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Turkey on PBC (really about the gravy)

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    Turkey on PBC (really about the gravy)

    Ok. I've consumed Meathead's treatise on turkey and his recipe for gravy and I have a question (and by the way, great read). I've looked through every post in the PBC channel looking for an answer and thought I'd post here before going wider.

    If I cook a turkey on the pbc I'm not going to have a drip pan under the bird while it cooks, nor is the gravy pan with all of it's ingredients going to participate in the smoke bath. SO, how to make the gravy? Any recipes adjusted for the pbc? Even if I were to cook the turkey on the grill there isn't really a way to suspend a drip pan, and I'd be concerned about it's impact on the convective action of the cooker in any event. Help?

    I ran into this same problem at Christmas, and ended up having to tow my big stick burner to the in-laws to cook a single turkey because I wanted the succulent drippings in the gravy. Only thing I can think of with pbc is make the gravy separate and perhaps drain the cavity juice from the bird into the gravy once the bird is done. At least then you'd get some of the juice of the turkey. Or, you might be able to use chains and hooks to hang a grate just below the turkey and place a drip pan on it. Idk how well the pbc would do with airflow then, though, and since it's already so humid in there, it might be downright impossible to get good skin.


      For the past 3 years... I've deep-fried our turkey. Of course there are no drippings that I can use. What I've done in the past is purchase a few turkey legs/quarters seperately (cheap) and roasted those in the oven for the drippings to be used for gravy. Just an idea.


        Well, this is definitely worth some experimenting! I kinda like the idea of roasting a couple of extra thighs in the oven. Never seem to have enough dark meat!


          PappyBBQ is on to something here....cook an extra bird for gravy, a designated gravy bird. Who can argue with the idea of a gravy bird?! You can never have too much when it comes to leftovers.


            My solution to this problem is to make gravy out of turkey stock, you can buy those rectangular quart-sized cartons. I have a large family so I sometimes use two of them, you can add the giblets but I usually cook those for the dogs instead. I make a roux out of flour and saved bacon fat to thicken the gravy after reducing it for at least an hour or so, spice it accordingly, and if I can salvage anything that drips off the bird (not always) I'd throw that in, too. Cheating, I know, but it makes a damned good gravy if you let it reduce for a while before thickening with the roux! You have to remember the rules of roux, though: darker = more flavor, but lighter thickens better. I meet it in the middle with good result. The other rule is that roux temps need to be opposite the subject, so that means cooled roux into hot gravy. I never use cornstarch. Don't like the texture. Be sure to strain for lumps!


              Doing a turkey also for Thanksgiving on a PBC and had the same question. I think I will cook leg & thigh on the grill in indirect & smoke it that way and use that drippings for the gravy to get that smoky flavor. Do you think that might work?


                I make gravy every year to take to my nephew's house for Thanksgiving. He usually deep fries the bird there. Here is the recipe I use, which comes out awesome.

                Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

                1 large onion, chopped
                2 carrots, chopped
                2 ribs celery, chopped
                2 teaspoons vegetable oil
                2 large turkey wings plus 2-3 turkey necks
                Turkey or chicken giblets (optional)

                2 tablespoons cold water
                10 cups cold water
                4 sprigs fresh thyme
                2 cloves garlic (optional)
                3 tablespoons butter
                1/2 cup all-purpose flour
                salt and ground black pepper to taste
                1 pinch cayenne pepper


                1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

                2. Combine onion, carrots, celery, and vegetable oil in a large roasting pan and toss to coat. Place turkey wings and necks on top of vegetables

                3. Place roasting pan in the preheated oven and cook until the turkey wings are browned and vegetables are caramelized and softened, 45 to 60 minutes.

                4. Transfer turkey wings and necks and vegetables to a large stockpot. Place the roasting pan over a stovetop burner on medium heat. Pour 2 tablespoons cold water into the pan and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Transfer mixture to the stockpot and add 10 cups cold water, thyme, and garlic.

                5. Bring turkey wing mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until meat falls off the bone, about 3 hours. Skim off turkey fat throughout the process and set aside 2 tablespoons.

                6. Put giblets (minus the liver) if using and one turkey neck in a large sauce pan with about 6 cups of water, a carrot cut op, an onion quartered some celery tops and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil and simmer for one hour. Strain and reserve the liquid. Separate the giblets and neck from the vegetables and discard the veggies. Allow the meat to cool slightly then pick the bulk of the meat off of the neck and finely chop the neck meat and giblets. This can be done by pulsing in a food processor.

                7. Strain turkey stock and reserve 6 cups of stock; discard all the solids.

                8. Heat butter and 2 tablespoons reserved turkey fat in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and cook, whisking continuously, until it begins to smell like cooked pie crust, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly pour in turkey stock, whisking continuously. Increase heat to high and simmer until thick and warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste.

                9. Add giblets and neck meat. Stir until well combined. If too thick, thin with reserved giblet broth.


                • PappyBBQ
                  PappyBBQ commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Nice recipe! I'm looking for Meatheads more au jus style of "gravy", and this looks like it will provide a real nice base to work from! Thanks!


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