[Editor’s Note: Here is a shortened version that is just the recipe. ]

13 Pound Turkey (69 Cents a Pound at Bilo)

Paired with Willm Gewurztraminer, Brandborg Gewurztraminer, or Il Papavero Dry White (eventually)*


Dan the Cheap Bastard holds a 13 pound work of grilling art
Dan the Cheap Bastard holds a 13 pound work of grilling art


Scared of burning the house down with a deep fried turkey? Have the scars on your hands gone away from the last attempt? Well here’s a new “cool” way of cooking this year’s bird. It’s Beer Butt Turkey time. Well just off the bat we’re in trouble without clarifying a few things. To purists this isn’t beer butt turkey (okay, you newbies, “Beer Butt Chicken,” “Beer Can Chicken” or “Drunken Chicken” to our Baptist Brethren– is where to take a can of beer and stick up a chicken’s hind end, half way filled with beer, and put on a grill for an hour or so. The steam from the beer helps cook the bird from inside out and keep it moist (doesn’t hurt that you slap bacon all around the outside either).
Why the diatribe on clarification issues? We use a huge beer can but filled up half way with white wine. So, it’s really Beer Can White Wine Butt Turkey. Nah….. too long. It’s Beer Butt Turkey. If you don’t agree, tough luck. It’s my recipe… or at least my variation since there are other recipes out there but after the turkey we just made I think this is a pretty damn good one. I’ve ruined enough Thanksgivings getting it right to be able to boast about it.


This is really two recipes in one. There is a movement from younger members from within the Turkey Preparation Community (TPC) to soak a turkey in a brine solution for several hours before baking, frying, nuking or beer butting your turkey. It supposedly makes the bird cook faster, keeps it moist and improves the flavor by infusing all sorts of flavors into the skin and meat. So, this is a recipe for the brine which can be used for other cooking methods mentioned in addition to the bird recipe. Now older members of the TPC think this brining is heresy and anyone drifting from the time-tested manner of calling the Butter Ball Hotline should be banished and burn in the fires of Hell. I’ll take that risk.

The second recipe is for the turkey itself which can be prepped with or without the brine solution. Just know that the non-brine method might take a bit longer on the grill.

One advantage of brining is that the bird, after soaking at fridge temperature, is more evenly thawed throughout the bird. Many times big birds are thawed in the fridge but the centers never really get good and thawed. There’s still some pockets of ice. That’s why you wind up with nicely cooked breasts and legs but the thigh joints are still bloody red. More on that later.

Now for full disclosure and Safety Sam lecture.

1. If you are grilling challenged then I suggest you let Cousin Leon do this (Grill Challenged being someone who singes his eyebrows every time he lights the grill or drops half the food on the ground when taking it off).

2. If you spent a fortune on a charcoal grill and swore never to light a match to a propane flame… you are on your own. This calls for the lid to come down and stay down until the bird is done. If you have to constantly open the top to add charcoal in a 2-3 hour period then you’ll be having issues that even your momma can’t help you with.

3. Turkeys are loaded with water. That’s how the turkey growers and processors make their money. They fatten them up with fancy mash and load the meat with water. More weight, more you can charge. That water and fat has to go somewhere. If you follow the Beer Butt purist method of having the can sit directly on the grill to “better transfer the heat” then better don’t do it on the deck or the balcony on your apartment. The escaping liquid will fill up the beer can and overflow. Most grills have a small drip pan. This will overwhelm the pan and stain the deck. But on the other hand your dog will have hours of fun licking that spot. That’s the good scenario. The bad scenario is where the fat causes a flash fire and while you’re watching the ball game your bird is going up in flames.

4. Don’t use a real oil can. That’s just not right. When we say “Oil Can” we mean use a Foster’s Beer Oil Can, the really huge one. A Heineken can will work but because of its keg shape the hump in the middle makes it a challenge to get out. Kinda like a pulling a tight tank top over Dolly Parton. Well I guess its really the reverse but you get the idea.

5. Don’t drink the discarded Fosters until after you get the bird on the grill. Safety First.

6. Make sure your grill has enough height to take a turkey standing up. The bigger the bird, more likely it won’t fit. Also, it works better if you have 3 burners, with one in the center, so you can control the heat under the beer can. If the burner goes across the grill rather than from front to back, you are on your own. Most grills have a sloped front. The bird will have to fit under the top part which means the bird will have to be pushed back. Any of those little warming racks will have to be removed to make room. Do that before you fire it up. Nothing like juggling a huge turkey will trying to remove a red hot rack.



