The Security Chef’s “Better Bird Turkey”

Martin McKeay reached out on Twitter today asking for guidance on grilling a turkey:

Any hints for BBQ’ing a turkey? We got a grill late last year but I’ve never tried to grill a turkey before

I provided him with this grilling recipe that is sure to please. Note, that I have added a few more steps and ingredients to make this a better bird:

1 12-14lb turkey (giblets removed)
2 Teaspoon of sea salt
1 Teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
2 Teaspoons of onion flakes
1-2 Cloves of garlic (crushed)
1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil (may need more depending on the size of the bird)

Step 1 – Rub the entire turkey with olive or vegetable oil to prevent it from drying out (and to make it nice and crispy).

Step 2 – Massage in the salt, pepper, garlic, and onion flakes.

Step 3 – Let sit for about 30 minutes to allow the oil and spices to sink in. Before you place the bird on the grill cover the wing tips with aluminum foil to protect them (they’ll be the first to burn).

Step 4 – Set up your grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. This means that if you’re using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan (since a lot of juice is going to come off of the bird) in the middle of the grill and put your coals on either side. If you’re using a gas grill then set the temperature to medium and place your bird on one side of the grill (if you have a small BBQ) or in the middle (if you have 3 to 6+ burners) with the drip pan underneath.

Step 5 – Place the bird over the drip try and cook for roughly 4 hours or until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 180F using an an instant read thermometer (inserted into the thigh meat to test for doneness).

– If you notice that the bird is starting to burn then create an aluminum foil tent to prevent further burning. (It’s just like it sounds, create a tent of aluminum foil over top of the bird).
– If you’d like to add a smokey flavor to your turkey then add some wood chips directly to the coals (or to your smoker box/pouch if using a gas grill) every hour. I’d suggest apple, hickory, or pecan wood chips.
– Depending on the flavor you’re going for you could add additional spices. Some suggestions would be rosemary, marjoram, basil, bay leaf, and/or thyme. If you want something different why not try a Jerk seasoning or some Chinese Five-spice powder.

Hungry yet? Maybe my next Security Chef post will be my famous smoked beef ribs….

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