Turkey is a Thanksgiving staple. But if you’re one of those people who secretly dread a plate full of turkey meat, it could be because you’ve never had it cooked the right way.
On Thanksgiving, most people choose to roast their turkey in the oven. This is silly because you need the oven either to cook or heat up other dishes like mashed potatoes, stuffing, roasted vegetables, etc.
Some more adventurous cooks will try deep-frying their turkey, which produces a crispy golden skin but significantly increases the possibility of blowing yourself up before the big feast.
The best way to cook your turkey is to grill it.
It makes the turkey moist and smoky. That’s because it roasts the turkey like a rotisserie — the flavours are locked inside while all the fat and grease drips off.
To grill your turkey on an outdoor grill, the first trick is to buy a turkey that is already brined (or you can do this yourself) to prevent the skin from burning.
Lightly brush your bird with melted butter (olive oil will start a fire on the grill) and stuff the inside of the turkey with an assortment of herbs. Anything will work, but thyme, rosemary, and sage are good choices.
If you have a Weber grill, you’re going to use what’s called the “indirect method” to grill your turkey. The beauty of this method is that it slowly cooks the turkey evenly on all sides.
First, preheat the grill with all the burners on high. The turkey is placed directly onto the cooking grate, meaning there’s less of a mess to clean up after. Once the turkey is on the grill, turn the center burner off and the two side burners down, maintaining a temperature of around 350 degrees Fahrenheit. For added flavour, you can add hickory chips to a grill smoker.
Unlike oven-roasting, you don’t have to turn or baste your turkey, so it’s less of a hassle. The turkey is safe to eat when the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
See this chart from Butterball for more tips on how to grill a turkey on an outdoor charcoal and gas grill.
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