There is no holiday food more traditional than a turkey. Change things up this year and smoke your turkey on a kamado grill. Kamado grills are the most versatile type of grill on the market: they grill, smoke, sear, roast, and bake. Smoking your holiday turkey on a kamado grill is a sure way to impress your guests and provide a delicious main course for the crowd.
What is a Kamado Grill?
Kamado grills are excellent at smoking because they’re crafted using premium ceramic that locks in smoke inside the grill. The smoke produced by the lit charcoal and wood chips then infuses the food with rich, juicy and smoky flavor – sure to be your tastiest holiday turkey yet!
When it comes to kamado grills, most people are only familiar with Big Green Egg. While they are an extremely popular brand of kamado grill, there are other premium kamado brands that take kamado cooking to the next level with quality construction and excellent features. Kamado Joe is a well-known brand in the world of kamado grilling. A key to kamado cooking is to grill on different levels, allowing certain food to receive a much more direct flame than others.
Kamado Joe has made this simple for grillers with their Divide & Conquer cooking system, providing multi-level split grates in order to allow for easy direct & indirect cooking. The Kamado Joe grills themselves are extremely impressive with their large cooking area and impressive construction. They’re available in a variety of sizes and configurations, including freestanding and standalone. Their biggest version of the grill is known as the Big Joe, their mid-size is simply known as Kamado Joe Classic, and their smallest is the Kamado Joe Jr.
Primo Grills are another brand of kamado grills that are exceptionally crafted and worth exploring. Primo Grills are celebrated for their craftsmanship as the quality of ceramic used is second to none. Primo Grills use quality ceramic to build their grills and the thick ceramic of a Primo grill guarantees the juicy flavor to be locked into food.
Another distinguishing feature of the Primo grill is the unique oval construction, which can accommodate larger items like ribs, turkeys, and whole chickens. While it may not look much different when compared to Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg, the oval shape increases your useful cooking space by a large amount. Primo grills are proudly made in the USA and are available in a variety of sizes. The majority of Primo grills come in their famous oval shape, but they are available in smaller round configurations as well.
Check out the recipe below and take this year’s holiday turkey to the next level by smoking it on a kamado grill.
Dry Rub ingredients:
- ½ cup salt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. black pepper
- 1 tbsp. garlic salt
- 1 tbsp. onion salt
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp. chilli powder
Mix all of the dry rub ingredients together and store the mix until ready for use.
- Whole turkey (12-16 lbs)
- 1 carrot
- 1 onion cut in two halves
- 1 handful of celery tops
- ½ bottle of dry white wine
Slide your hand gently between the breast and the skin of the turkey to separate the skin, being careful to not tear the skin. Apply a gentle sprinkling of the rub under the skin and all over the exterior of the turkey, to ensure that you’re getting flavor into both the breast meat and the crispy skin.
After applying the dry rub, load the turkey onto the rack, place a drip tray underneath. Within the drip tray, you’ll have the white wine, carrot, onion halves and celery tops.
Set your kamado up for indirect cooking by either placing a heat deflector stones between the fire and the cooking grates or taking advantage of a higher cooking grate if you have a kamado grill that’s already set up for indirect cooking. Don’t forget to make sure your wood chips and charcoal are ready to go before putting in your heat deflector plates, if using them.
Stabilize the cooking temperature at 170°C or 350°F and smoke your turkey over the maple wood chips for approximately 12 minutes per pound. Use a temperature probe to check the temperature of the bird in both the breast and the thigh, you need a reading of 75°C or 165°F.
After this, make sure to let your turkey rest for a couple of hours before carving so that it continues to absorb the flavors and juices. You can use the white wine and vegetables from the drip tray as a gravy if you’d like.
Carve, serve & enjoy your kamado-cooked smoked turkey!