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Apple & Herb Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Posted by Mary M. on December 4, 2014

Apple & Herb Glazed Pork Tenderloin

The iconic image of a whole suckling pig roasting over a fire with an apple in its mouth is what are dreams are made of, and heaven for that matter! (Side note - if you want to track down a suckling pig to roast on your Traeger, hit up your butcher. Butchers are an endless wealth of meats just waiting to meet your Traeger and your belly!)

It stands to reason that anything that a pig might eat would be quite delicious when eaten with a pig. (Don't over-think it.) Although we dream of suckling pigs, we don't always have time to roast one. So we'll settle for a tasty pork loin. "But what about the apple?", you ask. Well, the apple comes in with a silky apple butter glaze. So much deliciousity!

We've come to the conclusion that the pig was really onto something. Apple and pork were just meant to be.

APPLE & HERB GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN

INGREDIENTS

3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 5 lb boneless pork loin
1/2 cup apple butter or apple jelly
1 tablespoon butter

PREPARATION

Combine the garlic, basil thyme, rosemary, salt and black pepper together either by chopping with a knife or using a small food processor.

Drizzle in the olive oil and mix until combined. Smear the herb mix on all sides of the pork loin.

Start the Traeger on Smoke, lid open, until the fire is established (about 5 minutes). Put the loin on the Traeger and smoke for 30 minutes up to 1 hour.

Meanwhile heat up the apple butter in the microwave along with 1 tablespoon of water and a tablespoon of butter, just until it's warm. (Keep warm while the turkey finishing cooking.)

Turn the temperature up to 350 degrees F and cook for about 40 minutes or until pork reaches 130 degrees F. Brush the pork with the apple butter glaze and cook until it reaches 140 degrees F.

Apple & Herb Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Let the pork loin rest tented under aluminum foil for about 15 minutes before slicing.

Apple & Herb Glazed Pork Tenderloin

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Apple & Herb Glazed Pork Roast Recipe.docx (11.50 kb)

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Holiday Sides: Cheesy Stuffed Artichokes with a Spicy Twist

Posted by Mary M. on December 2, 2014

Holiday Sides: Cheesy Stuffed Artichokes with a Spicy Twist

‘Round about the time we start having wistful dreams of dancing smoked turkeys and spiked footballs, we start racking our brains trying to come up with another appetizer to make our Thanksgiving table look just a little fancier than our actual efforts would indicate.

BUT we want a bite that is not just impressive looking but will tide those hungry turkey-gobblers over 'til the piece de resistance is done on the Traeger. With these cheesy, stuffed beauts we got ‘er done and you'll be the Thanksgiving hero for all of those 'lil nibblers anxiously awaiting the golden bird.

CHEESY STUFFED ARTICHOKES with a SPICY TWIST

PREP TIME: 40 minutes
COOK TIME: 5 to 10 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Any
SERVES: 2 to 4 as an appetizer

INGREDIENTS

2 artichokes
1 lemon, cut in half
2 ounces finely grated parmesan cheese
2 ounces finely grated pepper jack cheese
2 ounces bread crumbs, toasted
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish

PREPARATION

Cut 3/4-inch off the top of the artichokes and cut the points off of the outer leaves.

Quarter the artichokes and use a spoon to remove the fuzzy choke and inner purple leaves.

Put each prepared artichoke quarter in a bowl of cold water with a few squeezes of lemon juice while you finish preparing the rest and are waiting for the water to boil.

Start a pot of water gently boiling on the stovetop with about 1 inch of water and 1/4 cup lemon juice. If you have one available, use a steamer basket.

Steam the artichokes for 25 to 30 minutes or until the leaves are tender.

While they are steaming start the Traeger on Smoke, lid open, until the fire is established. Preheat to High heat, lid closed, for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the parmesan, pepper jack, bread crumbs, minced garlic cloves and cumin.

After the artichokes have cooled, drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Layer the stuffing in between the leaves.

Put the artichokes directly on the Traeger and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.

Remove and enjoy while they're warm.

