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Grilling: Rotisserie Turkey

Smoked turkeys are so juicy and flavorful, they put oven-roasted birds to shame. Ever since getting a smoker, no turkey has been cooked using any other method in my house. There's one big catch though—the smoke leaves the skin tough and leathery, and although I've known a few people willing to exert the extra effort needed to eat it, for the most part, I consider it inedible.

With the addition of a rotisserie to my arsenal, I could finally fix this conundrum and get an extremely flavorful bird with some self basting rotisserie action, and a delicious skin by avoiding the use of smoke.

After an incredibly successful turkey at last year's Thanksgiving using Alton Brown's recipe (which I know many of you use too) I gave this one the same initial treatment: brined in a mixture of salt, vegetable stock, pepper, allspice, and candied ginger, then stuffed with some aromatics before cooking. It then went onto the spit and slowly turned until the breast meat hit 165°F.

While I was right on with the skin, which turned out undeniably delicious, the meat did not quite live up to my standards set by the smoker. It still beat out the oven-roasted version in terms of juiciness and overall taste, but it lacked that little extra imparted by the smoke which raises a turkey to great new heights, leaving me a new challenge for next year: smoked rotisserie turkey!

Adapted from Alton Brown.

About the author: Joshua Bousel blogs about grilling on his blog, The Meatwave, and appears here on Serious Eats each Friday with a recipe for weekend grilling.

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