How To Rotisserie A Turkey

How To Rotisserie A Turkey

Putting a chicken on the rotisserie is second nature, turkeys, however, do not seem to get as much spining love.  I find this a missed opportunity, as a rotisserie turkey is one of my favorite preparations.  The self basting action of the rotisserie’s spin makes for an almost foolproof dinner.  I’ve never had a dry and disappointing turkey. Ever.

Maybe the thought of spinning a 14 pound bird seems daunting. Don’t worry, it’s not. As the saying goes, if you can spin a chicken, you can spin a turkey. It’s that easy.

While I have grilled rotisserie turkeys on both my Summit Grill Center and Performer, the kettle is my grill of choice. Turkey’s are big, obviously, and the Kettle Rotisserie ring provides more than enough vertical space for such a big piece of poultry.

If you are planning to wow your guests at your next holiday gathering, look no further than the rotisserie. There is nothing more tasty than a dizzy turkey.

What you need :
1 fresh or thawed turkey, 12-16 pounds
olive oil
salt and pepper
butcher twine

Prepare the grill for indirect medium high heat, 350-400 F.  

When using the rotisserie, I mound all of my charcoal to one side of the grill.  

Use a Char-Basket Charcoal Fuel Holder and an aluminum drip pan to help out.

With a pair of kitchen shears, remove the wing tips. 

Wing tips do not have a lot of meat and worse, they are apt to burning if they stick out from the body.  They are worth losing.

Generously salt and pepper both the inside and outside of the turkey.  

Lightly rub olive oil all over the skin.

Truss the turkey.  

For a rotisserie turkey, I up my trussing.  

Not only do I tie the legs together and wrap the body, I also add additional trussing up over the wings.  The last thing we want after hours of spinning is a wing to break loose and burn. 

Mount the turkey on the spit.

Push the forks together before tightening the set screws, so that the turkey is compact and secured.  

Place the spit on the grill.

If grilling with the rotisserie ring, be sure to set the counterweight to the side opposite of the breast meat.  This helps balance out the turkey and reduces stress on the rotisserie motor.

For a 14 pound turkey, figure about 2 to 2 ¼ hours of grilling, when the deepest part of the thigh reads 170 F with an instant read thermometer.

What are your thoughts? (7)

12.07.16

victoria c

We had an 8 lb turkey that looked petrified. Had indirect coals and some apple wood added for smokey flavor. It had a popper that did not pop. The temp gauge was at 400 all the time. Only grilled it for about 1hr, 45 min. The inside of the thighs still looked slightly raw and was tough. The breast meat was ok. What happened? To many coals to make it so hot?

12.06.16

Mike Lang

Hi Victoria - Sorry to hear things didn't turn out as planned! Your setup sounds good, but I would recommend a lower temperature and a longer cook. A 8-pound turkey will take over 2 hours to grill at indirect medium heat. For doneness, be sure to use an instant-read thermometer. When the thigh registers 165°F, you are done, as the thigh will take longer to cook than the breast. Try using fewer coals next time and let me know what happens. Good luck!

Mike

11.22.16

Ben D

Any recommendations on timing for a 25lb turkey?

11.22.16

Joseph M

Hi Mike

What's the max turkey weight that I can put on my Weber rotisserie for my 22 kettle?

11.21.16

Mike Lang

Hi Joseph - I'm excited you are breaking out the rotisserie! The max weight for it is 20 pounds.

11.18.16

Darryl C

You pile all of the coals to one side instead of splitting them like you do when indirect grilling?

11.18.16

Mike Lang

Hey Darryl - While you can put coals to both sides, traditionally heat was on only one side of the meat...think of a spit over an open fire. With that said, go with what works best for you. The kettle makes both possible!

Cheers!
Mike

09.03.16

Hector M

Hi mike
I want to say thank you!! I followed your recipe and rotisserie turkey... Wow!!! It turned out awesome!!! Don't know what I've gotten myself into,but,it's the only way my family wants to eat turkey.

09.03.16

Mike Lang

Hey Hector -

This is so great to hear! There is no doubt the rotisserie is an awesome way to grill! I'm glad you are keeping the family happy!!

Cheers!
Mike

06.30.16

Larry M

Hi Mike

We luv bread stuffed turkeys. Do you recommend brining and stuffing the turkey?

06.30.16

Mike Lang

Hi Larry!

I typically don't stuff my turkeys, but I do brine! It's a great way to adding moisture to the bird! Sounds like you already have some serious turkey success!

Cheers!
Mike

11.22.14

Billys B

Yes! My family won't let me do a turkey any other way!

11.22.14

Mike Lang

I couldn't agree with you more! Happy Spinning!

Mike

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