Barbecued or Grilled Whole Turkey Recipe


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Outdoor barbecuing or grilling is a very easy and a efficient way to cook your Thanksgiving turkey. No mess in your oven or the kitchen. A whole turkey may be prepared on either a gas grill or a charcoal grill. This method requires a covered barbecue grill and heavy duty aluminum foil. Your turkey will be crisp outside and juicy inside.

Check out more great Poultry Recipes and how to Brine Poultry for a moister and tastier dish. Learn how to make a deep-fried Cajun Fried Turkey.

Photo is courtesy of Our Place In The Woods.

Barbecued Turkey

 


uncooked turkeyShop What's Cooking America - Check out What's Cooking America's large selection of smoking and barbecue equipment: Electric Smokers, Barbecues, Barbecue Accessories, Smoker Bisquettes, and Linda's favorite Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer.




How To Barbecue or Grill A Whole Turkey Recipe:

Recipe Type: Poultry, Barbecue & Grilling, Chicken
Yields: serves many
Prep time: 30 min
Turkey cook time: 20 min per pound


Ingredients:

1 (15 to 20 pound) turkey, fresh or thawed, with giblets and neck removed. Clean turkey well, removing any bits of pin feathers and cleaning the cavity of any remaining pieces of innards. Pat dry with paper towels. Secure legs with twine or a clip (optional).

1/2 cup butter, room temperature or softened, divided

Turkey Stuffing or your favorite stuffing/dressing recipe

3 to 4 slices uncooked bacon

Basting Juice (see recipe below) or use the juices that drain off


Preparation:

Preheat barbecue grill. Instead of using a roasting pan, it is easier to use a homemade pan from extra heavy duty foil (using three layers of aluminum foil and making it just big enough to hold the bird - the sides need to be about 2 1/2-inches high).

Rub the inside cavity of the turkey with 1/4 cup of the softened butter.

Stuff the inside cavity with your favorite stuffing/dressing recipe. Also place a little stuffing in the neck cavity, tuck the neck skin under and skewer shut. With any remaining turkey stuffing, stuff a little of it between the skin and the breast meat.

With the remaining 1/4 cup butter, rub some over the skin of the turkey. Salt and pepper the turkey and place the slices of uncooked bacon on top of the prepared turkey.

Place the turkey crosswise on the gas or charcoal grill so that the pan is evenly distributed over the two sets of jets. Set the flame so that a temperature of 300 to 325 degrees F. is maintained (usually the lowest setting). Cover with heavy duty aluminum foil for the majority of the cooking time. Estimated cooking time is approximately 20 minutes per pound at 300 degrees F.

Remove the aluminum foil for the last hour of cooking. Every once in while, baste the turkey with the juices (or with the basting juice recipe below). If you have "hot spots" in the jets of the grill, twice during the cooking turn the turkey around (and the pan, of course) so that one side is not more cooked than another.

Toward the end of the cooking time, open the grill and insert the meat thermometer into the fleshy part of the thigh and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165° F (remember that the turkey will continue to cook after it is removed from the heat of the fire). NOTE: The USDA has come up with a one-temperature-suits-all for poultry safety: 165° F. For safety and doneness, the internal temperature should be checked with a meat thermometer.

In the absence of a meat thermometer, pierce the turkey with a fork in several places; juices should be clear with no trace of pink. NOTE: The old-fashioned way of wiggling the leg to see if it's loose will give you an indication that the turkey is ready, but unfortunately, by the time the leg is truly loose, the turkey is sadly overcooked. The only reliable test for doneness is to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, without touching the bone.

thermapen thermometerThis is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. Originally designed for professional users, the Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world. To learn more about this excellent thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined: Thermapen Thermometer.

Allow the cooked turkey to sit for approximately 10 to 15 minutes before carving.


Basting Juice:
1/2 cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped
Neck and gizzard
2 teaspoons chopped dried rosemary
3 cups chicken stock or water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup sweet Marsala wine or port wine*
1/2 cup dry vermouth or white wine*
Juice from two lemons

* I usually use any red wine that I have. You could also substitute the vermouth for additional red wine.

In a heavy pot over medium-high heat, melt butter; sauté onion until just translucent. Add the neck and gizzard; continue cooking for approximately 4 minutes. Add the rosemary and chicken stock or water; simmer until reduced by halve. Remove from heat and strain well.

Use the gizzard and neck in the stuffing or the gravy. For the basting juice, mix together the strained stock mixture, marsala or port wine, vermouth, and the juice of the lemons.



 


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