Make sure the pot fits!
Make sure the pot fits!


7. Make sure you have a spot in the fridge that can take a large bucket or pot with a turkey in it (for the brining process). Make sure the shelves can handle the weight and actually fits. Now, you’ve got to find somewhere to put those year old pickles and the milk that it displaces. But look on the bright side. Take that nasty old cranberry souffle that Aunt Snookems made and leave it out and apologize that you forgot and it was ruined (but the dinner was saved). If it’s cold outside (because you live north of the Mason Jar Line or are not affected by Global Warming yet) –around 34 degrees- you could put it out outside. Just make sure it doesn’t heat up during the day, freezes if the temp drops or the dog discovers an early Christmas present.

8. Be ready to punt if you try cooking a 16 pounder and it just won’t fit in the fridge or the grill. Make sure you have an oven nearby. Or lay that puppy over and invent your own recipe. Then send me an email telling me how you either saved Thanksgiving or ruined it. I need to be inspired or get a good laugh.

9. This recipe calls for bacon to be draped all over the outer part of the bird. If you are 3 french fries away from a heart attack I recommend that you don’t do the “Man Thing” and eat the cripsy bacon that sits on nice fat turkey skin. Add the rub mix to this bacon and the skin and that is some damn good nibbling. Father I have sinned. I have eaten it and it’s damn good and I promise I won’t do it again (at least until next time).

10. Don’t tell your mother or your mother-in-law about brining a turkey. This is too much of a deviation of the standard rules of the TPC. This is especially true if your mother or mother-in-law is over 70. Do the math. They have prepared at least 90 turkeys since turning 25 and married your father/father-in-law– if you take into account two birds, Thanksgiving and Christmas, each year for 45 years. Face it dad never lifted a finger other than to carve the beast that mom spent hours preparing. Having prepped 90 birds puts them in good standing with the TPC and believe that their opinions are beyond question. Such deviance (brining) will be regarded by them as unsafe and threatens the world order and causes a rift in the space-time continuum. The thought of a turkey sitting in liquid for hours is a sacrilege and will cause them to hover over the entire process and predict doom and gloom. (This has happened to me). Now being a new-age kind of dude, I’m willing to step up to the plate and accept the responsibility of being both the hunter-gatherer and the cook-preparer.

11. Those long-sleeve heavy-duty neoprene gloves that you bought for deep frying a turkey will come in handy. Didn’t buy any? That will explain the scars on your hands. You will need them. These are thick dark plastic gloves that are used to handle nasty chemicals. You can find them at the hardware store. They aren’t designed to be placed over open flame. They have just enough insulation that you can retrieve the aluminum pans from the grill and lift a hot turkey from its beer can throne.

Cooking turkeys at Thanksgiving and Christmas is like getting married. Someone wants it to be perfect, cries when it isn’t, but laughs about it later (much later). I digress.


The fruit, veggie and herb ingredients for brining
The fruit, veggie and herb ingredients for brining


Let’s start with the brine solution ingredients.

1 cup table salt
1 gallon water
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup fresh rosemary leaves (use dried if you are a weenie but cut back since dried take less room than a cup of fresh)
1/2 cup fresh thyme leaves (once again the weenie rule applies)
2 apples sliced
2 oranges quartered
2 cans of chicken broth (small or large but the larger the can the more sodium/salt you will be adding. If you use large you will have less room for ice)
1/4 cup of fresh basil (same weenie rule)
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
handful of those little peeled baby carrots (or 1 carrot, peeled & cut into 1-inch chunks)
1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch chunks
1stick unsalted butter (you can used salted butter just back off on the table salt mentioned above).


Sugar, salt, butter, broth and butter
Sugar, salt, butter, broth and butter


Toss everything listed into a large pot. The best method for me is to use that deep fry turkey pot that caused me so much grief several Thanksgiving’s ago. If you got it, put in that inner basket full of holes that’s real handy when cooking shrimp. Put everything in that basket. Bring it to a boil to make sure everything is blended. (i.e melt the butter and dissolve the sugar and the salt). Cut the heat and add ice to cool. Wait, don’t put in the ice yet. Keep the level as low as possible because you will have to adjust the level in the pot/bucket with more icy water after you put in the bird. If you put in too much ice or water you might overflow. I found putting the pot in a sink full of cold water, draining and refilling it as that water heats up the most efficient. Then drop in the ice. After you put in ice and it doesn’t immediately melt you are ready for the bird. I highly recommend you let the cold water in the sink do most of the cooling and save the ice for last.


