Reading Chris Anderson’s post about Deep
Fried Turkey got me thinking…
I’ve been barbecuing turkey for about 5 or 6 years now, and in the spirit of sharing,
here’s my recipe:
Bird, 1, large. We generally have a lot of people over (~15), so this means somewhere
around a 22 pound bird. I prefer a fresh turkey over a frozen one, but it’s up to
Grill, Weber, charcoal, 22″ size. Some people use gas barbecues, but I’m very much
a traditionalist. It helps if it has the fold up edges so you can get under the grill
- Briquets. I’m a Kingsford man. Some swear by chunk charcoal, but I prefer briquets.
- Roasting tray, 8″ x 10″
Thermometer. You can use a normal dial-indicator kind, but I prefer a remote digital
one. If you use a dial one, cover the dial with aluminum foil.
Wood chips. Turkey has a fairly mild flavor, so you want a subtle wood. I usually
use a fruitwood, like apple or cherry. This year, I used alder (because I forgot my
apple wood and had some alder logs), which my wife liked better but I didn’t like
quite so much. You want to avoid strong woods, such as mesquite, or hickory (my least
- Two “turkey lifter” thingies. Look a little like goalposts.
Prepare the bird. At the minimum, you’ll want to remove the “yuckola blobs” from the
inside. Some people like to brine
their turkey before hand. I think it helps a little in moistness, but the barbecue
will give you a fairly wet heat anyway, so it’s not that much of an issue. Rub on
butter and add salt/pepper as desired.
- Start around 30 briquets.
- Put the briquets on the edges of the grill, with the roasting pan between them.
- Put the bird on the grill.
- Put the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast.
- Lift up the edge parts of the grill, and put some chips on the briquets.
- Close the lid
Now, every 30-60 minutes, open the lid, add briquets to keep the amount constant,
and add wood chips if desired. Less is more on the wood chips – I usually don’t add
any after the first hour.
Continue until it reaches the desired temperature. I’ve typically gone to 165 degrees,
but I notice that Alton Brown says 161 degrees.
Remove from the grill, and use the drippings to make gravy. Carve the turkey, and