WFT (Wood-Fired Turkey)
Yeah, I baked bread for T-G (baguettes and epi), but there's plenty of bread pics on here. So here's a few pics of another use for the WFO: T-G turkey.
We had planned on a small-ish bird this year, but My Lovely Assistant got to the store a bit too late and all they had left was jumbos. We got a 21 lb. bird.
Made our traditional stuffing (with cornbread, regular bread, mushrooms, carmelized onions, celery, apples, dried cranberries, water chestnuts, hot sausage, peppers, eggs, stock, etc.) and prepped the bird by rubbing herb butter under the skin. But it was really tough for some reason to separate the skin on this bird. Hmmm. W'sup with that?
I had pre-heated the oven on Wed nite, baking sweets and 5 lbs of multi-color fingerlings. (Interesting factoid: I had baked bread on Sunday and the oven was at about 100 deg. surface temps on Wed. nite.) Thursday at 8:30 a.m., I fired it up again and got down to coals by 10:00. Let it soak for about 45 minutes and raked the remaining coals off to one side. I use a piece of angle iron to hold them and keep the fire banked.
Here's the coals:
I loaded the turkey into a roasting pan and into the oven and tossed a handful of sawdust on the coals every 10 minutes for about an hour. The oven was still pretty hot at this point (600+ deg. surface temps.) so I kept the bird covered loosely with foil to prevent burning.
Here's what it looks like after an hour of smoking. Note the skin burst -- must have been something about it being so hard to separate. Dunno.
At 21 pounds, I was figuring for 5-1/4 hrs of cooking. So I closed the door and went back to the kitchen for the rest of the meal preparation.
My oven is about as small as you build in a WFO, so it can't retain heat as long/hot as a larger oven, So, by about 4 hours, the oven had fallen to about 300 deg., so I moved it into the kitchen oven for the last hour. Probably could have left it in there, but I wanted to put the bread in to heat. (I had frozen a bunch of loaves that I planned to finish just before dinner.)
So here's the final result. Everybody loved it. Tender, moist and smokey. I'm now relishing the thought of leftovers and turkey stock.