What are some tips for grilling/smoking a free range turkey? This will be our first time dealing with a free range bird
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I do not have any tips for grilling or smoking a turkey, but you should not have any difficulty using a free range turkey, your work will be the same. The difference with free range turkeys is their taste, and on some of them the size of the breastmeat is smaller and the thighs/legmeat seem larger in proportion. Perhaps there is something else that is different? Fresh vs. Frozen? You don't say if you usually thawed out one of those butterball turkeys with the broth added...maybe you can ask another question. There should be no difference in the actual cooking, but perhaps there will be a difference in the taste.
I just wondered if your questions was really, "Usually we thaw out a big frozen turkey and this year we are using fresh." If that is the case, you wont have all the melting water to deal with, which matters with things like oil cookers, but I don't know if it affects a smoker. My experience with grilling turkey is that it is hard unless you have an infrared grill to get it cooked without burning, and definitely needs to be whopped into two halves before you try it. I would do those big turkey tenderloins and keep them from getting destroyed by the flames on the unlit side of the grill after searing it . I would not put a whole turkey on a grill unless it was very very small like a whole chicken. Maybe you could do it beer can style.