A Turkey To Give Thanks For

The leaves in the trees have turned that beautiful fall color.  Which means it is time to start planning your holiday meals starting with Thanksgiving. The traditional Thanksgiving meal in my family is turkey and nothing taste as good as a turkey cooked properly on a grill. The first time you grill your turkey, and slice into that golden brown bird slicing into that tender juicy turkey breast, you will never cook a turkey in the oven again. The keys to a great turkey are first a good bird, paying attention to your grill, and most important listening to your critics. Your family is the most important gauge to determine how well you did grilling the turkey. There three ways to cook a turkey on a BBQ grill, smoking, indirect, and rotisserie. Whether you smoke, grill indirect, rotisserie or even deep fry your bird, if your family won’t eat it what makes you think someone else will. For the purpose of this article we are going to focus on the last two indirect and rotisserie.

If you have never done this before the first thing you need to do is make sure you choose a bird that will it fit on your grill. The last thing you want is to put that beautiful 24 pound bird on your grill and find out that the lid of your grill won’t close or the rotisserie won’t spin. The next thing you need to do is make sure your propane tank is full.  Another consideration is whether you are going to use indirect or rotisserie. Before you decide to use the rotisserie you should determine three things; first, and this may seem silly, but do you have a rotisserie set-up on your grill and if you do is the rotisserie is strong enough for the size bird that you would like to grill. Finally, make sure the lid close with the bird on your rotisserie? The best turkey I have ever grilled was done on a the rotisserie. The turkey was cooked in a relatively short time and all of the meat was so moist and tender. The recipe is a pretty simple one and can be used for both a rotisserie grilled bird or an indirect grilled bird.

Rotisserie method:

Insert rotisserie spit taking care to center as best as possible. Make sure forks are secured tightly, these can loosen while turning. Place rotisserie spit in rotisserie motor Place a large foil drip pan under turkey. Add enough water to pan so that there is half an inch of water in the pan. Start rotisserie motor and close grill lid. Leave rotisserie burner on high for 30 minutes then reduce to med-low for an additional hour. After 1 hour, and every 30 minutes after that, baste turkey with juices in drip pan and close lid. At 2 hour mark insert meat thermometer into thickest part of thigh, being careful to stay clear of bone, remove bird when temp reads 170°F. Remove turkey, remove rotisserie spit and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

See Rotisserie Turkey recipe in recipe section for complete recipe. You may also be able to adapt your favorite family recipe to the grill.

Indirect method:

Set-up grill for indirect grilling. Half the grill has heat and half does not. If you have a 2 burner grill light both burners to preheat grill and then turn one burner off prior to placing turkey on grill. Rather than placing on rotisserie spit set turkey breast down on an oiled roasting rack insert rack into a roasting pan and follow instructions for rotisserie drip pan. Place roasting pan on cool side grill, adjuster lit burner to med (325° – 350°) close lid. Rotate pan 180 degrees every 30 minutes. This is to ensure that turkey is cooking evenly. After 1 hour, rotate turkey breast side up, baste turkey with juices in drip pan and every 30 minutes after that baste again and close lid. At 1 1/2 hour mark tent turkey with aluminum foil, if turkey is browning too fast you can do this sooner. At 2 hour mark insert meat thermometer into thickest part of thigh, being careful to stay clear of bone, when temp reads 170°F remove turkey and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Allowing turkey to rest allows juices to return to the meat. If you carve too soon those juices will end up all over your cutting board.

See Grilled Turkey recipe in recipe section for complete recipe. You may also be able to adapt your favorite family recipe to the grill.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us at: staff@barbecuingandgrilling.com

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