How To Cook Perfect BBQ Roast Turkey

The Easy Step-By-Step Method For Cooking Delicious BBQ Roast Turkey


Perfect Basics - Whole BBQ Roast Turkey

Even with a plain old supermarket turkey, this technique will give good results, but if you can, get free range turkey - the flavour and texture justify the extra cost without a doubt.

  • 1 whole turkey - preferably free range
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 50 g butter
  • 6 large fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 6 large sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 large lemon, quartered
  • 1 tablesp olive oil
  • 5 tablsp chicken stock or water
  • salt & pepper for seasoning

  1. Make sure the turkey and the butter are at room temperature. If you've just taken the bird out of the fridge, you'll need to extend the cooking times significantly to compensate.
  2. Put the garlic in the gut cavity, and then fold up the rosemary and thyme sprigs and shove them in as well.
  3. Sprinkle some salt and pepper into the cavity and then push in the lemon quarters. Drizzle in the olive oil as well.
  4. Use a small skewer to hold the opening of the stomach cavity closed.
  5. Use your hands to rub the butter into the skin of the bird, making sure to get it all over. Wash your hands and then sprinkle a little salt over the bird.
  6. Pre-heat your hooded BBQ to 220°C (428°F) and when it reaches temperature, put the bird on a baking rack in an oven tray, breast down and put it in the BBQ.
  7. After 20 minutes check that the bird is cooking evenly and adjust it's position if required. Add the 6 tablsp of stock or water to the tray. You also need to lower the BBQ temperature to 180°C (356°F).
  8. After another 30 minutes, check that the bird is cooking evenly and adjust if required. Put in another 3 tablsp of stock or water. Close the BBQ hood.
  9. Now from here, the cooking time is going to depend upon the size of your bird. It will range from another 70 minutes (small bird) to 170 minutes (v. large bird).

    Whatever the size, keep checking it every 30-40 minutes to make sure it is cooking evenly and that the juice on the bottom ofthe tray is not burning (add more water if it is).

  10. The target temperature in the thickest part of the breast is 80°C (176°F) - check it using a thermometer probe. Put the probe in approximately 3/4 of the way into the breast meat, making sure you don't go too far and hit bone.
  11. Once the internal temperature is achieved, turn off the BBQ, but leave the hood closed. Leave the bird there for 20 minutes to allow the proteins to relax a little (i.e. the meat loosens up).

    It's important to note here that salmonella bacteria die at 74°C (165°F)so do not turn off the heat if the bird's internal temperature is much less than 80°C (176°F).

You've now cooked the perfect BBQ roast turkey - serve and enjoy.

Perfect Basics - Whole BBQ Roast Turkey - Advanced

Exactly the same process as above, but brine the bird for 12 hours before hand.

Once you take the bird out of the brine, pat it dry with paper and make sure it is at room temperature before proceeding with the above recipe.

Find out how how brining works, here.

Get some great brine recipes, here.

The above requires a significant amount of planning and effort but if you have the time and the inclination, the end result is stunning - you will be amazed at the difference it makes.



Other Perfect Basics

Perfect Steak - for steaks from beef, kangaroo, lamb, mutton, venison and goat.

Perfect BBQ Roast Beef - for large cuts of beef, kangaroo, lamb, mutton, venison and goat.

Perfect Chops - for pork chops and fillet (tenderloin).

Perfect BBQ Roast Pork - for large cuts of pork.

Perfect BBQ Roast Duck - for roasting whole duck.

Perfect BBQ Roast Chicken - for roasting whole chicken.

Perfect BBQ Roast Goose - for roasting whole goose.

Perfect BBQ Roast Pheasant - for roasting whole pheasant.

Perfect BBQ Roast Quail - for roasting whole quail.