My friend, PJ, skipped town, and I took his new PK 360 into protective (experimental) custody. Now, I’m talking turkey about his grill—honey-brined, spice-rubbed, hickory-smoked turkey to be exact!
Round 1 of my adventure with the PK 360 involved a roaring fire and a hot burger! For the turkey we slow things down a bit.
Turkey (preferably fresh 10 to 12 pounds)
Kosher Salt (half a cup)
Citrus (lemon or orange quartered)
Honey (about 6 tablespoons)
Herbs (I used fresh green carrot tops and bay leaves)
Onion (1 quartered)
Garlic (4 or 5 cloves whole)
Water (enough to cover the turkey)
Olive Oil (enough to rub on Turkey before applying Spice-Rub)
Kosher Salt (1 Tablespoon)
Black Pepper (3 Tablespoons)
White Pepper (1 Tablespoon)
Smoked Paprika-Sweet (3 Tablespoons)
Granulated Garlic (3 Tablespoons)
Onion Powder (3 Tablespoons)
Ginger (2 Tablespoons)
Thyme (3 Tablespoons)
Oregano (2 Tablespoons)
Mix all of the brine ingredients together in a large bowl or plastic bag. Place the turkey into the brine adding more water if needed to make sure the turkey is fully submerged. Allow it to sit a spell in the fridge —overnight is best.
Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse it off about an hour before you plan to put it on the grill. Coat the turkey with olive oil. Mix up all of the ingredients for the spice rub and generously coat the turkey (including inside the cavity). Add lemon or orange pieces and herbs inside the cavity (can be fresh or from the brine). Truss the turkey legs together and fold the wing tips in as shown below.
Start a chimney full of lump charcoal and allow the coals at the top to ash over. Also, have on hand some hickory wood chunks, preferably soaked in water for an hour or two before adding them to the fire.
We are going to cook the turkey over indirect heat—meaning that the turkey will not be directly above the coals. As shown in the photograph below the size of the PK 360 is perfect for fitting a half-steamer foil pan oriented perpendicular to the length of the grill. This creates an ideal water pan in the center of the grill allowing for coals to be placed on both sides of the pan solving an age old problem: how to get the leg and thigh areas of the turkey done without overcooking the breast. With the leg quarters positioned closest to the coals, they cook faster than the breast. Kudos to the design team!
Fill the water pan with apple juice and aromatics like apple slices and herbs. Place the hot coals on both sides of the water pan. Add the hickory chunks on top of the hot coals. Rotate the bottom vents to where they are only open about a quarter of a turn.
Position the turkey over the water pan as shown here.
Close the lid of the grill and barely open the two top vents. Continue adjusting the vents until you reach a temperature of around 330 degrees and maintain that temperature.
The design of the vents on the PK 360 are easy to use and offer great control of the temperature. In particular the adjustments for the bottom vents is a much improved design from the original PK.
Sit back and soak in a libation or two while enjoying the aromas. After an hour and a half, check the turkey’s internal temperature. Continue cooking the turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees in the thickest portions of the breast and thighs. (The one pictured here took two hours to reach temperature).
Remove the turkey from the grill and allow it to rest for 30 minutes to an hour before you serve.
Join me and talk a little turkey about the PK 360, my friend.