Monday, July 4, 2011
PRODUCT REVIEW: THE BIG EASY OIL-LESS INFRARED TURKEY FRYER
Last November, I made the best turkey ever, and thought I could never improve on it. Then our friend presented us with a gift: the Big Easy Oil-Less Infrared Turkey Fryer.
I was initially under-impressed. No way, at least in my opinion, could this product cook a better turkey. I continued to rant, rave and complain to my hub, telling him I wanted to make a turkey like the one we had in November, on our grill.
And now I’m eating my words. Along with some of the most mouthwatering delicious turkey ever. Not that last year’s wasn’t good – it was fantastic. With the Big Easy, it’s better than fantastic. And it’s fast. A 13-1/2 lb. turkey was done in 2 hours, plus 1/2 hour resting time. Top that, if you dare.
The Big Easy is a little weird, if I may say so. The turkey is placed feet first, kind of standing up, in the fryer. Here’s what’s weird: It cooks uncovered for most of the time. Very weird. (In colder outdoor temperatures, extremely windy days or towards the end of the cook time when extra browning is desired, use the wire mesh lid that comes with the unit. It reflects infrared heat back into the cooking chamber.)
I heartily recommend brining the turkey first. I brined overnight with my soy-apple brine. But, with the Big Easy, you can’t stuff the cavity. The legs of the turkey must be spread and the cavity left empty so that the heat will circulate. I told you it was weird.
A disposable drip tray at the bottom of the unit conveniently catches all the drippings and makes the best gravy you will ever taste.
We had some friends for a Father’s Day dinner, and the turkey was definitely the star. Uber-moist, flavorful, tender, delicious, succulent turkey. Everyone, but everyone, raved.
We had appetizers and drinks on the patio first.
The weather was beautiful, and we all enjoyed relaxing while waiting for the turkey to cook. Bob and Darian were already thinking about buying The Big Easy, and were anxious to try the turkey. After trying it, they said they definitely will be buying one.
Mary and Jim are the friends who gave us the cooker. They’ve done a whole chicken and a Boston Butt with theirs so far.
Eventually, we went inside and ate buffet style, and the serving plate that was most often visited was the turkey platter. Even my Boston Cream Pie couldn’t eclipse the succulent turkey.
Before the night was over, I vacuum packed most of the turkey remains. Yesterday we had turkey sandwiches with one of the thawed packs. The turkey tasted just as fresh and delicious as it did on Father’s Day. Next, we’ll be trying a Boston Butt. Friends have already told us this unit makes formidable pulled pork BBQ. You can also do Cornish Game Hens, pork tenderloins, beef roast, Prime Rib and whole chickens. The Big Easy cooking rack (purchase separately) enables you to add veggies while the roast cooks.
Can you tell I like this cooker? I wish I could say that Char-Broil has paid me to tell you about The Big Easy, but in truth, I’ve received no payment of any kind for this endorsement.
Update 7/3/11: The Boston Butt is still being planned. Last night, after a 4-hour marinating process with miracle marinade, we cooked a 1 lb. 11 oz. beef eye round. It was tender and flavorful and made wonderful sandwiches for lunch.