This year take the turkey out of the kitchen and outside to the grill where it belongs!Break the tradition of roasting your turkey in the oven and enjoy the camaraderie and flexibility of cooking your turkey on the grill. Freeing up your oven leaves more options for sides and desserts too. This year, grill your best bird and start a new tradition with these basic steps and 3 easy recipes from Chef Michael.
- Fresh is best. Buy a turkey that hasn't been frozen. Don't buy one with a pop-up timer, or one injected with oils and flavorings.
- Brining is a must. Even if the packaging claims a 'juicy' bird, brining is essential. If it does come with a pop-up timer, remove it! Do not trust a 5 cent apparatus to tell you when your bird is cooked properly.
- Use either a dual probe or instant read thermometer to monitor breast temperature to 160F and thigh to 180F
- Grill your turkey low and slow, ideally keep your grill below 350F.
You'll need a cooler or a trash can to brine the bird overnight. Making your own brine is easy or buy pre-packaged kits from Fire and Flavor. Brines are primarily a salt, sugar and water mix with spices and herbs. All three recipes below include an overnight brining. Complete recipes, preparation and grilling instructions are on grillgrate.com
- Spatchcocked and Brined Grilled Turkey. Not to be confused with butter-flying which is splitting the breast. Spatchcocking involves cutting out the backbone entirely and removing the keel bone or “breast plate” and flattening the breast. You will need heavy duty shears or a cleaver to cut through the ribs. Spatchcocking allows the thigh and legs to cook more directly while the breast meat won't overcook and dry out. Link to recipe
- De-constructed Maple Brined with Sugar Maple Smoke. One step beyond spatchcocking is to deconstruct the bird into parts. This allows for more flexibility and perfectly timed breast and thigh cooks. Grill the bird low and slow (350F or less) for maximum juiciness. The presentation of the parts is truly greater than the whole! Link to recipe
- Whole Roast Turkey with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto and Bacon. We suggest a roasting pan and rack if your plan is to grill the bird whole, but don't stuff it. Our friend Meathead is against stuffing turkeys. By the time the stuffing is cooked through, the meat is overcooked. Replace the stuffing with fruits and vegetables instead. This recipe includes a tomato pesto with bacon that is rubbed under the skin for added moisture and flavor. Capture the wonderful juices for gravy. Link to recipe
Let's Talk Turkey!
- Ask questions of Chef Micheal
- Share your turkey tips and pictures