Before you turn away from this recipe because it seems too complicated or because it seems weird to grill your turkey, take a few minutes to read through it.
The best part about this recipe is that the taste is amazing. The honey that it’s brined in goes so well with the smoky flavor that comes from the grill and the smoke bombs. I mean seriously, I got so many compliments on the flavor of the turkey. How often does that happen? It’s that good!
Also, cooking on the grill totally frees up your oven on the biggest baking day of the year. Seriously, before I tasted the turkey, I thought the biggest selling point was that it didn’t take up any oven time.
I know the recipe seems intimidating, but that’s only because it’s hard to explain. Hopefully between my husband and myself, we were able to help you understand how to do this without too much confusion. And if you don’t understand, please ask! I’d love to help you figure out how to do this because this turkey is awesome!
If you live in a place where maybe it’s not possible to use your grill in late November, I’m really sorry. You could use a turkey roaster or in your oven, but there won’t be that amazing smoky flavor.
- 1 gallon hot water
- 1 pound kosher salt
- 2 quarts vegetable broth
- 1 pound honey
- 1 (7 pound) bag of ice
- 1 (14-20 pound) turkey
- vegetable oil, for rubbing turkey
- aluminum foil
- aluminum roasting pan
- hickory wood chips
- fresh thyme
- cinnamon sticks
- 2-3 days before the big day, start defrosting your turkey. Make sure you have time enough to defrost thoroughly before brining so that it cooks properly.
- Combine hot water and salt in a large bucket or cooler and stir until the salt dissolves.
- Stir in vegetable broth and honey, then add the ice and stir.
- Place the turkey in the brine, breast side up, and cover with cooler or bucket lid.
- Brine overnight, up to 12 hours.
- Remove turkey from the brine and dry thoroughly. Rub all over with vegetable oil.
- Heat grill to 400 degrees F. You're going to want the grill to stay at 350 degrees after you put the turkey on. The turkey should also never be over direct heat. With our grill, we turned all the burners on to preheat it and then turned half of them off and took half of the grills off. The smoke bomb is placed on the side with the burners on, and place the turkey on the side with burners off.
- Make 4 smoke bombs by making pouches out of double layers of 12 inch square aluminum foil. In the middle of the square, place hickory wood chips, rosemary, thyme and cinnamon stick. Fold or roll the sides of the square to create a pouch, leaving a small part of the top open.
- Place the turkey directly on the grill, but not over direct heat. Cut out the bottom and up the side of an aluminum roasting pan to wrap around the turkey. Close the lid and cook for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, check the bird. Switch sides by sliding the grills that the turkey is on to the other side, making sure to keep the turkey over indirect heat (turn on/off burners as you switch sides).
- If the turkey is starting to brown, cover with aluminum foil. Also, replace smoke bomb.
- Continue to check and switch sides in the same manner every hour until the bird reaches 160 degrees F (a meat thermometer is a must!).
- Once it reaches 160 degrees, about 3-4 hours, remove from grill, cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 1 hour.
- Carve and serve.
Adapted from Alton Brown