Charcoal BBQ Method: Indirect & Medium (with switch up)
Prep Time: 15mins | Cooking Time: 3 hours 30mins | Marinating Time: 30mins - 4hours
1 whole turkey, 5 - 7 kg
1 medium sized onion bulb, sliced into large chunks
2 apples, each cut into 6 wedges
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
12 brussel sprouts
2 tablespoons vinegar
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons roasted paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
11/2 tablespoon kosher salt
Grill with rotisserie attachment
Aluminum drip pan (in a size that will fit into your grill)
1. First, prepare your turkey by removing the neck and giblets. Do not remove the skin, leave it on even if you don't intend to eat it at the end. Give the turkey a good rinse and pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together until well combined and you have a smooth paste.
Generously slather the paste all over the bird. Firmly but gently pry the skin away from the meat with your fingers and rub in the marinade paste under the skin. Sprinkle more kosher salt and black pepper all over the outer skin. You can melt the marinade and use a marinade injector to deposit the seasoning paste into the turkey if you are finding it hard to get the paste under the skin.
Loosely stuff the turkey's cavity with apple wedges, onion chunks, rosemary and thyme. Stuffing the turkey densely will restrict airflow within the cavity, and thus making it difficult for the bird to cook evenly.
3. Truss the turkey by tying the legs together with a butcher's twine. Securely wrap the wings to the turkey sides with the twine. Insert the rod of the rotisserie attachment through the middle of the turkey and tightly attach the forks. Push the forks together before tightening the screws in order to get the turkey well secured during grilling.
4. Prepare your grill for cooking over indirect medium heat of 176° - 204°C. Pile the charcoal to one side of the grill to make space for the aluminum drip pan or arrange the charcoals in a U-shape and place the pan within the space formed.
Mount the rotisserie spit with the turkey on the grill. Set a counterweight opposite the side where the turkey breast is facing to help balance out the turkey weight and reduce stress on the rotisserie motor.
Position the aluminum pan under the turkey to catch the drippings. If there isn't much space in the kettle charcoal grill, clear out the grill grates and place the aluminum pan on the bars below. The drippings caught in the pan can be used as gravy for the meat.
Adjust the cooking temperature of the grill so that the turkey cooks evenly, with the middle cooking at same rate as the outer parts.
5. Cover the grill lid and roast the turkey for about 20 minutes until the skin starts to brown slightly. Open the lid and brush more seasoning mixture on the turkey as it spins. Cover the lid and roast for another 2 hours 30 minutes, until the turkey has cooked fully.
Check the internal temperature of the meat by inserting a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, without touching the bone or the rotisserie spit. The cooked turkey should register a temperature range of between 71° - 73°C and the juices oozing out the turkey running clear. The exact cooking time will depend on the size of your turkey. A general rule of thumb is to cook the turkey 15 minutes per pound, so for a 4.5kg turkey you'll cook for about 2 hours 30 minutes.
6. Remove the turkey from the spit and allow to cool down for like 20 minutes before carving. Serve warm.
This butter-flavored turkey, fragrant and tasty, can serve as main dish and pairs well with a side of brussel sprouts sauteed in a skillet and drizzled with a mixture of vinegar and maple syrup.