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Everything You Need To Know About Cooking A Prime Rib On Your Traeger Grill

Posted by Susie B. on December 8, 2014

Everything You Need To Know About Cooking A Prime Rib On Your Traeger Grill

Prime Rib is delicious. Prime Rib on your Traeger is mind blowing-ly delicious. It's like delicious times infinity to the square root of outstanding.

It's also expensive.

Really expensive.

Because of the cost, many members of Traeger Nation are hesitant to tackle the prime rib on their grills for fear of ruining the roast and wasting their precious cash. We understand the hold-up (I had a mini panic attack the first time I threw a $75 packer brisket on my grill) so we are here to guide you through the ins and outs, ups and downs of cooking a prime rib on your Traeger. From start to finish, we will answer the most common questions we get about smoking the perfect prime rib.

 

Purchasing your Prime Rib:

 

What is a prime rib? A prime rib is a large cut of beef from the upper rib section of the steer. The roast can typically be purchased in sections of at least 3 and up to 7 ribs. It is pretty high in price because it is favored for the large amount of fat and marbling (flavor) in the meat.

Should I buy a standing rib roast (bone-in) or a rolled rib roast (boneless and tied)? This is personal preference, but we always prefer a standing rib roast (bone-in). We actually like getting the best of both worlds and have our butcher remove the rib bones for us then tie them back on with butcher string. Cooking a prime rib with the bones on the bottom creates an awesome natural roasting rack and the tender rib meat makes for some good eats the day after your party.

What does prime, choice and select mean in terms of beef quality? Is it worth paying more for prime? USDA Prime is the highest quality of beef. Most often served in fancy steak houses, prime beef is hard to find in a common grocery store. We've had success with our private butcher and let me say, it was worth every penny. If you can't bring yourself to shell out the cash for Prime prime rib, your next best bet is USDA Choice. This grade ranges from good to very high quality and is easily found in higher-end grocery stores. This quality is used most often in restaurants. You can maximize your dollar by purchasing the highest quality of choice you can find at the store. Look for bright red meat with no dark spots and plenty of fatty marbling. Also be sure to check the dates on the package or have your butcher counter cut your roast right before you buy it. Finally, there is USDA Select. A grade of acceptable quality commonly found in grocery stores. When a store has its own private label brand, it usually is USDA Select. A Select prime rib will still be tasty, make no mistake, but will likely have less marbling and might be tougher and less melt in your mouth tender.

How big of a prime rib do I need? We recommend approximately 1/2 lb per person, plus maybe a pound or two extra for good measure. Another way we have planned is anticipating feeding 3 or 4 people per rib. A 3 rib roast feeds 8-10, typically. A 7 rib roast feeds 20-22 people.

 

Trimming and Tying:


Do I need to trim my prime rib? We like to leave a nice layer of fat at the top of the roast, but trim any fat that is over an inch thick. Try not to trim any fat down to less than a quarter of an inch thick.

Should I separate the bones from the roast if they are still attached? Always. Separating the ribs and then tying them back on helps the ribs act as a natural roasting rack. Using a sharp knife, simply cut along the top of the bones to separate it from the roast. Use butcher's twine to tie the section of bone back onto the rib roast.

Everything You Need To Know About Cooking A Prime Rib On Your Traeger Grill

Marinating or Injecting:


I've heard of people marinating or injecting their prime rib. Should I? We have heard of people marinating or injecting their prime rib, but we have never found it necessary. Marinades would only penitrate the first few millimeters of the roast anyways. Injecting could get flavor deeper into the rib roast, but with all of the extra holes in your meat you might lose more moisture than you gain from the injection.


Rubs:

What's the best rub for a prime rib? Well we love Traeger's Prime Rib Rub, obviously. This particular rub was specifically designed and tested to enhance the flavor of your prime rib. If you want to keep it more simple, good old kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper gets the job done nicely. One other little recommendation, rub the cut ends of your roast with butter before roasting. It helps form that yummy crusty end piece that your guests will fight over.

Cooking your Prime Rib:


Do I put my prime rib on the grill cold or should I let it come to room temperature? We recommend room temperature as it allows for the most even penetration of heat during the cooking process.

