Classic Roasted Turkey

This classic roasted turkey recipe is the perfect way to free up your oven during the holidays and impart some incredible charcoal or wood flavor notes to what is already an amazing and timeless roasted turkey recipe. By using the Hybrid Fire Grill or the Shokunin Kamado Grill, you’ll expand your kitchen capacity AND create a flavorful turkey to remember.

By Matthew Eads, Grillseeker

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  • 1 turkey (12-18 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the rub

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fine ground black pepper 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary powder

For the baste

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Light the Hybrid Fire Grill and establish the temperature at 350°F. For the K500, light either the left or right burner. For the K750 or K1000, light both outermost burners. For added flavor, try adding some lump charcoal or premium wood chucks to the drawer(s).

For the Shokunin Kamado, set up for cross flow roasting and establish temperature at 350°F. Again, the addition of wood chunks is optional here.

While your grill is preheating, remove the backbone from the turkey with a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Removing the backbone is easy; click here for a video tutorial.

Tip: Don’t discard the backbone. It can and should be used to make incredible turkey stock or turkey gravy.

Classic Roasted Turkey Recipe

Then, using the knife or shears, cut down the middle of the breastbone to create two halves of the turkey. This allows for faster and more even cooking than cooking the bird whole, and it helps for the beautiful presentation.

Once the bird is separated into two halves, rub each half with olive oil and season the skin side liberally with the classic roasted turkey rub.

Tip: For an even coating, it’s easiest to put all rub ingredients into a shaker bottle and then season the bird.

Classic Roasted Turkey Recipe

With the bird seasoned, place it on your grill over indirect heat. Close the lid and allow the turkey to cook for 30 minutes before basting with the melted butter and olive oil. Baste the turkey every thirty minutes until the internal temperature reaches 150°F in the breast or 170°F in the thigh. This will take roughly 2 hours, depending on the size of your bird.

Tip: If you notice the skin of the turkey getting a bit too dark, lightly cover it with aluminum foil.

Classic Roasted Turkey Recipe

Remove the turkey from the grill, baste one final time and allow it to rest. During the resting period, the internal temperature will increase slightly and the time spent at the cooked temperature will meet USDA safety standards of 165°F.

Carve by separating the leg and thigh from the bird, in one piece. There is a natural cut line for this and it’s very intuitive to remove. Depending on the size of the bird, this piece can be served whole, or broken down further into separate legs and thighs.

Then, remove the wings. This is a little more labor intensive but also intuitive. Finally, remove the breast meat from the breastbone, by simply using your fingers and peeling it back. Then process the breast meat by slicing side to side. Doing so ensures that each slice of meat comes with some of that oh-so-flavorful and perfectly seasoned skin.

Tip: Slicing the breast meat off the turkey in a more traditional way is not only a hassle, but it also means that the first slice from each breast will get a disproportionate amount of the skin, which is one of the best parts!

Plating your holiday turkey is the fun part after all the time and effort spent in preparing it. See Matthew's tips on presentating a holiday turkey

Serve the turkey with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, sausage cranberry stuffing and pan gravy.