We have it from the most serious sources that barbecue lovers up and down the land are refusing to pack away their beloved grills this winter and instead, are preparing to barbecue their turkeys on Christmas Day. As huge advocates of outdoor living and barbecue cooking, we took a closer look at this phenomenon…
This is great news to James’ customers heading for warmer climates at Christmas as there’s no need to be chained to the hot kitchen watching your bird roast anymore. Instead, spend the day on your sunlounger sipping a Christmas cocktail mooching over to the barbecue every now and then to add more charcoal or baste the bird.
On the other hand, if you’re at home this Christmas, cooking your turkey on the barbecue will free up the oven for all the other goodies that go into making Christmas dinner – pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, parsnips and of course, the stuffing!
So pop on your Christmas hat and join the tribe of turkey grillers on the patio this Christmas with our simple to follow recipe.
How to barbecue a turkey
While there are various recipes out there on how to barbecue your turkey, the easiest seems to be – keeping it simple. Add local herbs and spices by lifting the skin from the meat and tucking the ingredients in between to allow the flavours be released slowly throughout the cooking process. If you have some bacon to hand, or pancetta if you’re in Italy, cover the breasts with thin slices to protect the meat from drying out too much.
Coat the bird by brushing a mixture of melted butter and olive oil over it and then season to taste.
1. A barbecue with a lid will work better as it will keep the moisture in.
2. Light the coals and wait until they are covered in a fine layer of ash.
3. Set the hot coals to the sides of the barbecue with a container of hot water in the middle.
4. Maintain a steady temperature of circa 180°C and keep the barbecue lid three-quarters open to allow air to circulate
5. Use some butcher’s string to tie the wings to the body and hold the legs together.
6. Allow 30 minutes per kilo for cooking time and baste the bird frequently to stop the meat drying out.
7. Use a meat thermometer and check the internal temperature is over 75°C at the thickest point and that at the end of cooking the juices run clear.
8. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, check the meat between the thigh and the body to see if it’s cooked.
9. Hardest part – leave the bird to rest after cooking for about 45 minutes. We say pour another glass of champagne while you wait!