Around Thanksgiving time, it's never a question of "if" I'm going to grill a turkey, it's "how." Roasted, smoked, spun, spatchcocked, wet-brined, or dry-brined, the decision process is lengthy. While my question is "how" there are still a surprisingly high number of grillers who have never placed a turkey on the grates.
If this is you, let this post be the inspiration to take your turkey duties to the backyard. You will never look back.
Brine: Dry or Wet
Brining is the process of using salt to help a turkey retain moisture. Everyone wants a moist bird, right? Brining is an important step to make sure this happens.
A turkey can either be submerged in a salt water solution (wet) or covered in salt while placed in the fridge overnight (dry).
I've used wet-brines for years, but now I'm solidly in the dry category. It's easier, takes up less fridge space, and lays the groundwork for a proper crisp skin.
For the definitive guide to brining, check out this article on The Food Lab by the incredibly knowledgeable J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
This is my second favorite way to grill a turkey. There is nothing like the self-basting action of the spinning rotisserie.
Turkeys aren't just for the kettle. The Weber Smokey Mountain is perfect for the bird, as it can go both low to smoke, or higher to grill. This post walks you through the process.
Read: How to Smoke a Turkey
Smoked & Spatchcocked
My favorite way to prepare a turkey is a combination of spatchcock and low-temperature smoking. The increased surface area of the turkey speeds up cooking while also allowing greater smoke penetration. Coupled with a brine, the lower temperature helps create a bird chock full of moisture. It's a win-win.
Read here: Smoked & Spatchcocked Turkey
Looking to just spatchcock, read here. To add in the smoke, lower the temperature and add more wood.
Grilled on the kettle
My first turkey was grilled on the Performer almost seventeen years ago. It's dependable and always delicious. It's also dead easy. For this year, I created a quick video for Weber showing just how easy the process is. For something a little bit more in-depth, go here, otherwise, sit back and enjoy.
No matter how you prepare your turkey this year, take it outside. I guarantee it will be your best turkey, yet.
Note: My work for Weber is compensated. I'm also well fed this time of year.