When Thanksgiving rolls around, I have this annual discussion with my friends centering around one question: how are you going to grill your turkey? Yes, the question is not where are you going to go to eat, or worse, what are you going to eat, it is always about the grill.
I’ve prepared a Thanksgiving turkey on the grill in about all ways possible, but there is always one method I return to: the rotisserie. Not surprisingly, rotisserie cooking, which is essentially grilling on a spit over an open flame dates back thousands of years. There is a reason it’s popular.
For me, it’s the best of all things. With my Weber Kettle and Rotisserie Ring, I can mound charcoal to one side of the grate where the heat slowly touches the turkey with each rotation. The result is always the best tasting and best looking turkey imaginable. While having the task of grilling a holiday turkey may seem daunting, this process is nearly foolproof. The only downside is being asked to repeat your efforts year after year. Your family and friends will demand a repeat performance!
Now I have you convinced to use the rotisserie, here’s a great Jamie Purviance recipe to see it through. Keep scrolling down to see what accessories you need to recreate this masterpiece at home. Happy grilling and get spinning!
Weber's Big Book of Grilling™
Jamie Purviance and Sandra S. McRae
Sage, Orange, and Clove Rotisserie Turkey
2:15 to 2:30 h
dried granulated orange peel
freshly ground black pepper
whole turkey, 5.4 to 6.3 kilograms
small oranges, washed and dried
medium garlic cloves, crushed
large sprigs fresh sage, tied with butcher’s twine
In a small bowl mix the rub ingredients.
Remove and discard the neck, giblets, pop-up timer, and any excess fat from the turkey.
Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (180° to 230°C).
Pierce each orange several times with a knife. Insert six whole cloves into each orange. Put the clove-studded oranges, garlic, and sage into the turkey cavity. Truss the turkey with butcher’s twine, tying the wings close to the body and securing the legs. Pin the skin flap to the body with two or three small trussing needles. Position one set of fork prongs on the far end of the spit and slide the spit into the neck end through the turkey (skewer the oranges) and out the other side, just underneath the drumsticks. Slide the other set of fork prongs on the spit and drive the prongs into the back of the turkey. Make sure the turkey is centered on the spit before tightening the fork prongs into place. Rub the entire exterior of the turkey with the rub, pressing it into the skin.
Set the spit in place, turn on the rotisserie motor, and let the turkey rotate over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, until the internal temperature reaches 77º to 80ºC in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone), 2¼ to 2½ hours. Note: If you do not have a rotisserie, grill the turkey over indirect medium heat for 2¼ to 2½ hours.
When the turkey is fully cooked, turn off the rotisserie motor and, wearing insulated barbecue mitts, carefully transfer the spit from the grill to a cutting board. Loosely cover with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 20 minutes (the internal temperature will rise a few degrees during this time). Remove the spit and discard the oranges, garlic, and sage. Carve the turkey and serve warm.
Your Must Have
1. Rotisserie Obviously if you are going to rotisserie, then this is a must have accessory. Bonus, use it beyond the turkey with these ideas.
2. Premium Grill Gloves These gloves are great for giving you maximum grip on food or accessories on the grill. Bonus, they keep your hands warm too!
3. Drip Pans Use these pans under your turkey to catch drippings and keep your grill clean! Use them under the grates if you need extra clearance height for your rotisserie turkey.
4. Snapcheck Thermometer Turkey is one of those foods that you want to make sure is cooked all the way. We love the Snapcheck thermometer for giving accurate and fast read outs of the internal temperature of your turkey.
Check the temperature of the turkey on the innermost part of the thigh and the thickest part of the breast to make sure that it is fully cooked at 165 degrees before removing it.
Check out all of our other blogs about turkey! Then share what you grilled with us using #BestTurkeyEver on social!