Just about anyone who has ever grilled a turkey for the holidays will say there is no turning back. It is a surprisingly simple way to prepare the centerpiece of the meal, with the only tricky part being keeping the temperature at a steady 350°F, and it frees up your oven for cooking other things. This recipe also includes an all-out delicious gravy. For more delicious recipes like this one, check out our latest cookbook Weber’s Greatest Hits.
Brined Turkey with Herbed Pan Gravy By Jamie Purviance
Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 1 hour 10 minutes for the stock and 30 minutes for the gravy
Brining time: 12 to 14 hours
Grilling time: about 2 3/4 hours
11/4 cups kosher salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
3 quarts cold water
6 quarts ice water
1 turkey, 12 to 14 pounds, thawed if frozen
2 5-pound bags ice cubes
2 yellow onions, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 quarts low-sodium
3 tablespoons unsalted
butter, melted, if needed
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, or sage, or a combination
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. The night before grilling, brine the turkey: In 10-quart nonreactive stockpot over high heat, combine the salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, and cold water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove the brine from the heat and let cool until tepid. Add the ice water and stir. (If your stockpot is not large enough to hold 10 quarts liquid, pour the brine and the ice water into a clean bucket.) The brine should be very cold.
2. Remove and reserve the neck, giblets, and lumps of fat from the cavity of the turkey. Place them in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate. Remove and discard the pop-up timer from the bird if there is one. Put the turkey inside a large, sturdy, food-grade plastic bag. Arrange a thin layer of ice cubes on the bottom of an ice chest and set the turkey on top of it. Pour enough of the cold brine into the bag to cover the turkey completely when the bag is closed and tightly tied. Discard any extra brine. Tie the bag securely closed with butcher’s twine. Add ice cubes and/or thermal ice packs to cover and surround the turkey to keep it cold. Close the ice chest and brine the turkey for 12 to 14 hours, no longer.
3. Remove the turkey from the bag and discard the brine. Pat the turkey dry inside and outside with paper towels. Fold the wing tips behind the back. Add half of the onion to the body cavity. Tie the legs together with butcher’s twine. Set a roasting rack in a large, heavy-gauge disposable foil pan. Place the turkey on the rack and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before grilling.
4. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium-low heat (about 350ÅãF).
5. Brush the cooking grates clean. Place the reserved lumps of fat in the pan alongside the bird. Grill the turkey in the pan over indirect medium low heat, with the lid closed and keeping the temperature of the grill as close to 350ÅãF as possible, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone) reaches 165ÅãF, about 23/4 hours. If using a charcoal grill, replenish the charcoal as needed to maintain a steady temperature of 350ÅãF. During grilling, occasionally tilt the bird so the juices run out of the cavity into the pan. The juices will reduce and turn dark brown, adding color and rich flavor for the gravy.
6. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat on the stove, warm the oil. Using a heavy knife or cleaver, chop the reserved neck into 2-inch chunks. Add the neck and giblets to the saucepan and cook until well browned, 5 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally. Add the remaining onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the broth and bring the mixture to a low boil. Turn down the heat to low and simmer gently until the liquid is reduced by half, about 1 hour. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Discard the solids.
7. When the turkey is done, transfer it to a platter and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes (the internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees during this time). While the turkey is resting, strain the pan juices into a fat separator. Let stand for about 3 minutes to allow the fat to separate from the juices. Pour the juices into a 1-quart measuring cup; reserve the fat. Add some of the stock, if needed, to total 1 quart. Reserve the foil pan.
8. Measure the fat. You should have 1/2 cup; if now, add butter to total 1/2 cup. In a medium saucepan over medium heat on the stove, warm the fat. Whisk in the flour and let bubble for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in the pan juices and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer until you have a good gravy consistency, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove the simmering gravy from the heat and immediately pour it into the foil pan. Scrape up any browned bits with a rubber spatula, taking care not to pierce the pan, then return the gravy to the saucepan and add the herbs. Simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors, whisking often. Taste and season with salt and pepper (the brine may have seasoned the gravy enough).