Can I just smoke the prime rib until it's done? You can and that extra smoke flavor is very tasty. Be aware, however, that if you only smoke your roast to done-ness you won't have that crusty crunchy yumminess on the outside of your roast. If that is something you are willing to sacrifice, then smoke on! If you buy your roast boneless, plan roughly 30 minutes per pound at 180 degrees for a rare roast. If it's bone-in, plan 32 minutes per pound. Of course, we like to cook to temperature instead of time so be sure to use an internal thermometer.

How long and at what temperature should I roast my prime rib? We like to sear the outside of our prime rib roasts for about 30 minutes at 450 degrees first to form that delicious exterior crust, then reduce the temperature to 250 degrees allow for slower cooking and extra smoke flavor. Using this method a 10-12 lb roast will sear for 30 minutes then roast at 250 for approximately 2.5 to 3 hours until the internal meat temperature reaches 130 degrees for medium rare. Obviously a smaller roast will take less time, so it is wise to invest in a thermometer and keep an eye on your temperature.

What type of pellets should I use? We are especially fond of cherry and pecan for prime rib, but you can refer to our pellet guide and select your own favorite blend.

Directly on the grill or in a roasting pan? We like to put the prime rib on a roasting rack in a large roasting pan. The juices collected at the bottom of the roasting pan make the best au jus you'll ever have. We serve it right alongside the sliced prime rib as a dipping sauce.

Serving:

How long should I let it rest? At least 20 minutes on a cutting board, 30 minutes if you can wait that long. The resting period is crucial to allow the juices to redistribute in the meat so they don't run everywhere as soon as you slice it. We don't recommend that you tent your meat with foil as this can actually cause a greater rise in temperature resulting in meat that is more done than you might like.

How do I carve and serve my prime rib? Remove the butcher's twine, and carve in thick slices parallel to the ribs from the end of the roast. Serve the ribs separately, but only to your favorite guests. Serve the au jus from the roasting pan as a dipping sauce. Enjoy!

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Traeger's Holiday Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Posted by Susie B. on December 7, 2014

Pork tenderloin is one of the leanest cuts available at your butcher counter. When we hear "lean meats" that usually translates into "less flavor." In an attempt to boost the flavor profile of our beloved pork tenderloin, we covered it in a super zesty marinade and then wrapped in the (not so lean) tasty combination of prosciutto and pancetta. It's a beautiful layering of pork on pork on pork that results in a perfect crunchy and salty shell around the melt-in-your-mouth tenderloin.

This recipe comes from an old Traeger cookbook with a collection of recipes submitted by actual Traeger users. This one comes from Allen Burton in Colorado. Thanks!!


Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

 

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 16-20 minutes
Serves: 4-6 people
Recommended Pellets: Any

INGREDIENTS:
2 pork tenderloins (approx. 1 lb. each)
1/2 lb. thinly sliced prosciutto ham
1/2 lb. sliced bacon or pancetta
Butcher's twine
For the Rub:
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

Trim excess fat and silver skin from tenderloin; set aside. Combine olive oil, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix well.

Coat tenderloins with rub; set aside.

Lay four or five 8-inch pieces of butcher's twine, two incehs apart, horizontally on work surface.

Lay a few slices of bacon or pancetta perpendicular on top of twine.

Lay one slice of prosciutto ham on top of bacon/pancetta.

Place the tenderloin on top of the prosciutto.

Lay one to two more slices of prosciutto ham and then bacon or pancetta on top of pork; bring ends of twine up and over the pork. Tie snug, but not too tight as to squeeze the tenderloin.

Repeat with the second tenderloin.

Start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open for 4-5 minutes to establish the fire. Close the lid and turn the temperature up to High. Allow the grill to preheat for 10-15 minutes. Place the tenderloins directly on the grill grate and roast with the lid closed for 16-18 minutes, turning once until internal temperature reads 145 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the loin.

Traeger's Holiday Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Remove from the grill and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before removing the strings and slicing. Drizzle with extra olive oil and salt and pepper, if desired.

