All About Turkey
On the BBQ
Think outside the oven. Use the tips below to prepare moist and delicious turkey on the barbecue.
Barbecuing a Whole Turkey
Roasting a Whole Turkey
When cooking a whole turkey on the barbecue, follow these simple steps:
- Prepare your turkey as you would for oven roasting. Rinse inside and out. Place breast side up in roasting pan. Lightly brush with oil or melted margarine; sprinkle the outside and cavity with seasonings. Add 1/2 cup (125mL) of water to the bottom of the pan.
- Insert a meat thermometer into the thigh, being careful not to touch the bone.
- Place your pan on a grill preheated to medium and close the lid. After 20 to 30 minutes, lower the heat to medium-low and tent your turkey with foil to prevent over-browning. Baste every 15 to 20 minutes. For barbecues with temperature settings, keep the barbecue adjusted to 325° to 375°F (160° to 190°C).
- Add more water to the pan as needed during roasting (to keep it moist).
Rotisserie Grilling a Whole Turkey
Whole turkeys under 12 lbs (5.5kg) work best on the spit. Season the cavity with herbs and lemon slices. Tie the wings securely to the body and the legs to the tail. Insert the spit in front of the tail and through the bird so it is balanced and securely fastened. Brush the skin with oil, marinade or melted margarine. A foil drip pan under the turkey controls flare-ups. Fill the drip pan with water.
Note: It is not recommended to stuff a whole turkey for barbecuing since an uneven cooking temperature may not heat the stuffing safely to the required temperature.
Grilling Turkey Breasts
With barbecuing becoming an increasingly popular way for people to cook, especially during the summer months, here are some suggestions to try when grilling turkey breasts to ensure delicious, moist meat:
- If you are using a boneless skinless turkey breast you can butterfly it so it is thinner and can be grilled over a higher heat for a shorter period of time
- You can start the whole turkey breast on a higher heat, like medium high, and sear or make grill marks on both sides of the turkey, then reduce the heat to a medium low to let it cook slowly
- You can also, if you have the bone in turkey breast, sear the fleshy side first and then turn it over onto the bone and reduce the heat to medium or medium low and let it cook longer on the bone side so the breast stays juicy
- Your grill may be hot or have hot spots so try to keep an eye on those spots and keep the turkey away from that
Another option is to cook the turkey breast on indirect heat – where you heat up only one side of the grill to medium high and then place the turkey breast on the unlit side, close lid and let it cook for about 25 minutes. This is essentially making an oven in your barbecue. If you add some smoking chips this is a great way to add a ton of flavour as well. See the instructions on the smoking chips bag for further details.