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Every year my husband and I talk about purchasing a deep fryer for cooking our Thanksgiving turkey. This year was no different, but after lots of research Steve settled on a no mess, infrared oil-less fryer – the Char-Broil Big Easy TRU Infrared Smoker, Roaster and Grill. The infrared roaster is a great alternative to a deep fryer because you don’t have to buy and dispose of large amounts of oil, and it’s safer to use because there is no risk of flare-up. Steve ordered the roaster from Amazon on Monday before Thanksgiving and it arrived on Wednesday just in time for Thanksgiving dinner! We ended up enjoying one of the most tender, juicy turkeys ever. The white meat was super moist and tasty and the outside crisp and golden brown.

The best way to track meat temperature and avoid overcooking is to use a thermometer so Steve purchased a Maverick Bluetooth Barbecue Thermometer from Amazon. A free Redi-Check app is available from the App Store so cooking temperatures can be monitored on your smartphone.

We purchased a 22 lb. All Natural Brined Young Turkey from Trader Joe’s and seasoned with the following:

  • crushed bay leaves
  • 3 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • kosher salt
  • 3 Tb Old Bay Seasoning
  • rosemary sprigs

First we rubbed the turkey (under and on top of the skin, and in the cavities) with olive oil and then the spice mixture. We then added a few rosemary sprigs under the skin. We cooked our turkey on high for about 3.5 hours to a temperature of 165 degrees. (note – meat temperature continues to rise after removed so you might want to take it out of the cooker at 160 degrees). Steve put a square disposable aluminum pan into the built-in drip tray so he could easily remove drippings for making gravy.

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Seasoned and ready to cook

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No need to pre-heat. Turn on to high and insert turkey

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This is after the turkey had cooked about 1/2 hour

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Just about finished. We were so excited about the turkey we forgot to take a picture after removing from the fryer!

I love using the roaster because it frees up space in the oven and allows me time to focus on side dishes. Since Thanksgiving we’ve cooked tri-tip several times (4 for Christmas dinner!) and pork chops. The tri-tip was delicious and the pork chops had a great taste but for tenderness I recommend brining pork chops before cooking.

The roaster can accommodate up to a 25 lb turkey making it a good size for large gatherings. It comes with a basket that has a 2nd removable shelf for cooking more than one piece of meat at a time and it also comes with a removable cooking grate for grilling. You can even grill and roast at the same time.

One note – the smoker box is great for adding flavor but if you’re looking for a true smoker, this probably isn’t the one for you. Compared to a deep fryer the Big Easy is cleaner, easier, safer, healthier and cheaper to use and makes delicious grilled or roasted meats.

We are looking forward to trying some of the savory recipes on Pinterest. Tomorrow is a marinated tri-tip from Trader Joes. Then, this weekend, Grilled Sirloin with Peppercorn Whiskey Sauce and side of Crispy Potato Stacks from Wilde Orchard. My mouth waters just looking at the picture – can’t wait to try it!


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