Traeger's Holiday Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

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A Merry Traeger Christmas Gift Guide

Posted by Susie B. on December 6, 2014

Hey there Team Traeger. 'Tis the season of giving and we can't think of anything more gift-worthy than grill gadgets and accessories sure to make your favorite Traeger addict squeal with delight on that magic morning. Below we've put together an awesome gift guide, organized by price and complete with links to make picking and purchasing the perfect present a total breeze. 

 

Under $10

A Merry Traeger Christmas Gift Guide

Sauces and Rubs: Give the gift of flavor this Christmas! Traeger's collection of rubs and sauces are each priced under $10. These would also make great gifts for neighbors and friends this holiday season.

Cookbooks: All eleven of Traeger's awesome cookbooks are under $10 and best part? No shipping costs! These cookbooks are a downloadable PDF that is sent to you upon check-out. Print and bind for an easy gift they can open on Christmas morning, or send the PDF for a gift they can use on their computer all year long.

Accessories: Well made tools make the pitmaster happy. Our basting brush and sauce mop come complete with the Traeger insignia on the handle and will last forever. Plus, basting and mopping is fun and makes food taste good. Everybody wins!


Under $30

A Merry Traeger Christmas Gift Guide

A Merry Traeger Christmas Gift Guide

Tools of the Trade: Our top gift picks under $30 are the presents we'd want to open come Christmas morning. The silicone BBQ mit is perfect for hot jobs around the grill. The pellet caddy keeps pellets fresh and dry. The chicken throne cooks the juiciest chicken you've ever eaten. The meat injector kit is hours of fun and more importantly makes everything taste better.

Also, PELLETS! Always Pellets.

Under $50

A Merry Traeger Christmas Gift Guide

Extra Grill Racks seriously maximize your space in your grill. Make the most of those pellets and grill multiple things at once or completely spare your oven/stove and cook everything for your meal right on your Traeger!

Extra Shelves! From front shelves to bottom shelves, adding storage and work space to your grill expands the usability and versability of your Traeger.

Under $100

Remote Probe Thermometer. Our most recommended item for the inexperienced newbie and seasoned pitmaster. Everybody needs a thermometer, and a thermometer that can remotely alert you of your grill AND food temperature is pretty ridicululously awesome AND useful.

Trick out your Junior! The insulation blanket and stainless kits both come in under $100. A great deal for our best priced grill.

Over $100 (for your favorite people ever!)

Trick out your big grills! Stainless kits and insulation blankets just make great gifts, really.

The ultimate gift for the Traeger connoisseur is the cold smoker attachment. This chamber allows smoke in without raising temperatures. Cold smoked cheese, fish, you name it. Give this gift and be paid in tasty smoked goods for years to come. It's more like a gift for you, really.

A Traeger firepit. Imagine cool nights snuggled around the fire with loved ones roasting mallows and telling stories. Beautiful construction complete with the Traeger insignia visible through the flickering fire. Your Traeger junkie will love it!

 

Whatever gifts you are giving this year, we hope they are received with as much love and joy as we had making them. Happy holidays from all of us here at Team Traeger!

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Traeger's Sweet & Spicy Smoked Salami

Posted by Susie B. on December 5, 2014

The best part of having a Traeger is really being able to expand your culinary horizons into lands less traveled, saving yourself money and increasing the flavor by making things at home. For example, we used to get our cured meats (salami, pastrami, ham, etc.) at the deli counter. We paid their ridiculously high prices and ate our sausages somewhat begrudgingly. Now with our Traeger, we can cure and smoke all of our favorite deli delights to save a few bucks (and they taste better fresh off the smoker too)!

This salami gets it's sweet flavor from a slather of honey on the outside prior to smoking (bonus: it helps the smoke particles cling to the meat) and it's spicy kick from the red pepper flakes and whole peppercorns. Serve it sliced thin with deli mustards, cheeses, and crackers for an amazing appetizer. Everyone will be ridiculously impressed that you made the salami yourself.

A few tips if this is your first attempt at this kind of sausage:

- Have your butcher run the ground sirloin through their finest grind a second time. This will get the texture of the meat to the perfect place. A little more crumb than a hot dog, and a little less than country style sausage.

