I know what you’re thinking, dry, chewy and totally overrated! But bare with me. I suggest that we have all been doing it wrong – done well, turkey is waaay better than chicken with deeper flavour and tasty crispy skin.
So what is this mysterious method of making turkey great? Well its pretty simple really, its all about the butterfly and the BBQ.
Check out my failsafe method below.
Butterflying the Turkey
This really is the game changer part of the equation, by butterflying you make cooking faster, easier, and importantly - highly “BBQable”.
To complete this you should invest in some poultry shears to make the job easier, its worth it – you can pick these up from as little as $10 and you will get great use out of them.
Wash the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels, cut down both sides of the spine and discard (or use to great some stock with the giblets). Flip the turkey over and using the heel of your hand press down firmly on the breast area to flatten the turkey out – this may require a reasonable amount of force and you will hear that crack as the breast bone breaks.
Congratulations – you have now butterflied your turkey.
At this stage I usually also make some reasonable cuts or slashes through the legs and thighs to even out cooking even further.
You can let your creative juices run wild here, but sometimes simplest is best – a quick rub of olive oil followed with a good coating of salt & pepper is all you really need, but feel free to just unload on your spice rack.
You can of course use your oven, but its hard to beat the smell of poultry cooking outside on your BBQ. You will need a hooded one to retain the heat.
On a standard 6 burner BBQ, I usually run the two burners at each end on high and leave the middle ones off.
Place the turkey in the middle of the BBQ (over the unlit burners) and close the hood.
For a standard sized turkey, 90 minutes with the hood closed is all you need. You are aiming for an internal temperature of around 85 degrees – but the traditional method of piercing and the juices running clear will usually tell you that its cooked.
Once off of the BBQ, loosely cover it with tin foil and let it rest for a good 15 – 20 minutes. This is important!
And that’s it, personally I use my poultry shears to cut it up in to large pieces that are easy to eat and your poultry shares make this task real easy (make sure you have cleaned them well).
Do yourself a favour and give it a crack – frozen turkeys are cheap after Christmas so a great time to have a go, I am confident that you will be a convert.