Barbecuing Turkey Tips

Can I barbecue a whole turkey?
Yes you can.
You’ll need a gas barbecue and a meat thermometer
Serves 10
1 x 5kg turkey
Bunch of thyme
Bunch of rosemary
2 lemons
200g butter

Smear the bird in half the butter, squeeze the lemons over it and place the lemon halves in the cavity with the thyme and rosemary. Season the bird well with salt and pepper, inside and out.

Place on an INDIRECT heat in the gas BBQ at 250C for about five and a half to six hours.

Make a simple basting sauce by melting the rest of the butter and stirring in thyme and rosemary. Brush this over the bird every half an hour or so. The bird is ready when its internal temperature reaches 72C at the thickest point.

If you don’t have a meat thermometer, insert a sharp knife between thigh and body to make sure the juices run clear. Rest the bird for at least 15-20 minutes before carving.

What are the best turkey cuts to use on the barbecue?
You can use pretty much anything really! Try these barbecue ideas:

Turkey Steaks
Turkey steaks and fillets can be marinated and then grilled over on a charcoal or gas barbecue for a few minutes on either side until there is no trace of pink in the centre – approx. 6-12 minutes depending on the thickness.

Try this recipe:
Barbecue Turkey Breast with Spicy Rhubarb Glaze

Give these kebabs a go!
Diced turkey thigh or breast meat is great for threading onto skewers with chunks of onion, pepper or whatever you fancy. Brush with a little oil and barbecue, turning occasionally until cooked through. 

Try these recipe:
Phil Vickery’s Grilled Turkey and Parma Ham Skewers
Sticky Turkey Kebabs

Perfect Burgers
Turkey breast or thigh mince is perfect for making burgers or koftas for the barbecue. Mix in a handful of breadcrumbs and a beaten egg and then add your flavourings such as chopped herbs, onion, spices etc and make patties or shape into “sausages” on skewers. It is best to chill these for 30 minutes to firm up before cooking. Barbecue for a few minutes on each side, turning carefully with a spatula until no trace of pink is left in the centre.

Try these recipes:
Tangy Turkey Burgers
Sweet Chilli Turkey Burgers

American style
If you are a fan of the American style trend for succulent “pulled” meat then you must try using turkey drumsticks as long, slow barbecuing gives the same juicy results that just falls apart.

Try this recipe:
Phil Vickery’s Slow-Cooked Turkey Drumsticks

How can I keep my turkey burgers, kebabs and steaks juicy on the barbecue?
Marinades are a fantastic way to add extra flavour and tenderness to turkey breast and thigh, and it keeps the meat juicy too during barbecuing. Choose any shop bought marinades or make your own. Try this easy idea – mix 225ml olive oil with the juice of a lemon, chopped rosemary, a crushed garlic clove and salt and pepper, pour over the turkey and leave covered in the fridge for at least an hour before barbecuing. Brush any excess marinade over the meat while cooking.

For turkey burgers, especially those made with lean breast mince, follow Phil Vickery’s top tip – stir a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise into the raw mince. This locks in the moisture and makes them extra tasty and juicy.