My mom surprised my husband a few days before Thanksgiving with one of those new Infrared Turkey Cookers from Char-Broil. I'd never even heard of such a thing, so as soon as she brought it over I was yanking it out of the box like a 6 year old on Christmas morning. I still didn't know what I was looking at. The instructions told me that instead of using oil, like those scary deep fat fryers I made my husband sell at the yard sale this summer, it uses propane to cook your bird, with infrared heat. Really. Whats infrared heat? Well, I had to look it up.
I'm still not sure exactly what infrared means.....but, I'll explain it like the information I found on Amazon explains it. Maybe you'll get it more than me.
- Ambient (ambient? I thought ambient was a mood) air mixes with propane to fuel the tube burner.
- Flames from the burner directly transfer heat to the inner wall of the cooker.
- 100% infrared heat radiates evenly from the circular inner walls to penetrate the food.
- Hot air rises along the inner wall and exits at the top without drying the food.
End of Amazon's description.
Okay. So, on Thanksgiving afternoon, the bird was brought out, caressed with a light bath of olive oil, a bit of spice, and popped into his little cage. (maximum bird size is 16 pounds) That was easy. Of course since it's new toy, I was out with the camera making history.
This is what we look like after an hour of cooking. It all ready looks great!
After what I believe was about 2-1/2 hours, our turkey was ready to be brought out and shown off to his many admirers. (the fryer takes about 10 minutes per pound) We all ooOoh'd and AwW'd, dancing around ready for the first taste. Doesn't it look great?
Crispy outside, and tender inside.Now let me get to the taste. OH MY GAWD. I have never had a turkey that was so moist. Even my kids who prefer dark meat loaded up with the breast on their plates. Now I'm a great cook, and my oven done turkeys are anything but dry. But this?! That oven will never be used again.
There is also a removable drip pan underneath the Char-Broil to collect those wonderful juices (which made the best gravy I can remember) but beware it is not food safe, so line it with some foil.
I can now hear the clammoring of all you die hard oil turkey fryer people. And now I shall give my reasons for not using ours anymore. It uses too much oil, and it's expensive. Yep, you can use the oil more than once (depending on what your cooking) BUT the husband person never felt it was worth cleaning out. At the time I sold ours, the oil in it was from superbowl 2007. Mm hm. Number 2, where the heck are you supposed to get rid of all that oil? I still have three 5 gallon used jugs that have been sitting in my garage since 2005. Mm hm.
Number 3. It scares the shit out of me! I know, I know, if you use them according to the instructions it's as safe as can be. Did I mention that by the time the head chef around here is ready to do anything, he's got about a half case a beer in his gut? Mm hm.
I'd also like to mention that unlike oil fried birds, you can (and we did) use a dry rub. You can also inject your bird. Plus, you can do roasts, chicken, and I even saw one site that some guy rigged up a shelf system so he could do buffalo wings. Oh my, heaven. If your interested in anymore information I'd suggest checking out Amazons site.