Planning on a traditional turkey this Christmas but can’t bear the thought of slaving away in a hot kitchen? The ideal solution is to grill it on your BBQ. It’s quick (yes, really!), easy and results in the perfect combination of succulent, tender, juicy meat and crisp and golden skin. Delicious!
Preparing the bird
Brining your turkey overnight will help to ensure you achieve juicy, flavoursome meat rather than the awful Christmas cliche of a dry, dull and tough bird. A large turkey should be fully submerged in 10 litres of water containing 800g salt. This may seem like a lot of salt but trust us, it won’t taste salty, largely thanks to the desalination process. Sit the turkey in fresh water for an hour, changing it every 15 minutes. Remove it from its bath, pat it dry with kitchen paper and then add your stuffing and seasoning. We recommend keeping it simple by stuffing the cavity with a lemon, some rosemary and thyme, squeezing some lemon juice over the top, and then generously smearing it with butter.
To ensure such a large bird doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside whilst remaining raw on the inside, you’ll need to use the indirect cooking method. Light the burners on the side of the BBQ, close the lid and allow the BBQ to reach 250°C. Place the turkey on the other side so that there is no heat directly under it and then close the lid again and keep it closed, opening it only to baste the turkey. This way the heat will circulate around the bird rather then grilling it over a high heat. The turkey will be ready when its internal temperature reaches 65°C at its thickest point (use a meat thermometer). This should only take around 2 1/2 hours.
Placing a drip tray under the bird, on top of the unlit burner(s) will allow you to catch precious juices which you can use to make the gravy. Pouring water into the tray will also add humidity to the BBQ, helping to keep the bird moist.
Basting your turkey every half an hour will help keep the meat moist and tender, as the fat from the basting juices will permeate the skin and meat close to the the surface, preventing it from drying out. It also adds flavour and keeps the surface slightly cooler, which helps the meat to cook evenly. Melt some butter and stir in some chopped thyme and rosemary leaves for a delicious basting sauce.