Bring it to a boil! Gets the veggies cooking to spread all that flavor around
Bring it to a boil! Gets the veggies cooking to spread all that flavor around

Now, here’s where keeping the water level low is important. If you don’t have a large turkey pot like I have been blessed with you can use a plastic bucket. (which Mrs. Dan did last Thanksgiving and incurred the evil eye of my Mother, who is an Old Order member of the TPC and has at least 120 birds under her belt). Place a plastic trash bag in a bucket and put the turkey in. Pour in the ice cold brine. Fill it up to cover as much of the bird as possible, if not completely. Remember that you have to let its inter-cavity fill with brine. Expect to make a mess if you simply plop it in. Then move it to the refrigerator for 6-8 hours.

The Pros and Cons for using a bucket:

The Pros: a bucket is probably handy and doesn’t require an outlay of money. (Hey, I’m cheap)

The Cons: You probably used this bucket to hold the sponge and Lysol that was used to clean the toilet. Alas, the need for the plastic bag, so you should be okay. But don’t tell anyone who is female of nature since this would disgust them. Since the bucket is probably not much bigger than a 10 pounder you might not be able to fully cover the bird with the brine mixture or you will wish you had added less ice to cool it off way back when and you have brine to spare. A sin and a waste. Plus after you pour off the brine, you got this huge trash bag filled with a wet bird. A bucket is okay, in my humble opinion, if you have a 8-pound bird.

If you use the big turkey pot then you should have oodles of room.

The Pros and Cons of the Turkey pot:

The Pros: when you finish you simply lift the basket out of the brine and let it drain. Pull bird out and toss all that veggie stuff.

The Cons: most of those pots are pretty tall and might have trouble fitting in the fridge. I used a small dorm room fridge. I had to move out my beer which is a downside. I removed the bottom drawer and put large bricks in the bottom so that it could sit level on the back ledge and on the bricks and sit in peace for 6-8 hours. Wait a minute. If the bricks were the same level as the glass top and the bottom drawer I removed, why did I need bricks. Duh…… Okay, here’s my story. The glass shelf might have cracked if I put all that weight of a 13-pound bird and 2 gallons of brine on top of it. Yeah, that’s it. I guess I avoided a disaster. I deserve a beer. If you put it in the regular fridge then you can displace Aunt Snookems cranberry souffle as mentioned earlier.

Back to the recipe.

Now, if you add more water to bring up the level, make sure you add the water to the side, not into the bird’s cavity. That brings up another point. Remove the gizzard and all that other stuff hidden in the bird before you plop it in. Also, most birds have a metal wire that binds the legs together. Pop the legs out of that wire but don’t detach the wire yet. You can use it to lift the bird later. But you need to let the legs spread out so the brine gets in the nooks and crannies. If the bird is icy inside you might want to stir the liquid every now and then to make sure it gets thawed. That brings up another point. The bird should be thawed but not brought to room temperature. Remember food safety. Don’t let the outside get too warm while trying to thaw the center. If you find the center icy when you pull out the gizzard/neck stuff you might consider putting it back in the fridge to slowly thaw some more.


Bring the water level up to cover the bird. Use icy cold water
Bring the water level up to cover the bird. Use icy cold water

If you are using the fancy basket in a turkey pot add icy cold water to cover the bird. If you add warm water you just run the risk of giving everyone food poison. It is better to be able to tell the story “you remember the time when I burned the turkey and we had to order out” than “remember the time I gave everyone food poisoning.”

To make sure the extra water gets mixed in I pulled the basket up and down several times to get the brine solution to flow all through the bird. I also put the little metal support used in deep frying turkeys through the turkey’s middle and used it to go up and down, making sure the internal part of the bird drained each time.

When time’s up remove the turkey from brine, rinse and let dry on a rack in the refrigerator for 8 hours before cooking. Throw out the remaining brine. That rack should have plenty of paper towels under it to keep from spreading the joy of salmonella around the fridge.

Here’s our timeline: we get the bird into the brine around noon the day before we cook it. We let it soak for 8 hours, drain, put it in the fridge overnight and put it on the grill around 11am for a 2:30 pm dinner.

Now for prepping the bird itself.


