When it comes to cooking turkey for Thanksgiving, I know of no better method than smoking. The low, slow cooking keeps the bird–even the delicate white meat–moist. The smoke adds a bold dimension of flavor. Cooking the turkey on the grill frees up your oven for the side dishes and it gives you an excuse to stay outdoors enjoying the crisp fall weather and sip a few cold ones with your friends. Best of all, it’s a very easy way to cook a turkey and the taster is unforgettable.
I’ve smoked a lot of turkeys over the years and there are numerous recipes to try in my books. The turkey picture here is the annatto-spiced grilled turkey in Barbecue Bible (page 271). It’s flavored with a spicy Yucatan marinade made with annatto seeds, cascabel chilies, and orange juice. The marinade is actually placed under the skin, which gives you huge flavor and the gorgeous mahogany hued skin you see here.
In How to Grill (page 288) you’ll find a barbecued turkey that’s incredibly succulent, thanks to an injector sauce that’s actually shot into the meat with a kitchen syringe. And in the new BBQ USA, you’ll find six barbecued turkey recipes, including the “Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey” (page 411) I’ll will be demonstrating on the Today Show on Tuesday, November 18.
So tune in and come this Thanksgiving, don’t forget to fire up your grill!