Holiday Sides: Cheesy Stuffed Artichokes with a Spicy Twist

Holiday Sides: Cheesy Stuffed Artichokes with a Spicy Twist

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

CHEESY STUFFED ARTICHOKES Recipe.docx (11.92 kb)

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Sweet Mandarin-Glazed Smoked Meatloaf

Posted by Mary M. on December 1, 2014

Sweet Mandarin-Glazed Smoked Meatloaf

We often hear the comparison that things are "like apples and oranges". (Which don't actually seem all that dissimilar...but that's another post for another day.) To translate that into Traeger terms we're going to say that they are like "smoked meatloaf and mandarin oranges".

At first glance it doesn't sound like those two should get along but, oh they do. But not just any old orange. We want a spicy mandarin orange glaze, flecked with chile flakes. It coats the rich beef, sealing in the juices and giving the exterior a sweet crust. It's so good, you'd happily wait in line at the DMV for a little slice.

SWEET MANDARIN-GLAZED SMOKED MEATLOAF

PREP TIME: 2 1/2 hours, including time to set up in the fridge
COOK TIME: about 2 hours
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory
SERVES: 8

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs. lean ground beef
10 to 12 slices peppered bacon
2 eggs
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Traeger Asian BBQ Rub
1 bottle Traeger Mandarin Glaze Sauce
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

PREPARATION

Place ground beef in a large mixing bowl; set aside.

Dice the bacon slices and cook in a skillet until lightly browned.

Remove bacon with slotted spoon and set aside.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat from skillet. Add the onion, garlic and pepper and saute until onion is translucent.

Add to the ground beef along with the bread crumbs, eggs, Traeger Asian BBQ Rub, milk, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and 1/3 cup Traeger Mandarin Glaze Sauce. Mix well to blend all ingredients.

Cover and place beef mixture into the fridge for at least 2 hours. Mold the beef into large round - you could even use the mixing bowl to shape it.

Start the Traeger on Smoke, lid open, until the fire is established (about 5 minutes).

Carefully place the loaf on a cooking grid/rack placed on top of an aluminum foil-covered baking sheet.

Close lid and smoke on the Traeger for 1 hour.

After the hour of smoke turn the heat up to 300 degrees and cook until the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.

Sweet Mandarin-Glazed Smoked Meatloaf

Carefully slide the meatloaf onto a place and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes before dusting with more chopped cilantro and slicing and serving.

Sweet Mandarin-Glazed Smoked Meatloaf

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

 

Sweet Mandarin Glazed Meatloaf Recipe.docx (12.46 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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Autumn Cider Brined Turkey Breast

Posted by Mary M. on November 20, 2014

Autumn Cider Brined Turkey Breast

To make sure Thanksgiving dinner goes smoothly, we like to have a little pre-Thanksgiving test run of the menu. (Plus it certainly doesn't hurt to get twice the smoked turkey deliciousness!) We like to call it our "T-day Practice Drill".

This year among the many delicacies that will grace our table, we've been itching to make the perfect fall take on our plump feathered friend with a cider brined turkey. Every 'lil gobbler needs a little sweetness, whether it's cranberries or in our case apples.

While browsing the store we found a beautiful lookin' turkey breast so we're using that as our test bird. And while you're making this test run turkey, go ahead and make two...or three. You won't regret it.

Oh, and to gild the lily a wee bit we glazed the beautiful bird with a rich apple cider glaze, sure to make that skin crispy and delicious.

AUTUMN CIDER BRINED TURKEY BREAST

PREP TIME: Overnight to brine
COOK TIME: 90 minutes to 2 hours
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Apple
SERVES:
6 to 8

INGREDIENTS

6 cups apple cider, divided use
4 cups ice water
2 cloves garlic, smashed
3 bay leaves
1 T allspice
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup kosher salt
1 turkey breast
Traeger Pork and Poultry Shake
1 stick (1/2 cup) plus two tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

PREPARATION

First make the brine. Simmer 4 cups apple cider, salt, allspice, garlic cloves, brown sugar and bay leaves in a large pot for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Cool completely. Add in the ice water. Place turkey in brine. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Autumn Cider Brined Turkey Breast

Drain turkey and rinse.

