Turkey takes a bit of time, so I see no reason to cook a small one. You can always freeze the leftovers – they will stay moist for several weeks if you use a vacuum-seal gadget, available at many fine stores everywhere and a worthwhile investment. Turkey costs very little, and you will pay for the whole bird just in the savings on sandwiches you make from the leftovers that you would otherwise buy. You’ll have enough to make a lot of foot-long sandwiches.
- Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator. This will take anywhere from 2-5 days depending on the size of the bird. You can also thaw it in cold water in 8-12 hours.
Remove the neck and the giblets from the bird’s cavities.
- If you don’t own a pan large enough for the turkey, just go to a box store and buy a 5-gallon plastic pail. Put the turkey in the pan or pail and then add enough water to completely cover it.
- Remove the turkey.
- Add enough kosher salt to the water until a raw egg just seems buoyant. Stir. Add 3 tablespoons of brown sugar or molasses and 5 tablespoons of GMG Poultry Rub.
- Use a garlic press or mash several cloves of garlic with the side of a butcher’s knife and add to the brine. Stir thoroughly.
- Brine the turkey overnight. Make sure no part of the turkey is out of the water.
- Remove the turkey and pat dry with paper towels.
- Push a wooden spoon underneath the skin all the way around the bird, top and bottom, to break the skin away from the flesh. The goal is to make enough room to get your hand between the skin and the flesh.
- Rub reasonable amounts of Green Mountain Poultry Rub on the flesh with your hands between the skin and the meat. Do this top and bottom – wherever you can reach. You can put the rub on the skin, but this will merely make the skin taste good, not the meat – the skin acts as a perfect insulator. So unless you have a huge fondness for flavorful grilled turkey skin, you will waste your money putting a spice rub on it.
- Place the turkey, breast side down, in a disposable aluminum pan (unless you really love to clean pots and pans and want to use your good oven roaster).
- Turn the grill on and set it to 185°. When that temperature stabilizes, put the turkey in the grill. On humid days, I recommend that you cover it for the first hour, since some sooting may occur until the atmosphere inside dries out.
- Make a mixture of 1 cup of apple juice and 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. Put this in a small spray bottle which you can get at Wal-Mart for about one dollar.
- Spritz (spray) the turkey about once per hour. Make sure that you spritz thoroughly, especially inside the bird’s cavities.
- Cook the turkey for about 8 hours, regardless of the size of the bird.
- After 8 hours, turn the bird over. Turn the grill up to 275°.
- Push a metal meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, about 3/4″ away from the bone. Push it straight down into the bird until it touches the bone, and then back it out about 1/2″. Leave the thermometer in.
- Continue to cook for about 10-12 minutes per pound until the temperature on the meat thermometer reaches 160°. If the skin becomes browner than you like during this period, you can cover the breast with aluminum foil. Remove the turkey from the grill, cover it completely with foil, and let it rest for 20-30 minutes, during which time the temperature will continue to rise to 165°.
Carve your turkey. Overeat. Watch football. Repeat