cooking a turkey over a fire

charityohSeptember 2, 2002

Can someone please give me some hints about cooking a turkey and chicken over an open fire--we are doing a school project on pilgrims and wanted to have a thanksgiving feast outside--thanks for your help

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bsbbq

My best suggestion would be to use a rottisserie. Cook over indirect heat and don't dry it out. It will turn out great.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2002 at 10:34AM
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glenda_al

I have always smoked my turkeys, whole or breast.
Made a paste for inside and out, which sealed in the juiced. A NO Fail. Then with the remaining paste, I moistened it with vinegar, and used it to baste.

Will post if interested.

Think this will be useful.

Here is a link that might be useful: grilled turkey info

    Bookmark   September 2, 2002 at 8:10PM
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charityoh

We are having a first thanksgiving feast--so Im trying to do it the pilgrim way--how would I make spit? or something else to cook it on--I thought Id have to baste it while it cooks??

    Bookmark   September 2, 2002 at 9:26PM
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glenda_al

This looks good!!!
turkey under a bucket

Here is a link that might be useful: turkey under a bucket

    Bookmark   September 3, 2002 at 3:57PM
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Beano

Did the pilgrims roast their turkeys whole? That would seem a very daunting task in 17th century America. Maybe you could consult a food historian or even Alton Brown, seriously.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2002 at 5:03PM
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duckie

This is a school project, so you probably want to really go with historical cooking practices. Plimoth Plantation is the living history museum dedicated to the history of the Pilgrims. They have done a lot of work with historical cook books and historical cooking practices. They have a recipe from the time period for turkey. The recipe they used calls for boiling the turkey. Boiling meats was much more common at that time than it is today. They also have instructions for other fowl which include how to roast them. As far as I can tell, the recipes they have on the web are from period cook books, and don't really look like a recipe you might find in The Joy of Cooking. But they are understandable.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plimoth Plantation Dinner menu & recipies

    Bookmark   September 5, 2002 at 8:47PM
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spambdamn_rich

Yes, most colonial cooking was done in a big iron pot in the fireplace. Everything went into one pot - sort of a stew, I suppose.

No pumpkin pies, cranberry sauce, ham, etc. None of these were available to the Pilgrims at the time of the first thanksgiving. But there was probably plenty of fish, indian corn, and squash.

The only surviving account of the first thanksgiving states that waterfowl were also consumed. Probably duck or goose. Wild turkeys are very difficult to hunt, but it is not impossible that turkey was eaten as well.

The timing of thanksgiving, in the fall, lands it at about the same time as the New England Indian population used to celebrate the harvest with a feast. Actual thanksgiving by the Pilgrims would have been done in the spring, and it would have been a spartan affair, with many prayers and light if any meals.

Our Thanksgiving holiday was set by Abraham Lincoln, after some later accounts of the first event were unearthed after having been presumed lost for many years.

Here is a link that might be useful: Frist thanksgiving

    Bookmark   September 5, 2002 at 10:41PM
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charityoh

Thanks everyone---we will be using a copper kettle to make buffalo stew--and will try to roast a turkey and some fish--others are bringing other dishes--it has been fun studing all this--and it is true the pilgrim diet was not extensive--we are also having a log cabin building contest---and other fun things!!Thanks all

    Bookmark   September 8, 2002 at 9:04PM
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Beano

Am curious to know why less fatty birds like turkey and chicken were boiled, while fatty meats, like duck and venison were roasted. I've had boiled chicken before and it was terribly dry. Maybe I'm stupid, but it seems everything would be better just the opposite: spit roast the lighter game over the lower heat of an open fire and boil(if you must) the fatty meats.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2002 at 5:42PM
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duckie

The researchers for that menu would have boiled much of their meat because boiling was a very common method of cooking at the time. They would have wanted the general feel/porportions of boiled to roasted meat over the course of the whole dinner to be as correct as they could. However, any one particular dish, if they have found both roasting and boiling recipes from the time period, was probably chosen by personal preference.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2002 at 4:28AM
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peakmaster

A guy that knows little about the outdoors and historical facts stated:
"Wild turkeys are very difficult to hunt, but it is not impossible that turkey was eaten as well".
SpamMan you must not be much of an outdoors man. Wild turkeys are about the dumbest fowl alive. They will virtually walk into the oven. They can be easily shot at close range with a bow and arrow, even more easily with a shotgun. The fact is, you could, yes even you, could probably walk up to one and bludgeon it.

Your self proclaimed omniscience is a joke.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2002 at 8:34PM
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chrmann

We just bought a cast iron pot by "Camp Chef" to cook our turkey this year over the fire. The pot is called the "Ultimate Turkey". It will hold a 20 lb. turkey. The pot has a cone built in the center to invert the turkey on and the juices drip out thru holes in this part. This cast iron pan will cook a 20 pound turkey in 110 minutes.
We are excited about this pot. They have a web site. Think it is called "campchef.com". They have lots of camp stoves but we are going to use it directly in the camp fire.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2002 at 5:28PM
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spambdamn_rich

Peakmaster,

You must be thinking of the domesticated turkey, which indeed is about as stupid as you seem to be. However, the wild turkey is very wily and hard to spot and hunt. Since you seem to know nothing about turkey hunting yourself, I suggest you wait for turkey hunting season in your area, and then put on a brown feather head-dress and go out hiking in a hunting area. Maybe then you can sneak up on a turkey and bludgeon it, if the turkey hunters don't get you first.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2002 at 5:12PM
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peakmaster

Well genius, I have hunted wild turkey, have you know-it-all dipsh*t? Fact is, there was not much hunting to do when a flock of about 20 of them waddled up to the sliding glass doors of our lodge to look at themselves in the reflection.
We could have probably killed them all with a broom let alone a shotgun. It's evident you know nothing about hunting, wildlife or the outdoors. A fat, pasty middle aged fool spouting and running for cover in the self-defense mode. Understandable after your idiot comments. Go complete your education beyond the 6th grade.
You know that drill don't you, you overweight, middle aged loser. Do yourself and your family(assuming you have one) a favor and just die.You can't admit when your wrong, a major flaw.
Peace

    Bookmark   September 15, 2002 at 7:02PM
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bsbbq

Definitely the sage, without question.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2002 at 1:22AM
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spambdamn_rich

Last time I checked, this is not the hunting forum. Nor, despite Lpsage's persistent efforts, the juvenile insult forum.

That said, perhaps we can all get back to the topic, which was legitimate question about how best to cook a turkey over a fire as the Pilgrims might have done it.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2002 at 1:23AM
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charityoh

cheese louise--a simple question turned into a riot--I think I have figured out how to cook that old bird--I never asked how to kill one nor will I kill on even if it sat down beside me!!Ill just used the cleaned out ones from my friendly neighborhood store!! Thanks from all who helped

    Bookmark   September 16, 2002 at 11:29PM
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spambdamn_rich

Boiled chicken need not be dry... if it is only boiled for a short time. I have a chinese cook book that has a dish called "Plunged Chicken". A whole chicken is plunged into a pot of boiling water, and then the heat is turned off. The chicken is allowed to sit in the cooling water for about an hour, and during that time it cooks through but is very tender. I tried it once, and it was tender, not dry, but kind of bland.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2002 at 2:33AM
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kframe19

Try cooking the bird in front of a reflector fire. It's best if you use a rotissary, but you can turn it by hand every 15 minutes.

You need a reflector, and lots of wood. You can't really cook this way if you're cooking with coals. Reflector cooking really requires flames, and lots of them.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2002 at 12:37AM
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