So, here’s one of the overdue Thanksgiving posts. This one is about food.

I made my first cheesecake evah and I must say it was yummo! It was the Caramel Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake (sans nuts) snagged from The Pioneer Woman.

Lots of stuff to go into it

Lots of stuff to go into it

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cheescake

Done!

We decided semi-spur of the moment to buy the Big Easy by Charbroil. It’s an infrared turkey fryer. Spur of the moment means we saw it at Costco and deliberated over it forever and decided to not spend the money. Then I went home and read the reviews on it and, bless Will’s heart, he got to make the return trip to Costco to buy it.

The Big Easy

The Big Easy

We bought it on Sunday and since I was making the turkey for our family Thanksgiving, I couldn’t make the t-giving day bird the first one, so we did a trial run that night, which meant Will had to buy another turkey while at Costco. I cooked 35 lbs. of turkey that week.

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Super simple, my friends. I simply salt and peppered ye olde bird inside and out as well as under the skin and coated the skin with olive oil. Poked the thermometer in and set off to cook the bird.

Here’s the skinny on cooking the bird in this bad boy… There are no real cooking times because outdoor temperatures vary, which can affect your cooking time. I had it in my head to cook the 10-12 min. per pound you find everywhere else, which meant my 17.1 lb. bird should have cooked for about three hours. Well, after 2 hours, the thermometer read it was done, but I’ve had salmonella and I was scared so I let it cook for another 20 minutes. Took it out and let it rest for the juices to redistribute. Ummm….not long enough. The breast meat was done and uber juicy, but the dark meat and along the drumsticks not done. Chunked that bird.

Come Thursday, I planned well in advance to cook my new 18.3 lb. bird about 3 hours and 20 minutes. But I couldn’t …. I looked at the thermometer again and kept telling myself it wasn’t done. I knew better than to take it out, but I did it anyway. I knew as soon as I did, I had made a mistake, but it was too late. It was out of the basket and I didn’t tie his legs so I couldn’t get him back in there without messing him up so I threw him upside down in a baking bag and filled his cavity with a can of chicken broth and baked for another hour in the oven.

All in all, I will call it a success. Normally I cook my turkeys in my rotisserie oven, but the original bird I bought was too big for it (only holds up to a 15 lb. bird) and they turn out wonderful so I was really nervous about having to cook my bird the “old fashioned way” for 15 people and it turning out horrible. I’ve already told Will two birds a year does not justify the price we paid for it, so I’m going to try a brisket in it at some point.   There are no pictures of the end result.  Why?  I was so pissy and mad at myself by the time I finished cooking it I wasn’t in the mood.

How does it work? Runs off propane and there is a burner that runs around the bottom of the cooker and it cooks it by infrared heat. The mesh top that goes on it is what browns the top of the bird. I think it was just as good as a fried turkey without all the grease. I’ve tried traditional frying and didn’t have good success. That wasn’t an endeavor I opted to repeat. It took less than the one hour the instructions said it would to put it together and you need to “season” the cooker by spraying with cooking spray or some type of oil and cooking it empty until it stops smoking. There’s a drip tray to catch the drippings and you just dump it when you’re done. By the way, the METAL mesh lid? It gets hot so don’t forget that when you go to grab it. Did ya’ll know hydrocortisone cream with Aloe and vitamin E stops the burn better than Neosporin? Or it could have been the sour cream I shoved my thumb in at first. I’m not sure, but I know it burned and it hurt.

Fabul-O looked mahvelous as did my gorgeous nieces. Those pictures to come at some point.

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