I wanted to do BBQ turkey and I planned it so I was not responsible for the meal on Thanksgiving. So demon Murphy and I did battle today for Turkey on the BBQ grill.
3 and 1/2 hours prepping and cooking and it looks good. Small bird at 11.5 pounds
- I try thawing the turkey in the fridge for 2 days. Even this small turkey was as hard as a rock. the 3rd day I placed in a bucket of cool water and back into the extra fridge in the garage. Plan for at least 4 days for thawing a turkey.
- I did more of a marinade rather than a brine consisting of 1/2 gallon each water and a Apple juice, whole peppercorns, 4 Bay leaves and dried rosemary let it set 2 days. Drain the turkey pat dry and rubbed with olive oil, white pepper, sage and a little salt.
- Used a charcoal chimney for the first time and it worked great. No more dependence on lighter fluid! I also use mesquite chunk charcoal instead of briquets. I like the smoke flavor and how long it lasts and I don’t care for the additives in briquets. Using your chiminy make a bed of coals and then push them to the outer edges of where you are cooking the bird. Under your bird you will want a drip pan to catch the fat and juices. You can add water, wine or beer about an inch deep to prevent flare ups. I added my homemade dark ale. You’ll want the temp of the grill to maintain 325-350 degrees F.
- For the first hour: Breast is down and every 15 minutes you give the turkey a quarter turn, making sure you maintain temp and you drip pan keeps about 1 inch of liquids in it.
- 2nd hour: flip the turkey on its back do the same as the first hour but start basting every 15 minutes. I used a rosemary infused butter. This is the hour I needed to add 1 chiminey worth of coals. Place giblets and neck in tinfoil and put over heat to cook
- 30 minutes left in cooking flip the turkey again on it’s breast after basting and I didn’t rotate it any more. Take neck out of giblet tinfoil and let it brown, flipping it over after 15 min. Give everything 1 last basting.
- Turkey is done, use a meat instant read thermometer and you should be around 160 degrees internal temp. As the turkey rests it should cruise on up to 165 degrees and be good to go.
- Rest the turkey at least 20 minutes for a small one and up to 40 minutes for a 20 pounds plus. This gives the bird time to reabsorb juices. This gives you time for gravy or any last minute touches for the meal.
- I had a little smoke ring 1/10 of an inch below the skin and the Mesquite and dark ale imparted a little sweetness to the meat. Very tasty but I went kind of traditional/safe spices for my first try I think I will spice it up a little for the next turkey.
All in all I am pleased how it turned out. As the grill/smoker is one my backup cooking systems I learned I can maintain 325-350 degrees F. I added flavor, freeded up an oven to do other foods. I’m thinking I could bake my Mac&Cheese in a dutch oven in the last hour. As this is an extra turkey I’ve got some family that want to try the BBQ version so I’ll shred and slice some of the meat for them and myself and then cook the bones for stock. I got an idea for white/green chili.