I have spit cooked domesticated turkeys several times on Boy Scout Family Camp Outs. This is where the whole troop camps and invites the parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and neighbors along. It’s usually over a fall weekend and there are no set rules other than Boy Scout rules along with moral and legal ones and of course grownup are asked not to smoke. The boys do first-aid, knot tying, orienteering, Dutch oven demonstrations, and show off other outdoor skills they’ve learned. Sometimes they actually get to practice real first aid on little brothers and sisters that get bee stung, scraped, cut, or burnt from a flaming marshmallow.
Every family cooks by themselves for all meals except Saturday night supper and then this is usually where I prepare the food or maybe the adult leaders get together and cook for the group. I had Mr. Jim Fox weld up a special turkey spit that will accommodate up to four 12-pound turkeys at one time over hot coals. So far we’ve held our cooking to 3 turkeys and a large ham. Here’s what I plan to do on my next wild turkey hunt in West Virginia providing I/we get a turkey. Maybe I’d better take one from Scott’s/Kroger with me just in case?
SPIT BARBEQUED WILD TURKEY
1 large thawed or fresh dressed wild turkey (legally obtained of course)
1 spit with metal thing-a-ma-bobs to hold bird on spit (Sorry that’s what my wife calls them)
Two forked spit holders that push down into the ground
Unflavored dental floss (to tie turkey down so the wings and legs won’t flop around)
A bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce or just plain margarine for basting
An aluminum foil drip pan to put under the turkey
Two mounded rows of hot charcoal on the ground that are the same length as the turkey. (Make sure there is aluminum foil under the hot briquets to keep the earth from pulling the heat out of the charcoal.
Set the drip pan between the rows of hot charcoal. Push the spit holders down into the ground at either end of the drip pan. Put the spitted turkey in the two forked spit holders about six to twelve inches over the drip pan. Turn turkey one-quarter turn every fifteen minutes, use an electric motor to turn the spit, or use a battery operated spit turner available in most sportsman mail order catalogs. Mine came from Campmor or Cabela’s I’m not sure which. Baste turkey each time you turn the spit.
You can cook over hot coals from a wood fire but keep in mind that you may have to move the fire forward or back to keep the turkey cooking properly and not burn it.
While the turkey is cooking throw some wet hickory chips on the hot briquets to give the turkey that nice smoky flavor. You will have to add more briquets about every half hour. Just lay the unlighted briquets against some hot ones. They will light themselves. Cook turkey until it is golden brown and the leg juices run clear (save the juices to make gravy).
For BBQ Turkey – brush barbecue sauce over the turkey several times just before you take it off the spit and let it dry after each coating. Keep brushing on sauce until you have a thick coating of barbecue sauce over the entire bird. You can even put a little inside for extra flavor. Do not let the barbecue sauce burn.
Try turkey this way instead of the traditional oven method. I think you will agree with me that this is the best turkey you’ve ever sunk a tooth into. It works for chickens also.
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