Grilled Turkey for Thanksgiving? Yes, please!
Grilling is a wonderful variation of an oven roasted turkey and is a great method to get a moist and tender bird. Here are some directions to use your grill to prepare your turkey this year. While you are grilling you can set your table in your outdoor living space to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal with your family and friends.
Start by washing and seasoning a fully 12-14 pound turkey, plan on starting about 4 hours before you plan to have dinner. Grilling a whole turkey or turkey breast requires indirect heat and a drip pan.
Prepping the turkey
NOTE: You will not be able to make stuffing inside the bird with this method of cooking.
Create an herb butter to help make the skin crisp and brown while cooking.
Herb Mustard Butter Recipe
1 ½ sticks softened unsalted butter
3 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. finely chopped rosemary
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. finely chopped sage
¼ cup chopped parsley
(THIS IS A VERY IMPORANT STEP.) Set an aluminum drip pan, at least the size of your turkey, on one of the burners UNDER the cooking grate to catch drips before they cause a flare. Turn all burners to high and close the lid and heat to 300 to 324 degrees. Once you have reached that temperature you will want to turn off the burner under the aluminum pan. You can maintain the heat by adjusting other burners.
Use the herb mustard butter and spread it inside the main cavity of the turkey (about 2 tbsp.) Then spread the rest of the butter under the skin all over the turkey. You might have to loosen the skin to get the butter around the breast. Pat the turkey to even out the lumps of butter and wrap the wing tips and drumstick ends with foil so they don’t char.
Oil a shallow grilling rack and put the turkey on it with the breast side up. Set the rack over the drip pan and cover the grill.
Knowing the temperature of your turkey is very important. Make sure that you use a thermometer that is specific for the grill or use and instant- read thermometer and start checking the temperature after about an hour and a half of cooking. Tent the turkey with foil if it gets too dark while still cooking. The temperature you are looking for is 165 degrees. It should be 170 degrees at the thigh joint.
Lift the turkey onto a platter and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes, just enough time to get all of your other Thanksgiving items put together for dinner to serve in your outdoor living space.
We hope your family and friends enjoy your grilled turkey as well as spending time together in your outdoor living space.
Recipe from Sunset Magazine http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/holidays-occasions/how-to-grill-turkey
- Remove the leg truss. Hot air needs to circulate through the bird and that can’t happen when the legs are tied together.
- Remove the giblets and neck from the main cavity.
- Drain the turkey and pat it dry inside and out.