Dry-Brined & Grilled Turkey
Dry brining and grilling a turkey produce amazing flavour, crispy skin, and juicy meat. While making a flavourful turkey broth ensures a delicious gravy and is perfect for basting the bird on the grill.
Not only does grilling a turkey taste amazing, but it also frees up space in the oven during the holidays! I love grilling all year, and it is magical in winter during the holidays. Dress warm, grab a mug of mulled wine and enjoy the great outdoors. If you are lucky enough, you might even get a dusting of snow!
Some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes – appetizers, sides & dessert.
- Antipasto Skewers
- Charcutterie with Warm Olives with Rosemary & Clementine Peel
- Sous-Vide Colossal Shrimp Cocktail (with a Spicy Avocado Crema)
- Ginger-Jalapeño-Cranberry Sauce
- Homemade Gravy
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts and Pancetta
- Savoury Bread Pudding with Apples & Kale
- Mini Stuffed Pumpkins with Wild Rice
- Roasted Garlic-Sour Cream & Chive Mashed Potatoes
- Ambrosia Apple Pie
- Wood-Fired Sweet Potato Casserole
- Crockpot™ Slow Cooker Cider Poached Pears
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Cheers! James & Elaine
Dry-Brined & Grilled Turkey
Dry-Brine the Turkey (24 hours in advance)
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 14-16 lbs fresh turkey raised without the use of antibiotics or steroids – (not kosher or pre-salted)
Make Turkey Broth (make ahead)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- turkey neck & giblets plus 2 backs, skin removed – optional
- 1 large carrot coarsely chopped
- 1 onion coarsely chopped
- 1 large celery coarsely chopped
- 1 small bay leaf
- 4 cups chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion cut into 8ths
- 1 large orange cut into 8ths
- 1 stalk celery cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large carrot cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 cups turkey stock for spraying/basting (recipe below)
- Spray bottle for basting the turkey with broth
Dry brine the turkey: (24 hours in advance)
- Mix the salt, pepper, and herbs together in a small bowl.
- Remove the turkey from the packaging, remove and reserve neck & giblets (for stock). Place the turkey on a wire rack over a sheet pan. Remove or discard any plastic or metal cages or pop-up thermometers.
- Pat the outside of the turkey dry with paper towels.
- Using your hands, loosen the skin over the breast & thighs and gently separate it from the meat (Careful not to break the skin).
Make the turkey broth: (make ahead)
- Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium high heat. If using backs, add the backs to the pan and brown for 2 minutes, add the turkey neck, heart, gizzard to the pan and sauté until just beginning to brown, about 1 minute.
- Add the chopped vegetables and bay leaf to the pan and sauté until soft, about 4-6 minutes. Pour the stock and water into the pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the stock is reduced to about 6 cups, approximately 1 hour.
- Strain the stock into a clean pot or large measuring cup. Reserve 4 cups to make gravy and place 2 cups into a spray bottle to baste the turkey.
Prep and grill the turkey:
- Before turning on grill, lift grate and place drip pan directly on bars. Replace grate.
- Prepare grill for indirect heat cooking. Preheat on high for 10 to 15 minutes with lid closed.
- Remove the turkey from the refrigerator. Mix butter & olive oil and rub all over the turkey. Stuff the turkey with the onion, orange, celery, carrot, bay leaves, and thyme. Loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string.
- Place the turkey, on the grill grate over the drip pan (indirect heat) and roast (maintaining the heat between 325°F to 350°F) for 1 hour, then spray with ½ cup stock. Continue roasting until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165°F when inserted into the largest section of thigh (avoiding the bone), about 2 ¾ to 3 ¼ hours total cooking time. Spray the turkey once every hour with ½ cup of the turkey stock.
- Remove from the grill and place on a platter. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.
- **Carefully remove the drip pan from the grill, strain the drippings, skim off fat, then add to your gravy.
Different ways to cook a turkey
- Herb Roasted Turkey. We love turkey all year round! To lighten the meal up from a traditional holiday turkey dinner, we skipped the dressing/stuffing, avoided the cranberry sauce, and freshened up the flavour with five herbs including cilantro.
- Wood-Fired Turkey Breasts with Ginger-Jalapeño-Cranberry Sauce. A turkey breast (or two) is the perfect way to prepare a traditional turkey dinner for a smaller holiday gathering… but once you try this moist, tender, flavour packed turkey with subtle notes of smokiness, paired with the bold, bright, refreshing flavours of the ginger-jalapeno-cranberry sauce, you will not be waiting for a special occasion to make it again!
- Dry-Brined & Grilled Turkey Dry brining and grilling a turkey produce amazing flavour, crispy skin, and juicy meat. Not only does grilling a turkey taste amazing, but it also frees up space in the oven during the holidays!
- Moist and Juicy Roasted Turkey (and Gravy) Truth be told, I’m not always as planned and thoughtful as required, to get an early jump on brining the bird. My shortcut recipe is to dry rub the bird and put it in the fridge uncovered (on a rack, over a sheet pan) for about an hour. From the fridge, it goes straight into the convection oven at 390°F for 20 minutes to really dry the skin.