Start Traeger on Smoke, lid open, until fire is established (about 5 minutes).

Take two tablespoons of the softened butter and smear it under the skin of the turkey breast.

Use your fingers to gently spread the butter around under the skin.

Lightly season the turkey breast with the Pork & Poultry Shake. Smoke the breast on the Traeger for 1 hour.

While the turkey is smoking get the cider glaze going. Boil the remaining 2 cups of apple cider in a saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 15 minutes. Whisk in butter. Cool completely.

Turn the heat up to 375 degrees F and cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Brush the turkey with the cider glaze after the turkey has cooked for 20 minutes. If the breast starts to get too dark, cover it with foil.

Autumn Cider Brined Turkey Breast

Transfer turkey to a plate; tent with foil. Let stand 30 minutes and then slice up and serve that sweet deliciousness.

Autumn Cider Brined Turkey Breast

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Cider Brined Turkey Breast Recipe.docx (12.15 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 Grills Brined and Smoked Turkey Breast

Posted by Mike C. on November 15, 2014

Traeger Grills Brined and Smoked Turkey Breast

If this is your year to cook the family some turkey and you're already stressing, fear not. This easy recipe is fool proof. If you can follow instructions, you can make a glorious turkey breast the whole family will enjoy! No stress needed.

 

Brined and Smoked Turkey Breast

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus overnight in the refrigerator
Cook Time: 2 and a half hours
Serves: 10-12 people
Recommended Pellets: Hickory, Cherry, Mesquite, Pecan

 

INGREDIENTS 
1 8-10 lb Turkey Breast
2 tbsp Butter 
7 fresh sage leaves
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp each salt and pepper
6 quarts water 
8 cups of ice
1 cup Kosher salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses

 

Preparation:

Start off by putting your water into a large pot and add your kosher salt, brown sugar, molasses, seasonings and fresh sage leaves. You'll want to cook this on medium heat until the water just starts to boil to ensure that all of the salt and sugar dissolve fully into the brine. Once your brine is fully incorporated, add your ice cubes. This is a very important step. If you don't cool down your brine completely prior to adding the turkey breast, all you're going to do is poach the meat, and that wouldn't be good. Once your mixture is cool, either add your turkey breast to the pot (if it's big enough and won't over fill it) or place your turkey into a large pot, or dutch oven, then add enough of the liquid to cover your turkey. Once the turkey is covered with brine, cover the whole dish with foil and place in your fridge for 24-32 hours.

 

Now that we've been patient and let the turkey sit over night, let's start our Traeger on the "Smoke" setting and ensure the lid is open. Let this run for 3-5 minutes so the grill can warm up. In the mean time, let's finish our turkey prep. You'll want to take your turkey out of the brine and rinse it well, inside and out. After, take a paper towel and pat the whole exterior of the turkey dry. This is where the butter comes in. Take 2 tbsp of room temperature butter and smear it all over the turkey's skin. This will make sure we get a nice crust, but also will help our seasoning to stick. Now that it's covered in butter feel free to dust this baby with anything you'd like. Your favorite Traeger rub, your own rub mixture, or even just plain ol' salt and pepper would taste fantastic. Once your turkey has been seasoned, kick your Traeger up to 375. As soon as you reach 375, place your turkey breast in the Traeger for 2 hours and 15 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes depending on the size of your bird and how hot your Traeger is running. What you will see next will weaken the knees.

 

Traeger Grills Brined and Smoked Turkey Breast

It's like something out of a magazine. By now the smell is ready to drive you nuts, however you do want to let this cool a touch, if you don't, all of those delicious juices will come running out. It's well worth the wait. Now that 10-15 minutes is up, we can start to slice! 

 

Traeger Grills Brined and Smoked Turkey Breast

When people get a taste of this bird be prepared to be the new go to guy (or gal) for the holidays. Once you get this recipe mastered you can feel free to add other things, like say, Franks Red Hot. That stuff is killer in turkey! The combinations are endless! Substitute honey for brown sugar and see the flavor difference! Add different seasonings to alter the flavor completely. Either way, you're going to have a killer turkey!

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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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