Last year I threw this post together for Thanksgiving, and I have been sort of sitting on the idea of doing another one. Hello, freaking enormous turkey day is next week! I have barely gone shopping. I picked up a bird, I have some salad makings, and I have enough charcoal to grill/roast a pig. Which is good, since I’m looking to only roast a turkey or two. I’m ready, right?
Yah, right. Good one. I need carrots, limes, some beer, man… I haven’t even made a menu yet and I’m at the food store in my head. Perusing produce. Trying to decide if we need more meat, or maybe do a seafood instead. I’m not big on traditional menus. I am definitely doing those zomg delicious (and easy!) cheese rolls again. So we need cheese. And fruit. What’s a family feat without fruit? Not a feast, that’s what!
Let’s step away from recipes and menus and things I probably won’t actually get around to making. I want to talk to you about grilling. Growing up in Maryland, we had what, maybe five months of good grilling weather? Not to mention my dad hated grilling. Nope, he still stands by cooking it in the oven and finishing it on the grill. Blasphemy! I’m sort of in Anthony Bourdain’s camp on this one, except instead of garlic, it’s the grill. He once said that if you can’t be bothered to dice your own fresh garlic, then you don’t deserve garlic – I say if you can’t be bothered to babysit your grill, you don’t deserve grilled deliciousness. Living in the ridiculously hot sub-tropical south Florida, I will happily stand outside, rain or shine, tending to some chicken. Or a brisket. Or steaks. Or vegetables. Or salmon. Or all of that, because grill!
I grill pretty exclusively with natural lump charcoal, tumbleweeds, and a chimney starter. No accelerant for me. Two chimneys seem to keep me from having to re-stoke my grill halfway through. Maybe your grill is smaller and one will do, but mine takes two full chimneys to have an even layer of charcoal across the entire thing. I don’t mess with hot zones, medium zones, and cool zones. Just give me a nice, even heat please. Then you can cook anything. My spatchcocked 15 pound turkey will take around 60 minutes, but a nice side of fish will obviously only take e a handful of minutes. Chicken parts seem to take forever, but that is likely because I keep opening the lid to turn them every 15 minutes. Brisket I like to do low and slow. That can take hours. Veggies… well, that’s up to you. I prefer a crisp, barely cookies vegetable. Other people in my home like baby mush. To each their own I guess. Learn your grill! They’re temperamental. Every grill I’ve ever had or cooked on cooks differently.
BTW, Bon Appetite has excellent instructions for spatchcocking any fowl. They tell you how to roast it too, but seriously, grill that sucker. In addition, barbecuebible.com has some excellent grilling tips, tricks, and general knowledge.
If you are dying for a legit Thanksgiving post, I have one over at Punky Moms today about spatchcocking and grilling your bird for Thanksgiving (and every other day). But I guess that one isn’t really 100% about Thanksgiving either ;)