Lucky me. Ever since George learned how to barbecue a turkey, I haven’t had to cook one. It’s perfect since he enjoys barbecuing and I don’t, plus we all love the moist, smokey flavor.
I asked George aka Gramps to share his instructions for barbecuing a turkey on his Weber kettle BBQ, so he was kind enough to jot down the directions so I could share it with my blog peeps.
Note: We don’t stuff the turkey if we BBQ it because when we tried this, the stuffing had too much smoke flavor. Instead, we cook the stuffing separately in the oven.
Plan to cook your turkey a total of ten minutes per pound. So, if you have a 13-pound turkey, you will cook it for two hours and 15 minutes.
You Will Need:
First, pick out your turkey. “I think hen turkeys are more tender and have better flavor,” George says. Thirteen pounds and under are usually hen turkeys. Turkeys weighing over 13 pounds are Tom turkeys. Let your turkey thaw out.
A 22 1/2-inch Weber kettle barbecue. George says the 18-inch kettle BBQ isn’t big enough.
12-inch by 12-inch aluminum pan.
10-pound bag of charcoal. Do not use Match Light charcoal. The lighter fluid in the briquettes will ruin the taste of the turkey.
Peanut oil. If someone has a peanut allergy, you can use another oil that tolerates high heat, such as avocado oil.
Now You’re Ready to Begin
Set the aluminum pan on the charcoal rack of the kettle BBQ. Add about one inch of water to the pan.
Put 30 briquettes on each side of the aluminum pan, for a total of 60 briquettes. You’ll be using indirect heat to barbecue the turkey.
Light the briquettes.
When the briquettes turn to ash (about 15 minutes), you are ready to put the turkey on the top rack.
While waiting for the briquettes to turn to ash, rub the peanut oil all over the turkey.
Sprinkle with garlic powder.
When the briquettes have turned to ash, set the turkey breast side up on the top rack of the kettle barbecue.
Note: Some people prefer to place the turkey breast side down, but George doesn’t barbecue his that way.
Next, put the lid of the kettle barbecue over the turkey. Open all vents.
You are going to add more briquettes each hour, so set your timer for 60 minutes. When the timer goes off, put ten briquettes on each side of the pan. This will keep the temperature high enough.
Set the timer for another 60 minutes since you will need to add ten more briquettes to each side of the pan when the time is up.
How to Tell When the Turkey is Done
Poke a fork in a breast. If clear liquid runs out, the turkey should be done.
You can also use a meat thermometer. The turkey should be done when it’s 170 degrees in the breast and 180 degrees in the thigh.
Note: Do not hit the bone with the meat thermometer or you’ll get a false reading.
A Turkey Speaks
I have never understood
why anyone would
roast the turkey
and shuck the clams
and crisp the croutons
and shell the peas
and candy the sweets
and compote the cranberries
and bake the pies
and clear the table
and wash the dishes
and fall into bed
when they could sit back
and enjoy a hamburger.
We ate just enough to feel full and satisfied.
Do you feel like taking a nap after a Thanksgiving meal? Have you ever had barbecued turkey? What are your plans for this Thanksgiving? What are you thankful for?
Wishing you and yours the best Thanksgiving ever!