Holiday Heroics


Over the years I have cooked more than 1,000 turkeys on Weber Grills. I’m happy to report that I cannot remember one roasted turkey out of the bunch that did not delight and surprise people.

Back in the 1970’s, before Weber was nationally known, we decided that the best way to show how well a Weber Grill could perform was to stage a turkey cooking demonstration.

You see, in those days it was difficult to get a group of busy retailers to listen to your story. But, if you volunteered to cook their lunch – for free – hungry buyers would be downright happy to give you half an hour to tell your story. So I traveled all over the United States cooking turkeys for nonbelievers to sample.

One memorable experience comes to mind. I succeeded in convincing the buyer at a national store chain to let me grill lunch for him and his staff. The day before the demonstration, I arrived at the hotel where the lunch was scheduled with a collection of grills, a hundred pounds of charcoal, and three frozen turkeys.

The next morning, I got a knock at my door. I opened it to find a square-jawed security guard on the other side. It seems the maid reported I had three turkeys floating in my bathtub, and she thought it was a bit strange. After some quick explaining and a call to Catering, who confirmed my story, I was off the hook.

Ten hours later, a crowd watched through the window as I cooked turkeys in the rain, on strange-looking kettle-shaped grills. As lunchtime approached, the rain stopped and a few shafts of sunlight brightened the day.

The group couldn’t believe their eyes when I brought golden-brown Weber-roasted turkeys into the meeting room. They raved about the great taste and immediately agreed to sell our grills. And I sold the grills I used in the demonstration to the security guard to boot!

Since then, I’ve talked to folks on at least three continents about grilling turkeys, and I’ve come to understand that cooking a turkey, particularly at the holidays, is a meal that makes the palms of many an accomplished cook sweat. 

Everyone remembers Mom’s or Aunt Janet’s overdone, sandpaper-dry holiday birds. So turkeys have a reputation of being difficult to cook and apprehension is sure to strike when one volunteers to be the head chef.

My advice: Cook the bird on a Weber Grill and never worry again! Don’t be afraid to step out there on the patio and be the holiday-meal hero.

Happy grilling!

© 1998 Weber-Stephen Products LLC. Story from the Grill Out Times. Used with permission.