-Using the Tenderquick salt really isn't an optional step when home curing something like salami. If you leave out the tenderizing salt, the meat won't bind as nicely or turn that lovely reddish-pink color. You'll end up with a somewhat crumbly pink-grey disaster. (We tested both options when cooking this recipe, just trust us and use the curing salt)

-Since the salami requires a long smoke to come up to temperature, we recommend loading up your grill grate with other things that smoke for long periods of time to get the most use out of your pellets. Think jerky, smoking salts, etc.


Sweet & Spicy Smoked Salami

 

Prep Time: 2 days
Cook Time: 6-8 hours
Serves: 18-20 as an appetizer
Recommended Pellets: Maple or Mesquite

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs ground sirloin (85/15)
1 tablespoon Morton Tenderquick curing salt
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons whole mustard seed
1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (adjust according to taste)
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1-2 tablespoons honey

PREPARATION:

In a large glass bowl combine the beef, curing salt, worcestershire, pepper, mustard, red pepper flakes and peppercorns. Use your hands to gently distribute the ingredients through the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 day.

After the meat has cured for 1 day, lay two pieces of long plastic wrap on top of each other on your work surface. Overturn the meat directly into the middle of the plastic wrap. Use your hands to form the meat into a long log shape.

Pull the plastic wrap around one side and smooth out the edges of the log. Use even pressure across the length to work out any bubbles. Pull the plastic wrap tightly around the other side and overlap the edges of the wrap to create a tight seal. Roll the sausage forward and back with both hands. Once you have the sausage fairly uniform in width, tightly twist the ends of the plastic wrap. Return to the refrigerator for 1 day.

When ready to cook, start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open for 4-5 minutes to establish the fire. Unwrap the sausage and drizzle with the honey. Place directly on the grill grate, close the lid and smoke for 6-8 hours or until the internal temperature of the sausage reads 170 degrees F with a meat thermometer.

Sweet & Spicy Smoked Salami

Allow the sausage to cool completely before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

 

Click below for a printable version of this recipe:

Sweet & Spicy Smoked Salami.docx (15.19 kb)

 

 

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Caramelized Bourbon Baked Pears

Posted by Susie B. on December 1, 2014

Caramelized Bourbon Baked Pears

No holiday feast is complete without dessert. Pies are traditional (and delicious) but sometimes you need something a little more "grown-up" for the grown-ups after you give the kids their slice of pumpkin loaded with whipped cream. These baked pears are about as grown up as they get with a rich and sweet bourbon caramel. The light kiss of Traeger's wood smoke takes these pears up to another level of awesome. I like to put these pears on the grill while we eat. They're done just in time for dessert and your Traeger does all the work while you enjoy the fruits of your labor. Pun totally intended.

 

Caramelized Bourbon Baked Pears

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
Serves: 4-6 people
Recommended pellets: Apple, Cherry, Maple, Pecan

INGREDIENTS:
3 D'Anjou pears or another firm variety of pear
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

PREPARATION:

Start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open for 4-5 minutes to establish the fire. Close the lid and turn the temperature setting up to 325 degrees F. Allow the grill to preheat for 10-15 minutes.

Peel and core the pears. Arrange them in a buttered baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, bourbon, butter, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Pour the bourbon mixture over the pears.

Place the baking dish on the grill grate, close the lid and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the pears are fork tender.

Caramelized Bourbon Baked Pears

Transfer to a serving plate and spoon the caramelized bourbon mixture over the pears. It's even better served warm over vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Caramelized Bourbon Baked Pears

Printable recipe:

Caramelized Bourbon Baked Pears.docx (14.25 kb)

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Bacon Wrapped Brown Sugar Green Bean Bundles

Posted by Susie B. on November 16, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Brown Sugar Green Bean Bundles

I feel like the title of this recipe really delivers all of the key points I would normally hit on when writing the beginning of a side dish post.

Bacon: check. Brown Sugar: check. Veggies: check.

So, that pretty much covers it! Whip up these outstanding little bundles for your Thanksgiving feast and pretty much everybody will wonder why on earth they ever ate that nasty casserole. Blanch the green beans, toss in the brown sugar mixture and wrap in bacon the night before Thanksgiving for a side dish that cooks in minutes while your perfect Traeger'ed turkey is resting on the big day. 

