We all love turkey during the Holidays but you gotta admit, it’s on the bland side of the meat spectrum. By smoke-roasting your turkey on the grill, you’ll infuse the bird with a smoky punch of flavor your guests will never forget. Cooking your turkey on the grill also frees up precious oven space for more side dishes and desserts. You’ll have less stress timing the meal. What’s not to like?
The turkey is a pretty big and tall bird. Heat rises. This can lead to uneven cooking which means dry, tough breast meat and undercooked thigh and legs. Many chefs cut the turkey apart and cook the parts separately; the breast is roasted, the thigh and legs braised. What to do? Spatchcocking to the rescue! Spatchcocking is just a fancy term for butterflying or cutting poultry in half. By splitting the turkey, you flatten the bird which allows it to cook evenly with crisp skin and juicy meat. Here’s a great, simple and easy to follow how-to video.
**Please note that the video is for chicken. The procedure is the same but more force will be needed to butterfly a turkey. You got this – it’ll be worth the effort!
12-18 lb. turkey, preferably a locally, humanely and cleanly raised bird
2-3 chunks of pecan, apple, hickory. mesquite or smoking wood of your choice. Some folks like to soak the wood chunks in a bowl of water. I find it doesn’t really matter because the water only penetrates the surface. It’s up to you.
While the turkey tempers (gets to room temperature so it cooks evenly), ignite a full chimney starter of charcoal. Once the charcoal is almost entirely covered by grey ash, dump it on one side of the grill and form a “letter C” shaped mound. Close the lid. Once the grill is up to 350-375 degrees, place 2-3 of the wood chunks on top of the charcoal.
Place the turkey cavity side down with the legs facing the fire. You can cap the lower part of the legs with foil to prevent charring.
Close the lid and let the smoke-roasting magic happen.
Time wise, a 12-18 pound turkey should take 1 1/2 to 2 hours. A better gauge is internal temperature. Once the thigh internal temperature reads 165 degrees and the breast 160, take the turkey off the fire and allow to rest for 30 minutes, carve and enjoy! I guarantee, you will never go back to plain old oven roasting!
Here’s a great guide to cutting the turkey for an unforgettable Holiday table presentation.
This recipe doesn’t use any of our seasoning blends. We love to experiment with new ingredients from all over the world and share our discoveries with you. Here we’re playing with gochujang, a red chili paste from Korea that lays down a deep umami – sweet, sour, spicy and salty – base. We know you’ll love the complex and mellow warmth it infuses into sauces and marinades as much as we do!
Inspired by Tea Smoked Duck, this recipe combines sweet, sour, spicy and savory Asian notes with a mellow and aromatic smoke thanks to oolong tea. We’ll marinate, season, roast, smoke and “reverse sear” (roast first then sear) the wings which will have your friends raving. This dish pairs wonderfully with Rieslings, crisp lagers and amber ales.
Ingredients (Serves 4 – 6)
3 lbs chicken wings. Optional: Cut mini drumsticks from wing.