Grilling turkey is not new, but grilling a huge bird can be quite a task to those who haven’t done it. There are, of course, the pros and cons of grilling the turkey because this method creates a direct heat contact with the meat. Usually we love to grill huge slabs of meat such as steaks and chops because it creates that charred and smoked flavor; the challenge is how to create the same effect to a bird several pounds heavier and may be subject to undercooking.
Before taking on the task, consider the following factors:
– A turkey usually takes hours to cook; how do you maintain the heat of the grill that long?
– Grilling can cause the meat to get dry; how can you prevent the bird from getting dry without undercooking it?
– The drippings make an incredible sauce; how do you effectively catch them on the grill?
After following the pre-cooking processes the turkey needs to go through (effective thawing, trimming, seasoning and trussing), when it comes to grilling the grill is the star. This is why many people invest so much in their grills because there are supposed to be some magic wonders a grill can bring forth to any food. For this particular case, there are no particular ultra-special grill functions that you need except for the usual control, temperature reader, and yes — it is best if it is electric. You do not want to spend most of your time keeping the charcoals alive while grilling for the next two hours, don’t you?
You can also start finding a way how to catch the turkey drippings. Some grills also include small tin foil pans as an added feature, but any shallow roasting pan works just fine. Another important tool is the meat thermometer; if you believe in the “popping”moment the turkey displays as an indicator that it is already cooked, you risk having a dried bird for dinner. Sticking a thermometer to the meat, believe me, is not such a hard task.
Grillers can be controlled when it comes to deciding the heat concentration inside the lid. When grilling turkey, it is recommended that you place the turkey on the cooler side just so the heat from the hot side will slow cook the meat.
Successful turkey grilling also requires some elbow grease as it requires flipping and rotation. Take note that even in the rotation itself there is a strategy that needs to be applied. This flipping/rotation cycle comes in four stages, and should be followed in sequence. Cooking time per side also depends on the size of the bird. Cooking is at twelve minutes per pound, hence, a ten-pound turkey requires 120 minutes of cooking time. However, when it comes to grilling, the cooking time needs to be multiplied by three. Hence, 120 minutes of cooking time equals to 40 minutes; the first 40 minute-cooking time is allocated for the first two stages of the rotation, and then the last 40 minutes is divided into two, and split between the last two stages. To make sense of what was just conveyed, continue reading:
The first phase is to position the turkey on its side with the wings and the thighs touching the grill. Cook for 40 minutes on this side (for a ten pound bird) and make sure to monitor the temperature. The tip is to make sure that the dark meat portion is at 170 degrees F at a minimum. Afterwards, flip the bird.
The second stages is to cook the turkey on the other side, wings and thighs face down. Same procedure.
The third stage is to cook the bird on its back, with the breast up. Cook for 20 minutes.
The fourth stage is to have the breast face-down, and then grill for 20 minutes. The ideal heat of the breast should reach 165 degrees F. At this stage, with the turkey facing down, you can take the opportunity of adding the glaze to achieve that moist golden color.
Grilling a turkey seems to be an arduous task, but the effect is an incredible alternative to the roasted type. However, just make sure to follow the instructions and factor in the techniques, and from there, you can boast that you have successfully grilled a bird.