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Grilled Whole Turkey

The Best Thanksgiving Turkey On The Grill from @zimmysnook

Enjoy this recipe from James Synowski, @zimmysnook

Dry brining a turkey produces amazing flavour, crispy skin and juicy meat. While making a flavourful turkey broth ensures a delicious gravy and is perfect for basting the bird on the grill.

Dry-Brine the Turkey (24 hours in advance)

3 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 14-16 lbs fresh turkey (raised without the use of antibiotics or steroids) - (not kosher or pre-salted)

 Mix the salt, pepper, and herbs together in a small bowl.


Remove the turkey from the packaging, remove and reserve neck & giblets (for stock). Place the turkey on a wire rack over a sheet pan. Remove or discard any plastic or metal cages or pop-up thermometers.

Pat the outside of the turkey dry with paper towels.

Using your hands, loosen the skin over the breast & thighs and gently separate it from the meat (Careful not to break the skin).

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the salt mixture into the cavity of the turkey, spread 1 teaspoon of the salt mixture onto the meat of the thighs (under the skin) and spread 3 teaspoons of the salt mixture onto the meat of the breasts (under the skin).

Sprinkle the remaining salt mixture over all the skin of the entire turkey (including the wings).

Bend the wings back and tuck under the breast.

Place the turkey breast-side up, on the wire rack in the sheet pan, and refrigerate uncovered for 24 hours.


Prepare Turkey to Grill

3 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large yellow onion, cut into 8ths

1 large orange, cut into 8ths

1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 cups turkey stock, for spraying/basting (recipe below)

Spray bottle for basting the turkey with broth



Remove the turkey from the refrigerator. Mix butter & olive oil and rub all over the turkey. Stuff the turkey with the onion, orange, celery, carrot, bay leaves, and thyme. Loosely tie the drumsticks and wings together with kitchen string.

To grill the turkey, you can either use the Arteflame Rotisserie to cook the complete turkey or you can deconstruct the turkey and grill the pieces individually.

Using the Rotisserie, make sure to use kitchen string to tie the legs and wings to the body of the turkey.  Grill the turkey until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165°F when inserted into the largest section of the thigh (avoiding the bone). Spray the turkey with the turkey stock as needed.

If you decide to deconstruct the turkey and roast all the pieces separately, you can pick and choose dark versus light meat ahead of time to accommodate people's individual preferences.  Grilling the pieces separately makes it easy to get the white meat as tender as the dark meat without over cooking it.  To get everything ready at the same time, try reverse searing.  Use the Arteflame cooktop to get all the meat to temperature.  When the meat is almost done, place it directly on the grill grate for that perfect, crispy sear.  This way you are sure the meat is properly cooked and you get a nice crispy skin.

When the turkey is done, let it rest for 20 minutes before carving.


Make Turkey Broth (make ahead)

1 tablespoon olive oil

turkey neck & giblets (plus 2 backs, skin removed – optional)

1 large carrot, coarsely chopped

1 onion, coarsely chopped

1 large celery, coarsely chopped

1 small bay leaf

4 cups chicken stock (or low sodium chicken broth)

4 cups water

For the turkey broth: Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan by placing it directly on the grill.  As the Arteflame cooktop has various heat zones, it is easy to move the saucepan around to get the temperature perfect.  If using backs, add the backs to the pan and brown for 2 minutes, add the turkey neck, heart, gizzard to the pan and sauté until just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add the chopped vegetables and bay leaf to the pan and sauté until soft, about 4-6 minutes. Pour the stock and water into the pan and bring to a boil.  Then let it simmer until the stock is reduced to about 6 cups, approximately 1 hour.

Strain the stock into a clean pot or large measuring cup. Reserve 4 cups to make gravy and place 2 cups into a spray bottle to baste the turkey.

These are some of the products we use in this recipe:

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