The stuff for the big bird itself
The stuff for the big bird itself



Gather the following ingredients. This should work for just about any size turkey since it all goes into the same size Oil Can. The smaller the bird, the less fruit you need to cram in. When you can’t cram in any more you stop.

1 Foster’s Oil Can (the really big one)
2 Cups White Wine- we used Black Box Chardonnay
Handful fresh Rosemary
Handful fresh Basil
Handful fresh Thyme
1/2 stick butter
6 strips of thick sliced bacon
Limes or lemons (I like limes)
Dry rub of choice
Super Wide Aluminum Foil
2 throw away turkey size roasting pans
Gas grill with full tank
2 Beer Butt Chicken stands
Digital remote thermometer (optional but you need some kind of thermometer to check the bird’s internal temp).

Combine butter, wine and herbs in a small sauce pan, heat until butter is melted. Don’t boil as this might weaken the wine’s flavor.
Open and pour out the beer. But first study the moral dilemma this presents. You need the can. It’s probably 9 in the morning. You shouldn’t be drinking beer. But dad-gum. This is good beer that hasn’t done anything wrong and doesn’t deserve to be poured down the drain. You can pour it into several pint glasses and put them in the fridge. Be a good Lutheran/Episcopalian and waste nothing. Drink one pint now. But not enough to impair you as you tackle a 10-14 pound bird. After the bird hits the grill you can make time for yourself to drink the remaining brew.


Moral Dilemma at 9am-What to do with the beer
Moral Dilemma at 9am-What to do with the beer


Cut the top off of the beer can. Keep the first aid kit handy should you cut your thumb. (Don’t ask).

Place warm butter, wine and herb combination in the can and place the can in the roaster pan. We did a 13-pound bird and we actually used 2 stacked roasting pans to give added strength. Build up a small aluminum foil base around the bottom of the can. Wrap some aluminum foil around the end of the drumsticks about halfway up the drumstick.

Okay, now comes the hard part and something that you will learn by doing and realize you have to do about 5 of these birds before you get it right. Or listen to Mr. Voice of Experience who has walked a mile in these shoes.

There are several sources of Beer Butt Chicken stands that are simply small circular stainless steel stands that have a round center than can hold a regular beer can. Don’t buy the large Beer Butt Chicken stand that is a large tray with a can holder in the middle. Look at the pictures and you’ll see what I mean. Home Depot sells some that are kinda short and if you use them then put beer cans with the tops cut off in them to give some height. The ones I use are about 8 inches tall and I didn’t have to put a can in them.


Take charge and get that bird on the can but without tipping it and sloshing out the wine mix
Take charge and get that bird on the can but without tipping it and sloshing out the wine mix


Put two of these beer can holders in the pan, just forward of the Oil Can and in the forward corners.
Remember the wire hanger that held the legs close to the turkey that I told you to pop the legs out of? Remove that wire thingy or you won’t get the bird to sit up right. It makes the Parson’s nose form a third leg that upsets everything.

Put the bird down on the can. If you are wrestling with a 10-13 pound bird you need to be careful or you will spill the beer can mix all over everywhere and you’ll have to call Mommy to help. Since she is a member of the TPC she will give you all sorts of hell and make you wish you had eaten at Shoney‘s. As you lower the can have someone guide the two drumsticks into the two Beer Butt can holders. Once down the Oil Can should be flat and the beer butt can holders should be propping up the turkey. Make sure it isn’t leaning in any one direction.

Large turkey’s are very rigid when uncooked. As they cook they loosen up. If you don’t put the legs in something sturdy to brace the bird and you rely on just a beer can stuck up its butt you will hear a “whoosh” sound about 2 hours into the cooking process when the turkey falls over. At that point there’s not a damn thing you can do except hope that a grease fire doesn’t start. If you didn’t use an aluminum roasting pan the burners have probably been doused and ready to fill the area with gas which will explode if you’re puffing on a stogie. The outer part of the turkey will be cooked but the inner parts won’t be because your beer can has now fallen over and unable to provide steam to cook the center. The grease trap on the bottom of your grill will be overwhelmed and a mix of wine, butter and turkey fat will now inch its way across the deck after dripping out of the grill. Sorry but that flashback is still too vivid. I digress.

After getting the bird stable on the beer can and the two leg supports put quartered oranges and limes down the neck of the bird. In reality you are probably just plopping them into the beer car. I argued with Mrs. Dan over this but didn’t win. Once full, stop. Now I added some of the lime wedges into the open skin area that has been pulled away from the breast area. Mrs. Dan said it was a waste of limes but I did it anyway. Pull the loose skins over the opening like a bald man’s comb over so that the neck area full of limes and oranges is sealed.



