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GRILLED FRESH TURKEY

 

Ingredients:

12 pound unstuffed fresh turkey at room temperature

Overnight soak: 2 gallons water with 1 cup kosher salt

2-3 cups chopped onion, carrot, celery, fresh herbs

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

 

Prep for a Charcoal Grill:

40 charcoal briquettes

8 pieces mesquite

Drip pan with 1 quart cool water

Rack to hold the turkey

 

Prep for a Gas Grill:

Fresh tank of gas

Drip pan with 1 quart cool water

Rack

 

Timing:

Soak bird overnight in salted water

Preheat gas grill for 10 minutes OR charcoal grill 40 minutes.

Allow 11 minutes cooking time per pound bird.

Cooked temperature: 170 degrees in the thigh.

 

Directions:

The night before, remove the turkey from its packaging and take the giblets from the interior.  Cut off the last joint of the wing.  Reserve these for stock.

 

Submerge the turkey in a water bath to which 1/4 cup kosher salt per 1/2 gallon has been added.  Refrigerate overnight, weighted to keep it submerged.

 

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before cooking. Drain and pat dry with toweling. Salt and pepper the interior, add chopped vegetables and herbs.  Cover the opening with foil.  Wrap string around the bird from neck to legs trapping the wing pieces tightly against the body.  Lightly massage the turkey with melted butter.  Set it in the rack breast side down.

 

Separate the coals on either side of the drip pan filled with water.  Add the mesquite chips if cooking with charcoal.

 

Center the bird over the drip pan on the preheated grill.  Turn the gas grill down to medium.  Damp down a charcoal grill by 1/3.

 

Check the grill every 30 minutes adding more water to the drip pan and adjusting the heat as needed.  After 1-1/2 hours turn the bird over on its breast and continue cooking until the thigh registers, 170 degrees.

 

Remove the bird to a serving platter and cover lightly with foil.  Allow it to rest for 30 minutes before carving.