20 November 2010

malt-beer-brined turkey with malt glaze

8 to 10 servings
  • prep (grilled turkey): 45 minutes
  • total (grilled turkey): 21 hours (includes brining and grilling time)

  • 2/3 cup barley malt syrup
  • 1/4 cup malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 6 fresh sage sprigs
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
brine, turkey, and aromatics
  • 4 quarts water
  • 2 cups diamond crystal coarse kosher salt or 1 1/2 cups morton coarse kosher salt
  • 3 12-ounce bottles stout beer (such as guinness)
  • 1 1/2 cups barley malt syrup
  • 1 14- to 16-pound turkey
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 peeled onions, quartered
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 unpeeled head of garlic, cut crosswise in half
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (or more) water
special equipment
  • 2 turkey-size oven bags
  • turkey lacing pins
  • charcoal chimney (if grilling)
  • 13x9x2-inch disposable aluminum baking pan (to catch drips; if grilling)
the technique: beer-brined
brining—soaking the bird in salt water—creates juicy turkey. here, stout beer and barley malt syrup add a richness to the brine, which infuses the meat with flavor. and the malt glaze gives the bird a crisp, burnished skin.
  • bring malt syrup, vinegar, herbs, and pepper to boil in small saucepan, stirring occasionally. reduce heat to low and simmer until glaze coats spoon, 4 to 5 minutes. mix in butter. do ahead can be made 1 day ahead. cover; chill. rewarm before using.
brine, turkey, and aromatics
  • pour 4 quarts water into 16-quart nonreactive bowl or pot. add salt; stir to dissolve. mix in beer and malt syrup. insert 1 oven bag into second bag; place in large bowl. rinse turkey inside and out. slide turkey, breast side down, into doubled bag. pour brine into bag. press out any air; seal bags. chill turkey in brine (still in bowl) 16 to 18 hours.
  • remove turkey from brine. pat very dry, inside and out, with paper towels. sprinkle main cavity with 2 teaspoons pepper; fill with onions, celery, sage, thyme, and garlic. close cavity with turkey lacing pins. tuck wing tips under; brush all over with oil.

to grill turkey
  • prepare barbecue (medium heat). remove top grill rack. if using charcoal, light briquettes in chimney. when briquettes are covered with white ash, push to opposite sides of bottom grill rack, leaving center empty. place disposable aluminum pan in center of rack (you will need to light additional briquettes, checking every 30 minutes during grilling time). replace top grill rack. if using 3-burner gas grill, light burners on left and right sides, leaving center burner off. if using 2-burner gas grill, light burner on 1 side; place disposable pan over unlit side.
  • place turkey, breast side up, on grill rack over disposable pan. cover barbecue. insert instant-read thermometer into hole in hood. maintain temperature as close as possible to 350°f on charcoal grill by opening vents to increase temperature and closing vents to reduce temperature or adjusting temperature on gas grill with controls. cook turkey 2 hours, tenting loosely with foil if browning too quickly. brush turkey with glaze. cover grill; cook 30 minutes longer. brush again with glaze. cook until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°f, about 30 minutes longer. transfer turkey to platter. brush with glaze. let rest 30 minutes (temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees).

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