Summer may be long behind us but that doesn't mean the barbecue has to go unused until next year. Ian Hodgett, Barbecue Team Leader and Buyer at BBQ specialists, Hayes Garden World, has shared how you can barbecue your turkey - and entire dinner - this Christmas.
Ian said: “If you want the juiciest, tastiest, most succulent roast turkey this Christmas, then the easiest way to achieve this is to cook it outside on the barbecue. Barbecues are the ideal piece of kit for cooking the Christmas turkey, or any other large piece of meat. You don’t have to stand outside and watch the bird cook; just set everything up and leave it.”
“If you are using charcoal, just check every now and again that you have enough fuel. Make sure you have enough gas in the cylinder before you start cooking.”
“The Norfolk Grills Infinity 500 gas barbecue with the side burner is ideal for this as there is plenty of space for the turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets and the side burner is ideal for making the gravy. Once this piece of kit takes the strain, the kitchen cooker should be able to cope with all the veggies and sauces.”
“Cover the turkey with a light covering of vegetable oil and then apply a rub. Weber recommends:
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
35g (1.3oz) sea salt
25g (0.9oz) brown sugar
15g (0.5oz) sweet paprika
15g (0.5oz) mixed herbs”
“Stuff the neck cavity with your choice of stuffing or leave empty and cook the stuffing in the oven. Truss the wings and legs to the turkey with string. The bird is best cooked on a rotisserie accessory as it then self-bastes; the juices run back into the bird as it rotates. If you don’t have a rotisserie just place the bird in the centre of the grate.”
“Set up the barbecue for indirect heat and at about 150C/300F. Place a foil tray, half filled with water, in-between the char baskets or on the top of the gas burners which you aren’t using; this will collect any juices which will then make your gravy.”
“Close the lid and cook the turkey until the core temperature reaches 75C/165F; use a digital instant read thermometer to check. Check the temperature in several places, especially between the legs and the breast. Don’t be tempted to leave the bird any longer once it reaches the correct temperature as it will then start to dry out.”
“Allow about 15 - 20 minutes per 850g (1lb) of bird. Once cooked, let it rest for about 30 minutes.”
“The turkey will take a long time to cook so make sure you have enough gas or charcoal to last the whole cook.”
“If you have a large grill, consider investing in a rotisserie to cook the turkey- this will result in an even cook. The juices will also run into the bird rather than running into the bottom of the grill.”
“Add some apple wood chips to the grill to give an added subtle layer of flavour.”
“Cook the turkey on the grate over indirect heat so you get an even cook. If you cook over the hot zone, the outside will burn before the inside is cooked.”
“Invest in a digital thermometer and take off the turkey as soon as it reaches 75C, then leave to rest for at least 30 minutes.”
“Chop up a celery stalk, medium onion and a couple of carrots; place these in a foil tray underneath the turkey. The turkey juices will run into the vegetables. At the end of the cook, blend all the veggies and juices to make the gravy and then season to taste.”
“If you think brussels sprouts are boring and take weeks to cook, then cook them on the barbecue. You will need a cast iron griddle pan, smoked streaky bacon cut into small strips, butter and brussels sprouts sliced thinly. Place the griddle pan on the direct heat zone and add the bacon, cook, then add the butter and brussels sprouts. Keep stirring until cooked for about 3 – 4 minutes.”
“Elevate the humble carrot from just being boiled by cooking on the barbecue. You will need a baking tin or foil tray. Melt together 200g of butter, 100g of light brown sugar and 2teasp of 5 spice. Add the carrots and cook on the indirect heat zone for about 25 minutes until tender. Turn a couple of times to ensure an even coating.”
If you’re looking to cook your Christmas turkey on the BBQ this year, check out Hayes Garden World’s range of BBQ’s here.
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