 

Bacon Wrapped Brown Sugar Green Bean Bundles

 

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Serves: 8 people
Recommended Pellets: Maple, Apple, Oak, Pecan, Alder

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 lbs green beans. ends trimmed
4 strips bacon, cut in half
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt

PREPARATION: 

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Gently place the green beans in the water, cover with a lid and boil for 8 minutes until tender-crisp. Remove from the water, and thoroughly dry on a paper towel.

In a large bowl combine the butter, brown sugar, garlic and salt. Toss the cooled green beans in the butter and brown sugar mixture.

Bacon Wrapped Brown Sugar Green Bean Bundles

Wrap each bundle of about 8-10 green beans in a piece of the bacon. Secure with a toothpick, if necessary and set aside. Repeat with the remaining bacon and green beans. If cooking the next day, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Bacon Wrapped Brown Sugar Green Bean Bundles

When ready to cook, start the Treager grill on Smoke with the lid open for 4-5 minutes to establish the fire. Close the lid and set the temperature to High. Allow the grill to preheat for 10-15 minutes.

Place the green bean bundles on the grill and cook for 10-15 minutes, turning once, until the bacon is crisp.

Bacon Wrapped Brown Sugar Green Bean Bundles

Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

Printable Recipe:

Bacon Wrapped Brown Sugar Green Bean Bundles.docx (14.09 kb)

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Traeger's Thanksgiving Smoky Spatchcocked Turkey

Posted by Susie B. on November 15, 2014

Traeger's Thanksgiving Smoky Spatchcocked Turkey

Here at Team Traeger, we have cooked enough turkeys over the years to feed every pilgrim on the Mayflower. We were fully convinced that we had done it all. Brine, dry brine, rub, stuff, smoke, roast... you name it. We've cooked it. We thought we knew the very best way to prep that glorious bird and please every palate. Then, one fateful Tuesday we were roasting up this spatchcocked chicken and the thought dawned on us that the method would likely translate well to a turkey as well. Turns out, we weren't the first people to think of it (thanks for the buzz kill, internet) but we were the first to perfect it because we threw that flattened turkey on our Traeger. We all know that wood smoke makes everything more delicious. 

For any of you reading this post and thinking, "why take the extra step to spatcock the turkey?" I give you the three best reasons any cook would want (especially on Thanksgiving.) Flavor, Time, and Space.

First, FLAVOR: A spatchcocked turkey has many advantages when it comes to flavor. Think about a traditionally cooked turkey. The smoky flavor coming from your Traeger circulates around the bird, penetrating it only from the outside while the large surface area inside goes un-smoked. Now imagine a flattened bird on your grill grate. The smoke is touching every available inch of your turkey, adding that extra hint of flavor from the bottom to the top and all around. A flat bird also ups the juiciness factor. How many times have you cooked a turkey and dried out the breast meat while trying to get the thighs up to the perfect temperature? With a spatchcocked turkey, cooking the thighs and breast meat takes the same amount of time because the heat is more evenly distributed throughout the bird.  A flat bird also keeps the juices right where they should be. No juices from the breast running down into the back of the bird. The breast stays nice and juicy and the thighs are perfectly tender.

Second, TIME: A flattened bird cooks in almost half the time of a traditional turkey. There are several methods for cooking a turkey on your Traeger, and they all work well for a spatchcocked turkey. We cooked ours slowly at 225 degrees to up the smoke flavor but you can also roast at 350 degrees and still get great flavor in a lot less time. A 12-14 lb bird will take approximately 2.5-3 hours at 225 degrees but only 1.5-2 hours at 350 degrees. Talk about a time saver on the busiest cooking day of the year! Our general guide is to cook your spatchcocked turkey for 11-12 minutes per pound at 225 degrees or 6-7 minutes per pound at 350 degrees.

Last of all: SPACE: Let's face it, a big bird needs a big space to cook and real estate on our grill grate is at a premium around the holidays. When we spatchcocked our turkey, it took up a little more space across the surface of the grill but opened up the top space in the grill. We used the extra rack in our Texas and were able to put three sides on the top rack to cook along with the turkey and still had enough space on the grill grate to roast several sweet potatoes as sides.

