Instructables

Propane BBQ Mod - Applewood Roasted/Smoked Turkey

This was a big hit this past Christmas. A fairly easy mod to roast a 17lb turkey on my propane BBQ grill...
 
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Step 1: Choosing and preparing your Bird

There are a couple of rules that you have to follow to successfully roast your turkey on a propane grill. First and foremost, don't get a bird that is too large for the grill! This is VERY important. When the turkey is on the rack with the lid closed, NO PART of the bird can be touching any part of the lid or sides! Make sure the you choose a turkey that will be at least 1.5 to 3 inches away from the surface of the grill on each side. My grill is a fairly standard model and I had absolutely no problems with a 17lb turkey. I could probably have gone as high as 20 lbs. If you have any doubts about what size turkey to get, just measure the inside of your grill's length, width and height and go to the store using the measurements as your guide. Be sure that you get a turkey that will be at least 1.5 to 3 inches SMALLER than your measurements on ALL sides (Including the TOP). Make sure that the bird is fully cleaned and pat dry.
A good second rule to follow is to not stuff the turkey with bread stuffing. Roasting a bread stuffed bird is possible, but it will add to the cooking time. What I suggest is to stuff it with some onion, apples, pears, and lots of fresh rosemary and sage. Just cut the onion, apples and pears into quarters and stuff them into the bird with the fresh rosemary and sage. Make sure to fully stuff it so that everything is tight inside. This will help the turkey keep its shape while cooking. Then, put a whole apple and/or pear on the end to keep everything in and tight. Here's a shot of my fully stuffed bird.
Once the bird is stuffed, make sure that it is tied so that the ends of the drumsticks are together and that the wings stay close to the breast. Note how I just tucked the drumstick ends into the flap of skin near the opening for the stuffing. I then just used string to keep the wings tight to the side of the bird. Try to make it as tight a ball as you can. Once it's tied, you can either butter the skin or keep it dry. I prefer to keep it dry because it makes the skin crispier.

Would you recommend brining beforehand? Would it hinder it in anyway?

TAG77077 (author)  sauteedmuffins27 days ago
It really shouldn't make a difference except for flavor... I day go for it!
Cambian2 years ago
This was very helpful. I hope my turkey turns out as beautiful was yours!
TAG77077 (author)  Cambian2 years ago
I hope so too! Have fun and Good Luck!
jasper4316 years ago
This is awesome and pretty darn easy. I used your method with some minor modifications. I used a 19.5lb turkey. I put it in a disposable aluminum roasting pan on top of the main grate. Poured one bottle of beer into the pan and a few sliced apples in the cavity and in the beer. I turned the propane burner off of one side of the grill after preheating and put the turkey on that side. On the other side I created a wood chip holder like described but didn't like the way it worked, so I moved it beneath the grate and started putting fist sized chunks of cherry on the grate above the holder. It caught fire and really heated up the grill, but I was checking it regularly and put it out, then it just smoked vigorously. I kept adding chunks to the coals and it did the job. Preheated at 11:00am, turkey on at 11:20am, Turkey done at about 3:45, turned of the grill and let the smoking coals continue to work their magic. Pulled it off the grill at 4:30 and served at 5:00. It was the best turkey I have ever eaten. It looked stunning with the deep brown skin and the smoky aroma was unbelievable. Thanks for the Instructable! It helped make Thanksgiving awesome.
TAG77077 (author)  jasper4316 years ago
Great to hear! We did it again this past T-Day and it came out just as great as the last one! Glad you enjoyed!
And I thought my family was crazy enough to do this! we do this every year in October. my uncle invites us all over to make Cider, and he makes 2 huge turkeys and a large ham like this. we just take the branches off the trees, and if u know anything about making cider, the crushed apple remains are thrown in under the foods as well. also, he goes all out. he bastes the turkey with (hard) apple Cider from the "previous" year. injects the stuff all throughout the meats. and sprays it on the wood to make it smoke more... delicious!!!
Would your uncle consider letting you post his cider making method here on Instructables?