Grilling Technique for a turkey
16 lb.or less turkey
seasonings of your choice
Start out by preheating your grill to 350 degrees F.
now season your bird, using your favorite rub or some montreal seasoning, get it under the skin and all over the bird.
Timing the rotations -
there is a lot of flipping and flopping and turning that goes on with this technique so be prepared with some oven mitts or gloves or something so you don't burn your hands. The formula for determining when to rotate your turkey is thus:
Take the weight of the turkey and multiply it times 12 minutes per pound and divide by 3. Therefore a 12-pound turkey would calculate as follows: 12 lbs x 12 min./lb = 144 minutes divided by 3 = 48 minutes per rotation. well not really, but read on.
Now to start!
Stage One -
On the side of the grill that is not on, place the turkey on its side so the wings and thighs are facing down and the legs are pointing to the back of the grill. Allow cooking for 48 minutes but being sure to monitor the grill temperature so it doesn't get too hot or too cool.
Stage Two -
When this is done, flip the bird over so the other wings and thighs are facing down with the legs now pointing to the front of the grill. Allow this to cook for anther 48 minutes while you are either watching the game or preparing one of your many many side dishes.
Stage Three -
Flip the bird so it's on its back with the breast facing up and the legs facing the back of the grill. In this position you will cook the bird for half the amount of time or 24 minutes. I was so worried about keeping the grill at a constant 350 degrees F and it turned out it just worked itself out perfectly.
Stage Four -
Rotate the bird so its legs are facing the front of the oven and grill for approximately 24 more minutes. I say approximately because we want to start checking the bird with our instant thermometers and continue grilling until the breast meat reaches 165 degrees F.
To give the bird an incredible color, the recipe in Cuisine suggests you coat the bird with sugary glaze during Stage 4. But watch it carefully it will darken quickly.
• When purchasing a whole turkey or turkey breast to be cooked on a grill, the structure is as important as the weight. Generally, a turkey that is broad and flat will fit better under the covered grill top than one that protrudes too high in the breast area. Remember there should be at least one-inch of space between the turkey and the lid.
• Turkeys weighing 16 pounds or less are the recommended size for safe grilling.
• Do not stuff the turkey.
• To reduce sticking, apply a thin coating of non-stick vegetable cooking oil to the unheated grill rack. Brush the outer surface of the turkey with a light-flavored cooking oil such as canola or lightly spray with a non-stick vegetable cooking oil.
• If uncertain about which temperature to use for searing, remember the leaner the poultry (cutlets), the higher the heat can be, or the fattier the poultry (thighs), the lower the heat should be.
• When using a sauce or glaze containing sugar, wait until the last 10-15 minutes to apply the sauce. The sugar will caramelize and burn the surface if applied too early.
All preheating and cooking should be done with the lid in the closed position. When preheating, turn the burners to high and close the lid. Preheating usually takes 10-15 minutes and the grill temperature should be about 500ºF. The temperature is then lowered for most grilling.