Want To Grill Your Turkey-UPDATED

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 key to a great turkey are first a good bird, if you have to go with a frozen bird go with a premium bird, paying attention to your grill, all burners are in good working order and you have a full tank of propane, and most important part, listening to your critics, your family.  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 or use a rotisserie, 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 ways to prepare your turkey, indirect and rotisserie.

If you have never cooked your turkey on your grill before the first thing you need to do is make sure you choose a bird that will 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 typical size for a turkey that will be put on a rotisserie is between 10 to 14 pounds.  The next thing you need to do is make sure your propane tank is full.  Now is when you decide 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.  Check the max weight for your rotisserie motor with in your rotisserie owners manual.  Finally, make sure the lid close with the bird on your rotisserie? The best turkey I have ever grilled was done on a rotisserie.  The turkey was cooked in a relatively short amount 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 it as best as possible.  Make sure the forks are secured tightly, these can loosen while turning and that would be disastrous.  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.  Ignite the rotisserie burner.  Start rotisserie motor and close grill lid.  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.

For complete recipe see my Grilled Rotisserie Turkey recipe in recipe section of the website.  You are welcome to adapt the recipe to your favorite family recipe to the grill.

Indirect method:

Set-up your 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.  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.  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.

For complete recipe see my Grilled Turkey recipe in recipe section of the website.  You are welcome to adapt the recipe to your favorite family recipe to the grill.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us at: reggie@socalgrilling.com

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