7.20.2008

Grilled Turkey

Grilled Turkey
The Thanksgiving menu varies little from family to family. Turkey. Gravy. Mashed Potatoes. Sweet Potatoes. Green Beans. Cranberry Sauce. Rolls. Wine. A few regional favorites are thrown into the mix, and it always is a good meal. As an added bonus, a nap is typically enjoyed afterward.

Every year at the Thanksgiving table, the inevitable question is, "Why do we only eat this once a year? It is such a good meal" No Thank You Boy asks, "Is turkey really expensive?"

As I was off doing the weekly grocery shopping, I eyed the fresh turkeys. "Are they too expensive?" I said to myself. "Can we have turkey more than once a year?" Then I thought it's 90 degrees outside, I'm not turning on the oven for over 2 hours. Newsflash. Put the bird on the grill. The turkey will have a nice smokey flavor and clean up will be minimal. After talking to myself next to the raw turkeys at the grocery store, I picked out a about a 10 pound gobbler and headed home.

As with most nights, a couple family members were absent. The Husband was eating his weight in paella at a business meeting. My Middle One was recuperating from the 24 hour birthday party she attended earlier in the day. My Oldest, No Thank You Boy, and I enjoyed Grilled Turkey, Gravy, Steamed Green Beans, and Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Ok. I did turn on the oven for the sweet potatoes, but only for 45 minutes. Not the most earth-shattering menu.

A tasty dinner
Sometimes the simplest meals are the most satisfying. There was no nap afterward, but we were happy to have turkey in July. And those who missed dinner can have the leftovers the next day for lunch.

Grilled Turkey

10 - 12 pound whole turkey
melted butter
salt
pepper

Heat grill using indirect method. Either a gas or charcoal grill can be used, but I prefer charcoal. Here is some information on grilling if you are unfamiliar with the method.

Remove the giblets from inside the turkey. I have been known to forget this step more than once. Brush the turkey with melted butter and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. If using a charcoal grill, place a foil drip pan between the charcoal piles to catch the drippings. Use the drippings for making gravy. Replace the grate and put the turkey in the center. Cover and grill.

About 40 - 50 minutes into the grilling time, add a few briquettes to the piles of burning embers. This will help keep the temperature even inside the grill.

A 10 - 12 pound turkey will take about 2 to 2 1/2 hours to grill. The internal temperature of the thigh will be 180 degrees and the breast meat will be 170 degrees. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and let rest uncovered for 15 - 20 minutes before carving. My friends at Butterball will help to carve a turkey if you need assistance. They even have a video.


Turkey Gravy

1/4 cup turkey drippings from drip pan
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
salt
pepper

In a small saucepan, heat the turkey drippings. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the water and milk. Cook for a few minutes, whisking occasionally, until thickened. Add sage. Season with salt and pepper. Keep gravy warm over low heat until ready to serve.

Having 3 kids usually means there is a fight over which 2 get to make a wish with the wishbone. With only My Oldest and No Thank You Boy at dinner, my wish came true and no one argued on this night.

Feeling lucky?

19 comments:

Lisa said...

That looks simply delicious! It's hot here too. We are in the middle of a heatwave, but I would have turned on my oven for those taters too!

Katherine Aucoin said...

Your turkey came out beautiful. The color is so even all the way around. We've smoked turkeys before, but I've never thought of grilling one. What a great idea!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Hmmm... I was going to grill a chicken this weekend and it seemed difficult, and now I see this gorgeous grilled turkey and it seems easy!

I'll definitely have to try some grilling methods for whole poultry.

Looks like a lovely dinner!

Tanya said...

That looks delicious!! YUM!

Kevin said...

That turkey looks perfectly golden brown and good!

Lucy said...

That turkey looks great! I use my grill much like an oven for my cooking throughout the summer, indirect heating is wonderful.

Jeanine said...

Wow, that looks fantastic! So perfectly browned. This looks like a challenge I should take on this summer...why only get turkey once a year?? :)

cakebrain said...

I just LOVE turkey! I wish it were Thanksgiving so I could make another one! You are a brave woman to grill it!Sounds delish!

Andreea said...

the turkey looks delicious. it never crossed my mind to grill the bird :)

The Mood Food Blog said...

What a great idea! Christmas food in the summer I love it!

Robin Sue said...

That had to smell so good while it was grilling. Did you have the neighbors at your door? A lot of times we dry the wish bone and by the time it's dry the kids have forgotten about it, so me and Himself get it to ourselves. Hmm, I wonder what he wishes for?

Prudy said...

You're a genius! I wouldn't grill the turkdy in November but I'd love to do it now. Fabulous idea to make it a summery special meal. I need to catch up on your blog. Everything looks so yummy-that soup and the chicken with the parmesan potatoes. You're blog is going to be my next week's menu.

EAT! said...

lisa - thanks. some things just require the oven be turned on. I can think of 3 - potatoes, cookies, and pound cake.

katherine aucoin - I have never smoked anything. well, almost not anything, but that is another story. I should give it a try.

jen of a2eatwrite - it is super easy and the dinner was delicious!!

tanya and kevin - thanks for stopping by and you kind remarks.

lucy - I hate to heat up my kitchen by turning on the oven when its's 95 degrees outside. the grill is my best friend in the summer. maybe I need to find some more friends.

jeanine - it does have a nice tan doesn't it? try it. you'll like it.

andreea and cakebrain - try a turkey on the grill. It is easier than you think with NO CLEAN UP!!

the mood food blog - we get tired of the same old burgers and brats around here in the summer. I try to spice up our menus.

prudy - WOW! thanks for the compliment. We even grill our turkey in November. It just takes a lot more coals and hopefully it's not too wind. Let me know how the recipes go next week. How you enjoy them.

Proud Italian Cook said...

That turkey looks absolutely perfect! Why don't I cook turkey more often???

kat said...

That is one good looking turkey! We do this kind of meal quite often though just for the two of us it means a whole chicken but its so worth it.

Cynthia said...

Perfection is all I can come up with.

Dragon said...

You are braver than I am, dear. Simply stunning.

Janae said...

That is the best looking turkey I have ever seen. What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year!? :)

MaryBeth said...

I really really love turkey and start craving it about the end of October and just can't get enough of it. I tend to only eat it at the Holiday's because I thought that would make it more special, but now that I see your's you have inspired me to get out of my box and make it all year round.