Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Lemon Lime Soda Can Turkey (Beer Butt Turkey) - Church PotLuck Main Course - LOTS OF DIY PHOTOS

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The legend of Beer Butt Chicken becomes the soon to be legendary BEER CAN TURKEY!

But actually, I much prefer Lemon Lime Soda Can Turkey... 7-Up or Sprite.

As much fun as beer butt Turkey (or chicken) is to say, the flavors of the lemon lime soda meld better with the poultry, adding a much more complimentary flavor than the beer would have.

As the theory goes, as the oven heats the soda (as well as the outside of the bird), The soda begins to steam and the bird is steamed from the inside out.  This adds moisture to the bird, keeping the turkey from drying out.

Moist tender and delicious EVERY TIME!

When it absolutely, positively has to be Moist tender and delicious... Like Thanksgiving,  Christmas, special occasions, potlucks or when you are cooking 2 of the 16 turkeys that will be served at a recent Church sponsored Thanksgiving dinner.

This year for Thanksgiving, my son, PFC James, my wife with the inconvenient day job, Jackie and I lent a hand at the open dinner hosted by our church.  In addition to serving, I agreed to cook 2 of the turkeys used.  Yeap, nerves of steel as my birds would be lined up, served along side and dare I suggest, judged against the other turkeys cooked by those good Christian women...

Like I said... When they absolutely positively have to be Moist Tender and Delicious!

OK... For Beer Butt Chicken, Lemon Lime Soda Can Turkey, it is more of a technique than a recipe.  But it is VERY VERY simple...


1 - 14-16 Pound Turkey
1 Can Lemon Lime Soda
(Sprite or 7-Up... NEVER use Diet Soda)
2 TBS Cajun Spice Mix
1/4 Cub Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Additional Cajun SPice Mix
1/2 Lemon
1/2 Cup of your favorite BBQ Sauce

Additional Needs
Frame for Beer Can Chicken (Any BBQ specialty store or large hardware store will stock them)
Pie Plate to set everything in.

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Open the soda can,punch a few holes in the top, pour out about 1/3rd of the liquid and add 2 TBS of the spice mix.
  3. Set the can in the frame, set the prepared bird (thawed, brined if you like (I did), neck and giblets removed) on top of the soda can in the large cavity at the bottom of the bird.
  4. Rub the olive oil on the bird, also rub some under the skin of the turkey breast and legs.
  5. Rub the additional Spice Mix on the outside as well as under the skin
  6. Place half lemon over the neck cavity (as the steam comes up from the can, this traps the steam inside the bird, adding moistness as well as dripping HOT lemon juice from the cooking lemon adds flavor
  7. Cook until internal temperature measured at several spots on the bird measure at least 165 degrees F. in all spots.
  8. Pull the bird out, paint a layer of BBQ sauce on the bird.  Turn oven off, return the bird to the oven, close the door and let the BBQ sauce bake in for about 10 minutes as the oven cools.
  9. Remove from oven, and from the soda can (and frame).  Allow to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.
  10. Serve WARM and ENJOY!

You CAN do this... EASY and PERFECT every time!
here's a series of photo hints and tips to get you started...

 Can... Opened with several large holes punched in top, 1/3rd of the liquid removed.
Add 2 TBS of Spice mix (I like Cajun mix, but any BBQ style rub will work fine).
Set can in frame and set frame in pie plate
 Set the birds in the frame over the soda can.
Use the legs of the bird to help balance.
 Drizzle Olive Oil over the bird and rub this on the outside as well as under the skin.
Rub the spice mix on the outside as well as under the skin.
Top with a Lemon half.
 Bake... 325 degrees
measure in several spots, thighs, legs, and breasts, the thickest parts of each.
Use a meat thermometer, NOT NOT NOT the pop up thingy... it is set for dried out 180 degree internal temp.  The bird is cooked at 165 degrees!
 Brush the BBQ sauce on...
 Return the birds to the oven, turn oven off, and allow the sauce to bake in as the oven and birds cool for about 10 minutes.
 Someone always asks, especially if you cook with beer instead of Lemon Lime Soda, NO, do not drink the beer when you are done.

And Enjoy!

Off we fly to deliver the birds as promised!


This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy


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