Grill Your Thanksgiving Turkey - November 21, 2011



Barbecued Turkey with White Wine Gravy – Weber (Gas)

  • 8 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups lightly packed fresh Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons prepared chili powder
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 turkey, 11 to 13 pounds, fresh or defrosted, neck and giblets removed
  • 2–4 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
  • Gravy (makes about 3 cups)
    • 6 tablespoons collected fat (use melted butter if necessary)
    • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock and pan juices
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves


In a small bowl combine the garlic, parsley, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, 2 teaspoons of pepper, the chili powder, orange zest (reserve the oranges), and butter. If your turkey has a metal or plastic trussing clamp, leave it in place. Starting from the neck end of the turkey, carefully separate the skin from the breast meat with your fingers. Push about half of the butter mixture onto the breast meat under the skin and spread it out evenly. Use the other half of the butter mixture to cover the top and sides of the turkey evenly. Generously season with salt and pepper. Quarter the oranges and place inside the cavity of the turkey.

Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).

Put 2 cups of the chicken stock, the onion, and carrot inside a heavy-duty roasting pan. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack, and set it inside the pan. Grill the turkey over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible. Check the turkey after the first hour. If any parts are getting too dark, wrap them tightly with aluminum foil. If the pan looks dry, add the remaining 2 cups of chicken stock so the pan drippings don’t burn. Check the turkey again after another hour. Cover any dark areas with foil. The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 160° to 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone), 2-1/4 to 3 hours. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving (the internal temperatures will rise 5 to 10 degrees during this time). It will remain warm for 45 minutes. Meanwhile make the gravy.

Pour the juices from the roasting pan into a heatproof glass bowl or measuring cup, leaving any browned bits in the bottom of the roasting pan. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes while the clear yellow fat rises to the top of the juices. Skim off the fat and put it in a small bowl. If necessary, add enough melted butter to total 6 tablespoons of fat. Place the roasting pan on a side burner or two stovetop burners set to medium heat. Add the fat to the pan, sprinkle the flour into the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until it turns dark brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the stock and reserved juices (4 cups total) plus the wine, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. If the gravy seems to thin, simmer it longer until it is as thick as you like. If it seems too thick, add more stock. Season with salt and pepper. Strain the gravy. Add the parsley. Carve the turkey and serve warm with the gravy.


Traditional Turkey – Traeger (pellet)

  • 1 fresh or frozen thawed turkey (15 lbs.)
  • 3-4 tbsp. Traeger Chicken Rub
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil


Wipe turkey surface and cavity with wet paper towels, discard towels. Lightly rub oil over the surface and cavity of the turkey. Sprinkle a light coating of Traeger Chicken Rub on the surface and in the cavity of turkey. Start grill on smoke with lid open until fire is established (about 5 minutes). Switch to “medium” or 300 degrees on the digital thermostat. Place turkey on the center of the grill, close lid and cook for 3 ½ to 4 hours or until internal meat temperature is 160 to 165 degrees in the thickest part of the breast. Allow to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.

Optional: Place turkey in a foil roasting pan to collect the juice to make great gravy.


Smoked Turkey - Big Green Egg (lump charcoal)

  • 16 cups (1 gallon) water
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • Rind of 1 navel orange
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 3 yellow onions, quartered
  • 2 heads garlic, halved
  • 1 (12-pound) turkey
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 10 sprigs sage
  • 1 cup chopped potatoes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder


Preheat the EGG to 350ºF / 177ºC without the Plate Setter.

Pour the water into a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, orange rind, rosemary, salt, two-thirds of the quartered onions, and 1 halved garlic head. Mix until the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove the giblets from inside the turkey and reserve for another use. Rinse the turkey well. Place the turkey in a 2½ gallon resealable plastic bag or any container that is large enough to hold the turkey and the liquid. Pour the brine over the turkey, making sure it’s completely covered. Refrigerate for 12 hours, turning occasionally.

Soak 4 cups of hickory chips in water in a medium bowl for 1 hour.

Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse well to remove the brining liquid, and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brining liquid and solids. Stuff the turkey with the lemon quarters, the remaining halved garlic head and onion, thyme, sage, and potatoes. Brush the turkey with olive oil and season with pepper and garlic powder.

Scatter 1 cup of the hickory chips over the hot coals and, using barbecue mitts, place the Plate Setter, legs up, in the EGG. Place the turkey on the V-Rack and put the V-Rack in the Drip Pan. Place the Drip Pan on the Plate Setter and close the lid of the EGG. Cook for 2½ hours, adding more chips every 30 minutes. If the turkey starts to brown too quickly, carefully tent the turkey with aluminum foil. Continue cooking until the instant read thermometer registers 165ºF / 74ºC.

Remove the turkey from the EGG and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Carve and serve immediately. Serves 8



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