Feeling A Little "Chicken" About Grilling A Turkey?
Contributed by: NAPSA
(NAPSA) - Don't be afraid to add some sizzle to this year's festivities by turning off the oven and firing up the grill for a turkey that will have your guests "gobbling" every bite.
But before you grab your tongs, let the grilling experts at Weber give you some "grate" advice about grilling the perfect turkey.
Size up the bird-and your guests. It's more about shape and structure than weight. In other words, a broad, flat bird will fit better on the grill than one with a high breastbone. As long as you allow for one-inch of space between the turkey and the grill lid, you'll be fine. To determine how much turkey will feed your family and friends, chef and author Jamie Purviance says to plan for about one pound of turkey per person. "That way everyone will have enough to eat, and you may even have leftovers for turkey sandwiches the next day."
Get rid of the chill before you grill. A turkey should be completely thawed in its original wrapping on a tray in the refrigerator before grilling. Allow 24 hours of thawing time for every four pounds of turkey. Never thaw poultry at room temperature.
Don't be fuelish. Whether you're cooking on a charcoal or gas grill, make sure you have plenty of fuel. For gas grills, a full 20-pound tank should fuel the grill for 17 to 18 hours (grilling the turkey should only take 3-4 hours of grilling time). Plan on using approximately 100 briquettes to cook a 20-pound turkey on a charcoal grill.
Don't be a turkey, be safe. To avoid spreading dangerous bacteria to other foods, always wash hands, utensils, and work surfaces with hot, soapy water after handling raw poultry.
Let's talk turkey. Forget the basting and turning when you opt for the grill. Simply place your turkey on a rotisserie or breast side up in a roast holder set in a large, heavy gauge foil pan. Place in the middle of your grill with the heat set on each side (Indirect cooking) and close the lid.
Is it done yet? "There's nothing worse than cutting into a beautifully browned turkey and realizing that it isn't fully cooked," said Purviance. "You can prevent a holiday disaster by using a meat thermometer. Take the turkey off the grill when an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (but not touching the bone) reads 175¡, because as it rests it will continue to cook and rise about five to 10 degrees."
A chart of the appropriate cooking times for an unstuffed turkey is a handy guide:
10-11 lbs. = 13/4 to 21/2 hrs.
12-14 lbs. = 21/4 to 3 hrs.
15-17 lbs. = 23/4 to 33/4 hrs.
18-22 lbs. = 31/2 to 4 hrs.
23-24 lbs. = 4 to 41/2 hrs.
It's Worth The Wait. When the bird has reached the proper temperature, remove it from the grill and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes before carving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and the internal temperature to rise.
Grilled Gravy-You Bet! Nothing goes better with turkey than gravy, and once you know how to make it on the grill, you'll be a true grilling expert. For Delicious Turkey Gravy from Weber's Big Book of Grilling(tm), remove all but 1/4 cup of the fat from the drippings in the roasting pan used to grill the turkey. Remove pan from Indirect heat and set over Direct medium heat. Gradually add 6 tablespoons of flour, whisking until smooth. Slowly add 4 cups of liquid (broth, cooking water from the boiled giblets, or milk), whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, during which time the gravy will thicken and the flour taste will be cooked out. Loosen the bits of cooked turkey from the bottom of the pan as the gravy simmers. Season with salt and pepper.