Recipe: Kermit Ruffins' Barbecue Smoked Turkey

Published on: October 28th, 2016


Kermit Ruffins
Kermit at Jazz Fest. Photo by Leon Morris.

You have to love a recipe whose first two ingredients are a "couple of Louis Armstrong records" and an "ice chest full of beer." Kermit Ruffins' contribution to That Sounds Good: A Cookbook Celebrating 30 Years of WWOZ, this recipe offers a very New Orleans, barbecue-swinging' take on Thanksgiving's main course.

Do use a meat thermometer to determine doneness.

Kermit Ruffins' Barbecue Smoked Turkey

A couple of Louis Armstrong records
An ice chest full of beer
1 whole turkey
Olive Oil
Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
Zatarain's liquid crab boil
Turkey liquid injection sauce
New Orleans sausage (optional)
Onions (optional)
Garlic (optional)
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
Lots of hickory wood

Okay, put on one of those hot albums and let it rip. Reach into the ice chest and grab yourself an ice-cold beer. After a few swigs, wash the turkey and put it into an aluminum pot. Coat the turkey with olive oil. Coat with Tony Chachere's seasoning heavily. Don't worry about using too much.

Make sure you don't let your beer sit too long. Mix half of the liquid crab boil with half of the turkey injection sauce. Well, put in a little more crab boil, what the hell. Inject the trukey legs, bosoms and wings. Don't worry--he won't feel a thing.

Now you can stuff the turkey with anything you want. I like to use New Orleans hot sausage. Take of the casings. Stuff that bird with sausage, onions and garlic--you know what to do.

Open up a fresh bottle of ice-cold beer. Put half a cup water and the butter in the bottom of the pan. Cover the bird with four or five sheets of aluminum foil.

After you turn the record over and listen to side B, put the bird on the grill. Make sure that grill is really hot! I hope you got extra hickory wood, because that turkey needs to cook a good 4-1/2 hours.

After drinking most of your cold beer and listening to those Armstrong records couple of times, uncover the trukey so it can soak up the smoke for another 30 minutes. This is it! It's too easy.

--Kermit Ruffins


You can find this recipe and more like it from Louisiana musicians and other friends of WWOZ in our cookbook: That Sounds Good!


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