Tom's Turkey, Grilled of Course - 19 The key to the perfect Thanksgiving Turkey is preparation which is a multi-day process. The turkey needs to be thawed properly in the fridge which can take a few days. It also needs a brine. Sure, most turkeys have some sort of salt solution already applied, but that solution is just salt water. By doing your own brine, you can add to the flavor profile by including flavorizers and aromatics to the solution that will saturate your bird and guarantee a flavorful and juicy Thanksgiving masterpiece. I’ll hand it over to Tom for this incredible recipe that will be not only the star of Thanksgiving, but the talk of the Holiday weekend.

DAY 1

Brine for Grilled Thanksgiving Turkey:

1 cup kosher salt
¼ cup pepper corns
½ cup allspice berry or whole pimento
3 sprigs rosemary
2 whole carrots
1 onion
Several garlic cloves
3 cups apple cider
Water and ice
14 pound turkey

Tom's Turkey, Grilled of Course - 01

If you do not have a fresh turkey, make sure your turkey is completely thawed.

In a stockpot, combine 4 cups of water, salt, peppercorns, allspice berries, and rosemary, and bring to a simmer. Peel and crush the garlic; peel onion and slice in two; cut the carrots in half and add to the stockpot:

Tom's Turkey, Grilled of Course - 04

Let the concoction cook for five to ten minutes, then let it cool.  This step brings out the flavors and aromas of the spices and makes sure the salt is completely dissolved.  It also makes your house smell great!  Place all veggies with the rest of the brining ingredients in a clean five gallon bucket or brining bag.

Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavity.  Place your gobbler in the bucket with the aromatic veggies.  Add enough ice and water to completely cover your bird. This keeps it from flying out of the bucket (and keeps the turkey at a safe temperature)!  Cover the bucket with a foil and wrap in a towel and store in a cool place overnight:

Tom's Turkey, Grilled of Course - Collage2

DAY 2:

Remove your soon to be Thanksgiving turkey from the bucket.  Rinse the bird and make sure all the peppercorns and pimentos are washed off.  Pat the poultry dry to allow the rub to stick and get more even browning.

Tom’s Turkey Spices and Stuffing:

2 sprigs thyme
2  sprigs rosemary
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
Cajun seasoning to taste
1 stick of butter
Olive oil
1 apple, sliced and cored
1 onion, rough chopped

Lift up the skin of the turkey breasts and insert the sprigs of thyme, rosemary, and pats of butter:

Tom's Turkey, Grilled of Course - Collage3

Drizzle olive oil over the turkey and then salt and pepper your bird.  We also used some Cajun seasoning, as we like a spicier turkey.  If you like your turkey to get up and dance, put a little spice in his pants!  Finally, insert the apple and onion inside the turkey for extra flavor and moisture:

Tom's Turkey, Grilled of Course - Collage4

TO COOK TOM’S TURKEY:

Set up the Big Green Egg (BGE) for indirect grilling at 325­-350 degrees by putting the place setter over the coals to displace the heat around the turkey. If you don’t have a Big Green Egg (or other Kamado style grill like the BGE), place coals on one side and the gobbler on the other.  Add aromatic fruit wood for extra smoky flavor (apple, peach and pear are fine options. For a full list of smoke woods and what they pair with, click here).

Always place your BEAUTIFUL BIRD breast up on the grill after placing a thermometer in the thigh:

Tom's Turkey, Grilled of Course - 17

Grill the turkey on the BGE until it reaches approximately 165-170 degrees, roughly 2.5 hours.  Make sure your thermometer is in the thigh, if you place it in the breast, your meat will be overdone and dry. Here is the turkey ready to come off the Big Green Egg:

Tom's Turkey, Grilled of Course - 19

Our turkey turned out very brown.  If you do not like your bird to get this brown, place foil around the turkey for the first 60-90 minutes

When you remove your turkey from the Big Green Egg, it will be very tired, so let it rest for at least an hour before carving. The resting will allow the juices, in an excited state from the heat of the grill, to redistribute throughout the meat to ensure your grilled Thanksgiving Turkey is moist and delicious through and through.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

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If you have any questions about this recipe or any other questions about grilling on Thanksgiving, leave them below or shoot me an email.

Tom's Turkey, Grilled That Is
Author: 
Recipe type: Grilled Thanksgiving Turkey
Cuisine: BBQ
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Brined and grilled Turkey that is guaranteed to be moist and delicious for your Thanksgiving Feast
Ingredients
Brine for Grilled Thanksgiving Turkey:
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup pepper corns
  • ½ cup allspice berry or whole pimento
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 whole carrots
  • 1 onion
  • Several garlic cloves
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • Water and ice
  • 14 pound turkey
Tom’s Turkey Spices and Stuffing:
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • Cajun seasoning to taste
  • 1 stick of butter
  • Olive oil
  • 1 apple, sliced and cored
  • 1 onion, rough chopped
Instructions
Brine:
  1. In a stockpot, combine 4 cups of water, salt, peppercorns, allspice berries, and rosemary, and bring to a simmer
  2. Peel and crush the garlic; peel onion and slice in two; cut the carrots in half and add to the stockpot
  3. Place all veggies with the rest of the brining ingredients in a clean five gallon bucket or brining bag
  4. Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavity
  5. Place bird in the bucket with the aromatic veggies
  6. Add enough ice and water to completely cover your bird
  7. Cover the bucket with a foil and wrap in a towel and store in a cool place overnight
  8. The next day, remove the soon to be grilled Thanksgiving turkey from the brine, rinse off and pat dry with a paper towel
Seasoning and Grilling:
  1. Lift up the skin of the turkey breasts and insert the sprigs of thyme, rosemary, and pats of butter
  2. Drizzle olive oil over the turkey and then salt and pepper your bird as well as cajun seasoning (Optional).
  3. Insert the apple and onion inside the turkey for extra flavor and moisture
  4. Set up the Big Green Egg for indirect grilling at 325­-350 degrees by putting the place setter over the coals to displace the heat around the turkey. If you don't have a Kamado style grill like the BGE, place coals on one side and the gobbler on the other.
  5. Place bird breast up on the grill after placing a thermometer in the thigh
  6. Grill on the BGE until it reaches approximately 165-170 degrees, roughly 2.5 hours
  7. Let the grilled Thanksgiving turkey rest for an hour before carving and serving
 

Tom Jones

Tom Jones

Tom Jones

@GrillinFool

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one comment

We love turkey on the grill, just did a spatchcocked one a few weeks ago. I like that brine you put together.

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