Below you'll find our method for cooking a spatchcocked turkey. It involves a brine, a simple salt and pepper rub, and basting during the slow smoke but you can switch out any of these parts for flavors your family likes. Just follow the guide above for proper cooking time and you'll be all set!

 

Traeger's Thanksgiving Smoky Spatchcocked Turkey

 

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Brine Time 8-16 hours
Cook Time: 2.5 hours
Serves: 12-14 people

INGREDIENTS:
12-14 lb fresh turkey (make sure it hasn't been previously injected with a brine solution)
For the brine:
16 cups cold water
2 cups apple cider
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
For the rub:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
For the basting liquid:
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

PREPARATION:

Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey and discard or set aside for giblet gravy, if desired. Flip the bird breast side down on a large cutting board or baking sheet and remove the backbone completely using heavy duty kitchen shears, an electric knife, or a sharp butcher's knife.

Turn the bird breast side up and spread apart the legs. Press heavily on the breastbone of the turkey until you hear a cracking sound and the turkey flattens out.

Combine all of the ingredients for the brine in a large container and stir until all of the sugar and salt crystals have dissolved. Place the turkey in the brine, cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours (up to 16).

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open for 4-5 minutes to establish the fire. Close the lid and turn the temperature setting up to 225 degrees. Allow the grill to preheat for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the turkey.

Remove the turkey from the brine and dry throroughly with paper towels. Drizzle with olive oil and rub with your hands to cover all of the skin with the oil. Season liberally with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.

Traeger's Thanksgiving Smoky Spatchcocked Turkey

In a small bowl, combine the butter, lemon and sage butter basting liquid. Set aside.

Place the turkey directly on the grill grate, breast side up and close the lid. Roast at 225, basting with the butter mixture every 30 minutes for approximately 2.5 hours or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the breast meat reads 160 degrees F.

Remove the turkey to a large cutting board or serving platter and allow to rest for at least 25-30 minutes before slicing and serving. Do not tent the turkey with foil during the resting period or the skin will get soggy. Drizzle with any of the additional basting liquid before serving, if desired. Enjoy!

Traeger's Thanksgiving Smoky Spatchcocked Turkey

Printable Recipe:

 

Smoky Spatchcocked Turkey.docx (14.83 kb)

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Cajun Brined Maple Smoked Turkey Breast

Posted by Susie B. on November 14, 2014

Cajun Brined Maple Smoked Turkey Breast

There is nothing quite like a smoked turkey. Brine that turkey for a day or two before smoking and you will take your turkey game to an entirely new (and juicy) level. Turkey breasts are easily available year round these days, not just at Thanksgiving, and they make an absolutely delicious main dish. They are easy to prepare and cook, are fairly inexpensive, and can feed a crowd with very little manual labor involved.

This particular brine calls for canning & pickling salt. You can use regular table salt, but cut the amount down to 1/2 cup or your brine will be too salty.

Got a meat slicer? Double the recipe, chill the smoked breast for a day, and then slice thinly for the most amazing smoked turkey sandwiches you'll ever have.

 

Cajun Brined and Smoked Turkey Breast

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus 1-2 days for brining
Cook Time: 1 1/2-2 hours
Serves: 5-6 people
Recommended Pellets: Apple, Cherry, Oak

INGREDIENTS:
1 5-6 lb bone-in turkey breast
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Traeger Cajun Shake
For the Brine:
1 gallon water
3/4 cups canning & pickling salt
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Traeger Cajun Shake

PREPARATION:

In a large food safe container or bucket, combine all of the ingredients for the brine. Cover and allow the turkey to brine in a refrigerated place for 1-2 days.

Remove the turkey breast from the brine and pat dry.

Drizzle with the olive oil and use your hands to cover all areas of the bird.

Season liberally with the Cajun Shake.

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open for 4-5 minutes to establish the fire. Place the turkey breast directly on the grill grate, close the lid, and smoke for 1 1/2-2 hours or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F when a thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the breast.

Cajun Brined Maple Smoked Turkey Breast

Remove the turkey breast from the grill, tent with foil, and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Slice directly off of the breast and serve, or remo the breasts completely by sliding your knife along the breast bone then slicing.

