Saturday, November 10, 2012

Andy's Charcoal Roasted Turkey

Want a twist on your Thanksgiving turkey?  Try charcoal roasting it!  My husband, Andy, is in love with his charcoal grill.  It came as no surprise that the first time we hosted Thanksgiving dinner, he insisted on taking our turkey to the grill.  It was a huge hit and has since become a staple at our Thanksgiving table.  Cooking your turkey on the grill will also free up your oven, a huge bonus.  We hope you'll try it!

Roast turkey here...

Andy's Charcoal Roasted Turkey

3 carrots, rough chopped
4 celery stalks, rough chopped
1 large onion, rough chopped
Handful Italian parsley
Handful fresh sage
Handful fresh thyme
Wood chips (hickory preferred)

A full bag of charcoal
Large aluminum foil pan
Tin foil
Oven thermometer (optional)
Instant read thermometer

This is similar to roasting a turkey in your oven, but you are imparting smokey charcoal flavor. Pick a bird that fits on your grill with the lid on. Last thing you want is to go to put the lid on the grill and it doesn't close.

Prep the turkey by removing the neck and gizzard. Stuff the cavity with carrots, celery, onions and parsley, sage, and thyme. Generously, salt and pepper the bird all over and under the skin and in the cavities. Place the bird in the foil pan.

Prepare a charcoal grill for indirect grilling. Two piles of red hot brickets on either side of the grill (around 30 or so brickets per side). Situate the grate so the handles where there is a gap is above the coals. This will allow you to add charcoal easily. The foil pan should be able sit in the middle without getting direct heat from the charcoal. Soak a large bowl of hickory wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes.

Place the pan on the middle of the grill. Add several large handfuls of the moist wood chips to the charcoal. Place the lid on the grill with vents open on the lid and underneath the grill.

Every 20-30 minutes add a couple handfuls of charcoal and moist wood chips. Your goal is to maintain a temperature of about 350 degrees. Use an oven thermometer to check. The less you take the lid off the better.

After 1.5 - 2 hours stop adding wood chips when it has a nice golden smokey brown color and occasionally start adding a few pats of butter to the top of the bird. After a stick of butter, continue to baste the bird with the juices. Also lightly tent the breast with tin foil at this point.

Cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh and breast. Depending on the size of the bird this might be 3-4 hours total cooking time. Remove from heat and let stand for 30 minutes before carving. Make gravy with the drippings.

Link to Weber grill


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