I shouldn't drink that half beer and the 2 others first...[​IMG]. A special rack made for chicken may work for an under 15 pound turkey, if it runs on the large side. I have read of guys having success using the large Foster's Beer can with turkeys. There is no need, I have seen, to seal the cavity up although I think next time I will put the can up the rear and some onions, garlic and fresh herbs in the neck cavity. I am always looking for new tricks...JJ
  4. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    I would use the regular holder and then a 24 oz beer can. I'd also drink the beer and put juice and cider vinegar inside...
  5. watermelonslim

    watermelonslim Meat Mopper

    Cool, I bought a 24 ounce tall boy, and one of these, same exact one:


    My bird is a 12 pounder.

    I think I'll drink half that beer, and then fill the rest of the can with the maple bbq sauce from Jeff's recipe this month.

    How long does it take to cook? My smoker only gets up to around 220 or 230 this time of year. Do these beer can birds cook faster than a regular smoked bird?
  6. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This has worked for me.
    • Brine 24 hours or less (use correct ratios of salt/sugar to water)
    • Air dry overnight uncovered
    • butter under skin and outside of bird (optional)
    • season inside and outside of bird and under skin
    • tie wings close to bird
    • get what Watermelonslim suggests.
    • Drink the whole beer, before cutting, listen to welshraerabbit
    • Cut the top off with a can opener
    • 1/4 fill with some juice of your choice, I like apple add dry white wine or dry vermouth
    • add herbs such as rosemary. bay, parsley and other herbs as they seem to impart most flavor
    • drop the neck inside the can if it fits
    • Cook your Bird catching drippings if possible
    • wrap wing tips in bacon or foil if they start to burn
    • pull bird at your desired temp
    • don't foil, leave it on the counter unwrapped
    • use the juice in the can and drippings to season the gravy (taste first)
    • rest a half hour or so
    • when carving you can remove the fatty skin and pan fry
    Don't sacrifice the meat for the skin you can pan fry the skin like bacon

    Don't plug up the neck cavity, trim the flap around the neck





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