Cajun Brined Maple Smoked Turkey Breast

Cajun Brined Maple Smoked Turkey Breast

Printable recipe:

Cajun Brined and Smoked Turkey Breast.docx (14.50 kb)

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Everything You Need To Know About Cooking A Turkey On Your Traeger Grill

Posted by Susie B. on November 13, 2014

Everything You Need To Know About Cooking A Turkey On The Traeger Grill

Thanksgiving approaches and with that, we here at Team Traeger wanted to bring you the most comprehensive gathering of information available when it comes to turkey and your Traeger. The most important aspects of a killer turkey are flavor and texture. You want a turkey that tastes like turkey layered with subtle flavors and a kiss of Traeger's signature smoke. For texture, you want meat that is melt in your mouth juicy without turning to mush or taking an hour to chew. We can walk you through the entire process from brining to basting to get you the turkey you will dream of until next Thanskgiving (or next week). Read on to get the answers to the most common turkey-related questions we get every year.

 

Picking your Turkey:

 

How big of a turkey do I need? Typically we plan 1 lb of turkey per person. Yes, there will be leftovers but that never makes us sad.

Should I buy a kosher turkey or not? Kosher turkeys are injected with a salt solution to make them more flavorful and juicy. If you purchase a kosher turkey, you do not need to do an additional brine as this will make your turkey too salty and can adversely affect the texture. We recommend purchasing a turkey that hasn't been injected with anything so you can add your own flavor with a brine. If you have a kosher turkey and still wish to brine it, soak the turkey in cold water overnight to draw out some of the salt and then brine. In addition to being pre-salted, kosher turkeys are raised on a vegetarian diet and are hormone and anti-biotic free.

 

Thawing:

 

What's the best way to thaw my turkey?  There are two safe ways to thaw a turkey The  easiest way is to put a roasting pan under it and thaw in the refrigerator. Allow about 1 day for every 4 pounds. In other words, a 20-pounder will take 5 days. The second way to safely defrost a turkey is to make sure there are no tears in the wrapping, then submerge it in a sink, food-safe pail, or large basin filled with cold water (40 degrees F or less). It’s a good idea to put the turkey in a large resealable plastic bag so water and turkey juices don’t mingle. Allow about 45 minutes per pound. Be sure to drain and change the water every 30 minutes.

 

Brines:

 

Why would I brine a turkey? Brining a turkey adds more flavor and juiciness than any other method we have tried. Brining allows you to season your turkey from the inside out before cooking, and who doesn't want yummy flavor in every single bite? A simple brine is 1 gallon cold water, 1 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup brown sugar and any additional seasonings you'd like. We recommend peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, or garlic. We have an awesome infographic post ALL about brining turkeys. If you are thinking about brining a bird, consult that post first.

How long should I brine my turkey? Opinion on this varies, but we recommend no less than 16 and no more than 32 hours. We find 24 hours is the perfect amount of time to add the right amount of flavor without the turkey getting too salty.

 

Rubs:

 

What do I season my turkey with? We like to keep this one simple and classic. We mix 8 tablespoons of softened butter with 2 tablespoons of finely chopped mixed herbs such as parsley, sage, rosemary and marjoram and use our fingers to press the butter mixture up under the skin of the turkey. Spread it evenly across all areas of the bird. Drizzle the outside of the bird with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper or Traeger's Pork & Poultry Rub.

Everything You Need To Know About Cooking A Turkey On The Traeger Grill

Stuffing:

 

Do I stuff the cavity of my turkey? This one is completely personal preference, but we personally prefer not to. When you stuff a turkey, the internal temperature of the stuffing must reach 165 degrees F and that typically means the breast and thigh meat of your turkey is much higher and the meat will be dry. We like to stuff the cavity of our turkeys with aromatics like onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme and citrus quarters that can infuse the meat with more flavor from the inside out.

 

Cooking the bird:

 

Directly on the grill or in a roasting pan? Again, personal preference. We will always choose to put a whole turkey in a roasting pan so we can collect the drippings for gravy. When using a roasting pan, we also like to add a few cups of broth to the bottom of the pan to steam the bird with extra flavor and moisture while cooking. No roasting pan? Layer the bottom of a large pan with carrot and celery sticks and place the bird on top. This will elevate the bird enough so it isn't stewing in its' own juices and will also add great flavor to the drippings.