Place digital thermometer probe in the thigh of the bird just after getting it on the can. We did it after the bacon and rub which was a mistake. You should do this before you put the bird on the can. Once the legs are in the supports it’s hard to tell where the thigh is. The bone in the thigh is the last place to get fully cooked.

Wet the bird with wine or lime juice so it will hold the rub. Rub dry rub all over the bird. We used “The Chef’s Meat Marinade Seasoning” from Alden’s Mill House. They are in Michigan (where Mrs. Dan is from) and they make some great seasonings. Another is McCormick’s Montreal Chicken. Now we got ahead of ourselves and in the photos we are shown putting the rub on after the bacon. Really you should put the rub on first. Place bacon slices in a flower shape across the neck of the bird and secure with toothpicks. The toothpicked attached bacon will hold the neck closed and keep the steam in and also provide a drizzle of grease to keep the skin from drying out.

Tent the entire bird with aluminum foil so there are no openings except for the thermometer cord.

Here’s a challenge. The toothpicks used to hold the bacon will probably stick through the aluminum foil. That’s not so bad. What is bad is that when you go to close the lid on the grill chances are you are going to find you have to push the bird as far back as possible because the slanted top is pushing against the bird. If you have bunches of toothpicks pointing outward they will most likely tear the aluminum foil when they get hit with the grill lid.

When doing cornish game hens for beer butt the temptation is to use toothpicks to make their little wings stand up so they look to be dancing on the grill like a Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer music video. On a turkey you might just be pushing the wings so high that they will come crashing down, damaging the aluminum foil with the toothpicks when the grill lid is lowered. The wings usually get dried out so covering them with aluminum foil might be okay too.

Place the tented bird on a pre-heated grill and cook for a minimum of 3 hours or until the thigh temperature reaches 180. Now that’s the time we used with a 13-pound bird. The rule of thumb is to set temp at around 450 degrees and cook for around 2-1/2 hours for a 8-10 pound bird and three hours for 10-14 pound bird. And once the lid is shut don’t open it until time is up. That’s why a remote digital thermometer comes in handy. The internal temperature is the deciding factor. Our grill’s gauge runs high and I think it’s off by 50 degrees.

I set all three burners to the lowest setting and was reading slightly over 500. The internal thermal thermometer immediately started rising and hit 100 degrees in 5 minutes, and 180 within an hour. That’s not good. We obviously stuck the probe in something other than the thigh. But all was not lost. I monitored the temp and it rose to about 205 at about 1 hour and 10 minutes and stayed there. We were still cooking but not so much that it was over cooking the bird. If the internal temp runs upwards of 230 etc then you are probably overcooking it.

Here’s where proper thawing and not using too high a heat comes into play. If the bird was evenly thawed then the internal part of the bird doesn’t have to play catchup with the outer part of the bird. The liquid from the beer can will start to steam and do it’s part quicker. The thigh is farther away from the steam and the ambient heat so it does best when the heat slowly goes through rather than cooking the hell out of the outer layers to get the internal part hot. After hour 2 I trimmed back the outer burners and turned up the center burner to keep it at 500 degrees and force more steam out of the beer can. (but remember that the temp I’m seeing is off by 50 degrees and was probably closer to 450). If you turn the heat up too high on the outside burners the legs and wings will dry out and get over cooked. Since the legs are the closest to the heat you need that aluminum foil on them to keep them from drying out or burning.

After tossing the bird on the grill sit down, enjoy a nice glass of Chardonnay. You’ve worked hard. But don’t sit down too long because you have a house full of relatives to feed plus they will notice you aren’t really doing anything and the Mrs. will make you peel potatoes.
As hour 3 approaches study the digital thermometer. If you have been reading 450-500 on the grill’s main gauge the whole time and the internal probe has slowly, very slowly, risen to around 160-170 you know you are on the right track. Once the internal temp it hits 180 you should be good to go.

Did I mention the neoprene gloves? Use these gloves to get the bird off the grill and inside.

Once the pans are inside, let the bird cool for about 5 minutes.

Beer Butt Turkey generally has crispy skin on the outside but it’s still moist and juicy where it attaches to the bird. Be careful because the skin can slide off if you aren’t careful. The aluminum foil on the tips of the drumsticks will keep them from drying out and burning. The wings are another matter. They usually dry out and are kinda crispy. If you wrap them in bacon or foil they will less likely be dried out.

