Grilled Brined Turkey

posted by Mai 11-26-102 7:25 AM

Grilled Brined Turkey

1 (12- to 14-pound) whole turkey
2 gallons water
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 carrots, diced
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 leeks, cleaned and diced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bunch fresh sage
1/2 bunch Italian parsley
4 tablespoons olive oil or butter


Bring two gallons of water to boil in a large stockpot. Stir in salt and sugar until completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the diced carrots, onion, celery, leeks, spices and fresh herbs. When cool place the stockpot in refrigerator until cold. Remove giblets from the turkey. Add the turkey to the stockpot and place a plate on top to weigh the turkey down to ensure full immersion. Refrigerate the turkey overnight.

Remove from brine and rinse well, both inside and out. Place the turkey in a disposable, aluminum roasting pan. Start the grill. When the coals are white hot, bank them up high along the perimeter of the grill so they form a circle. Place the roasting pan on the grill rack and cover with the lid. Control the temperature of the grill by opening and closing the vents. Close slightly if the grill is too hot. If the grill is too cold, open the vents. If using a gas grill, set on medium-high.

While the turkey is cooking, baste frequently with olive oil or butter and pan juices. Add more coals, if necessary. Brined turkeys cook more rapidly than unbrined. Check the internal temperature after 1 hours of grilling time. Remove the turkey from the grill when the deepest part of the thigh reaches 180 degrees. Let rest 20 minutes before carving. Serves 14.

Note: Brined turkeys also may be cooked in a regular oven at about 325 degrees. Baste frequently with turkey stock.

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