How long and and what temperature do I cook my turkey? A small bird (8 to 12 pounds) requires 2-1/2 to 3 hours at 325 degrees F; a medium (12 – 18 pounds) will need 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours; and a large bird (over 18 pounds) could take up to 6 hours. 

How do I add more smoke flavor to my turkey? Cook your turkey on the Smoke setting for 1 to 3 hours, then finish cooking on higher heat (325 degrees F or higher) to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and crisp the skin. We do not recommend cooking a turkey – especially a large one – entirely on the Smoke setting as it adds hours to the cooking time. The skin also tends to be rubbery as the heat on the Smoke setting isn’t high enough to render the fat. Check out our turkey guide below for more information.

Everything You Need To Know About Cooking A Turkey On The Traeger

What flavor of pellets should I use on a turkey? Our favorite is a 50/50 mix of apple and hickory. Of course, you can always refer to our pellet guide and pick your own or create a personal blend.

Everything You Need To Know About Cooking A Turkey On The Traeger

 

Basting:

 

Should I baste my turkey, or leave it alone? Basting is entirely optional. If you've already brined, seasoned, and smoked we don't think basting is completely necessary but it is a good way to add extra flavor to the skin specifically. Just keep in mind that every time you open the lid, you lose up to 20% of the heat in your grill.

 

Serving:

 

How long does my turkey need to rest? We recommend letting a 12-15  lb turkey rest for at least 20 minutes. Anything over 15 lbs needs at least 30 minutes to rest before carving. DO NOT tent your turkey with foil. Unless you enjoy soggy skin. The steam from the hot turkey will collect on the foil and drip onto your perfect turkey skin and make it anything but crispy.

There you have it, Traeger Nation. Our tried and true method for the perfect turkey. Got any tips to add?? Be sure to add your voice to our discussions on Facebook and Instagram @traegergrills. Also, tag us in your Thanksgiving food pictures using #traegerthanksgiving. We'd love to see what you make!

Everything You Need To Know About Cooking A Turkey On The Traeger

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Traegerized Pepperoni Pizza Pockets

Posted by Susie B. on November 2, 2014

Traegerized Pepperoni Pizza Pockets

Looking for a simple weeknight meal/afternoon snack/party food/crowd pleaser type of recipe? Then look no further, these Traegerized (yeah, it's a word) Pizza Pockets fit the bill! Super simple to prepare and quick to bake, these fresh pizza pockets put those microwaved wanna-be's to shame. Packed full of warm, melty cheese and kissed with that signature Traeger smoky goodness, these little handheld bites will disappear faster than you can whip them up.

The secret to making the perfect pocket is the type of dough you use. Look for "seamless crescent dough sheets" for the best result. If you can't find them, regular crescent dough will work great, just pinch the seams closed so your filling doesn't leak out.

 

Traegerized Pizza Pockets

 

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10-12 minutes
Serves: 8 people
Recommended Pellets: Any

INGREDIENTS:
2 cans refrigerated crescent dough sheets
1 cup marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Your favorite pizza toppings
Garlic salt (to taste)
Italian seasoning (to taste)
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

PREPARATION:

Start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open for 4-5 minutes. Place a pizza stone or an insulated baking sheet on the grill grate and close the lid. Turn the temperature setting up to 375 degrees and allow the grill to preheat. While the grill is preheating, assemble your pizza pockets.

On a large work surface, unroll the first can of dough.

Using a pizza cutter, lightly press on the dough to divide the sheet into 8 equal pieces. Don't cut all the way through the dough.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of the sauce onto each portion of dough. Top with 2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese and your desired toppings.

Gently unroll the second sheet of dough and lay directly on top of the bottom sheet and fillings.

Using the side of your hand, press the top dough down around the filling to create 8 equal pockets. Top each pocket with the Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese, garlic salt.

Cut the pizza pockets out with a pizza cutter.

Place the pizza pockets on the preheated pizza stone and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve immediately.

Traegerized Pepperoni Pizza Pockets

Traegerized Pepperoni Pizza Pockets

Printable recipe:

Traegerized Pizza Pockets.docx (14.11 kb)

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