This is the hardest part — getting that tube top over Dolly Parton.The can has had 3 hours to adhere to the turkey under high heat. If done right the can will come out easily. The can is now filled to the top with boiling hot liquid so be careful. If you pick the bird up at an angle the can might come flying out and hit you with boiling mush. Using the gloves you can reach underneath and twist the can to break any hold it might have. Don’t tilt the bird too much or you will slosh out the boiling mush. Then grab the bird and slowly lift it straight up. If you are lucky the can will simply stay put and you got a free bird to plop on the plate for serving. If the can doesn’t drop after lifting it about 6 inches stop. The last thing you want is to have that can drop about a foot and cover you with scalding liquid. Have someone help and try and free it. If you can’t get the can to twist and break free, you could pop the bottom of the can with a sharp object and let the liquid drain into the roasting pan. Once empty you can then turn the bird around without worrying about it sloshing out and burning you. Well, you have less to worry about but those limes and oranges are still pretty hot. Heck a screw driver rammed in the can can be used to twist it out.

Let the bird rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.
Discard the roasting pan. I don’t think Al Gore will hold it against you if you toss it. The recyclers won’t take it with all the caked on turkey goo.

So, you’ve done it. You have this nice moist turkey that is ready to carve.

Here’s my dilemma. I bought a 3-liter box of Black Box Chardonnay to both cook the turkey and feed the troops. We gathered together a band of 6 hardy types to see if we can indeed make the perfect beer butt turkey.

I must admit that it was successful. After 5 attempts, all which had their pluses (some no-so-pluses) this was right on the money. Except for the Chardonnay. I spent $20 for it. Yes, it has 3 liters and that would come out to about $5 for a regular bottle but coming up with $20 for wine at any size is hard for this cheap bastard.

So, I offered everyone a Chardonnay to go with their meal. “I don’t drink Chardonnay” said Ms. Angie. “I’m not a wine drinker” said Mrs. Brett. Brett had already started on some dark brews as well as Mark so no on would touch the stuff. Mrs. Dan said “I’ll have red”.

Back in October I attended the wine class held by Dick and Sally Benjamin at Wine World. They served a Gewurztraminer (whose pronunciation I butchered at Tasters Guild last Friday and Dick made me stand in the corner until I pronounced it correctly) and proudly proclaimed “This is the best Thanksgiving wine! This something we look forward to.” I tried it and liked it. Great fruit taste but slightly dry.

I had planned to offer this in addition the Chard but I ran out of time and didn’t get a bottle. I’m glad I didn’t because if I had opened this $17.99 wine and no one offered to try it I would have been mad. I do now have a bottle of Willm Gewurztraminer 2007 purchased from Dick and Sally and will proudly open it next week on Thanksgiving Day.

But back to this box of wine that I’m stuck with. I have been drinking this stuff for the last few days, knowing that drinking Chardonnay after 7pm will just make me sleepy and then I will wake up around 2 am and stare at the ceiling. But dammit I will get my $20 worth. I wonder what Beer Butt Turkey made with a Zin or Cab would taste like.


The parson's nose was so moist and tender it dropped off. Don't know what a parson's nose is? Google it.
The parson’s nose was so moist and tender it dropped off. Don’t know what a parson’s nose is? Google it.


Before I forget: DO AS I SAY- NOT AS I DO LESSON 3: The last Beer Butt Turkey I did was last Christmas. Some of the butter/ wine mixture leaked out and started a grease fire in the first 5 minutes. I tried to follow the rule of “Don’t open the lid until the bird is finished” and hoped it would burn itself out. After 2 minutes it was obvious that the smoke coming out wasn’t just some stuff burning off. The fire was creating a black soot that was compromising the foil tent and would eventually cover the turkey in soot. I had to open it up and splash it with water so the steam would stop the flames. Too late. The skin and outer layers had a burnt taste even though they weren’t burnt. We had to carve deep into the turkey to get good tasting meat. No one wanted the wings or legs because they tasted burned. I sat quietly at the kid’s table and pretended the leg tasted goo. So, stop all flash fires and use the disposable turkey pans. They will help keep flames away from the turkey and hold all those juices that would otherwise leak onto the burners and make a mess or start a grease fire.

Dang. I still have liter of Chardonnay in this box. I wonder if it will keep for the Christmas bird.

Here’s a Gallery of the photos

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