I’ve roasted a ton of turkeys in my Char-Broil Big Easy. It’s why I originally bought the oil-less fryer. I loved it so much the first time that I bought two more, keeping one at my parents house for a fantastic holiday turkey. This time I set out to keep the process as absolutely simple as possible. No brines. No fancy rubs. Just a 16 pound turkey, a little oil, and some seasoning and 10 minutes per pound. There’s really nothing easier than cooking poultry on the Big Easy. It really is as easy as fire it up, put it in, walk away and come back later. Unless the weather conditions are really adverse, you can count on 10 minutes per pound for a turkey. I cooked a nice big 16 pound turkey in exactly 160 minutes in 30 degree weather with a very light breeze. I kept the lid off the Big Easy until the last 30 minutes to then add a little color.
I started with a pre-brined turkey. You can certainly get a natural, un-brined turkey and go thru that process, and I have. But for this cook it was about easy, and easy means getting a turkey that’s already in a solution that brined the bird for me.
You can use the basket that comes with your Big Easy, but I admit it’s a bit challenging getting a big bird in/out of it. If you’re going to do any amount of cooking on the Big Easy (and you should) I recommend that you at least get the hinged basket like you see in the picture above. It really makes getting the turkey in or out very simple indeed. See my thoughts on the accessories for the Big Easy here.
I used a pre-brined turkey. You can easily identify a bird that is already in a brine solution by looking for the words 'Contains up to 8% of a solution of water, salt, spices, and natural flavor' or something similar on the packaging.
1 large turkey, up to 16 pounds (completely thawed if frozen)
Vegetable or canola oil
Your favorite seasoning (salt and pepper are just fine too!) DO NOT use a seasoning mix that contains sugar as it might burn under high temperatures.
Fire up your Big Easy.
Remove the turkey from the packaging along with any turkey neck and giblets that might be there.
Rinse the turkey in cold water and dab dry with paper towels.
Very lightly coat the turkey (inside and out) with the oil. You only want enough to help the seasoning adhere and to help crisp the skin.
Season the turkey liberally inside and out.
Place the turkey into the Big Easy basket and lower into the cooker.
Cook for 10 minutes per pound. Check for doneness, 180°F in the thighs and legs, and 170°F in the breast. Always check in multiple locations.
Remove the basket from the Big Easy and let the turkey rest for 15 minutes before carving.
I can eat a scary amount of crab legs. Fortunately, I don’t have to tell you just how much a ‘scary amount’ is, but when the crab legs are as great as these Old Bay crab legs cooked on my Char-Broil Big Easy, I cannot control myself. From the moment they go into cooker the aroma hits you and your stomach will start growling. In just minutes you too can be enjoying nice big ole meaty crab legs covered in Old Bay seasoning. For dipping, I made a bit of clarified butter, which is also something I cannot control myself around. This was a bonus meal for sure! You can make Old Bay snow crab legs too, if you wish, but you’ll probably want to cut back on the heating time. It doesn’t take long to re-heat the already-steamed thawed crab legs.
Sometimes I take a break from the big dinners and just serve up some nice tasty salads. I do require croutons on my salad, though. And since it’s hot here, I decided to cook the croutons outside, on my Char-Broil Big Easy. They came out tasty and crunchy, just like I wanted. It pays to think of your Big Easy as an outdoor oven.
I used the Big Easy cooking rack, which sadly is no longer available. So, to make croutons you’ll need a few bunk bed baskets. Depending on the size of your bread you might have to line the baskets with foil.
Depending on conditions, the croutons on the bottom may cook at a different rate than those on the top. Check them often after 10 minutes and remove any ones that are golden brown and crispy.
I’m a big fan of making beer can chicken on my Char-Broil Big Easy. Weber has a beer-can seasoning that hits the spot with the perfect combination of spices. Nothing could be easier. I will warn you, though, the crispy skin comes out absolutely delicious. The advantage of being the person cooking the chicken is that you get first dibs on it and the rest of the chicken.
The seasoning is so good you can leave out the beer can. The Big Easy cooks up chicken so moist and tender you won’t notice it’s not there, and the Weber seasoning packs such great flavor you’ll be as happy as if you did use the beer. If you do decide to also add a beer can don’t use a strongly-flavored beer or it might drown out the great seasonings. And of course, you’re not required to use beer in a beer-can chicken. Many sodas and even wine work just as well.
Oh yes, I’ve made bacon-wrapped tater tots on the Char-Broil Big Easy. Several times. And I love them. Lots. But, if you follow this blog, you know I like some kick to my tots. Hence these bacon jalapeno tots. Same concept, but with some heat. Not a whole lot, but enough to be noticed. Served with a great creamy cheese sauce that also has a bit of a kick to it. The key to cooking bacon-wrapped tater tots on the Char-Broil Big Easy is to cook them until they just start to char. They won’t be super crispy yet. That happens after you take them out of the cooker and they cool. The bacon will crisp up as it sits.
If you don’t want to make this spicy version of bacon-wrapped tater tots, leave out the jalapeno slices and use Monterey Jack cheese in the cheese sauce. You’ll definitely still have a plate of fantastic treats.
I absolutely love roasted baby potatoes. They taste almost like whipped butter, with a fantastic creamy insides. But my favorite part is that crispy skin that pops when you bite into it. The Char-Broil Big Easy cooks up baby potatoes perfectly, and in no time at all. No pre-boiling is required. Just toss them with some oil, salt and pepper and garlic and into the cooker they go! Although you can cook a few potatoes on the rack that comes with the Big Easy, you really want to add a bunk bed basket (or two) so you can cook more at once. If you prefer a potato with a little bit of spicy kick to it try my Fire-Eater potatoes also made on the Big Easy.
I used to grill (or bake) my frozen hash brown patties. But now that I have a Big Easy, I can make them even easier than before. Just toss a few little cakes-of-potato-goodness into the cooker and in no time you have crispy golden brown hash browns. Anita likes hers plain so she can top them with ketchup. Me, I like a little cheddar and chopped chives.Bacon. Sour cream. Butter. Green onions. BBQ sauce. Roasted red bell peppers. You name it, anything goes great on hash brown patties cooked hot and quick on the Char-Broil Big Easy.
Baby potatoes have such a wonderful creamy sweetness to them. I love them roasted so the skin gets just a bit crispy. They pop when you bite into them. The Char-Broil Big Easy is the perfect cooker for making a lot of things, and these Fire-Eater potatoes are one of them. Roasted potatoes hit with a nice seasoning mix that brings a little heat to offset the sweetness. You can substitute any rub or seasoning mix you desire, but you might want to shy away from any that contain a lot of sugar which might burn in high heat. These Fire-Eater potatoes do cook quickly since they are smaller, but keep an eye on them if you do use a sweeter spice mix. For a little more mellow (but still super yummy!) potato using the Big Easy, try my roasted baby potatoes.