My husband, Martin, charcoal-grills our Thanksgiving turkey.
When we tell our friends about our Weber experience, we generally get a look of disbelief along with these questions:
"How long does that take?"
"What does it taste like?"
Answers are it frees up the oven for the sides and we live in Florida so want to be outside; same as in the oven; delicious.
Grilling our bird yields a moist, juicy turkey on the inside and evenly brown, crispy skin on the outside. Martin cooks a 12-pound turkey for 2 1/2 to three hours (again, follow instructions on oven times) until the thigh-inserted thermometer hits about 175 degrees, then lets it rest inside on a cutting board for 15 to 20 minutes while the internal temperature rises a few degrees.
Here are some of his tips in case you feel motivated.
Arranging the charcoal: Light the charcoal in a chimney starter. (Use wood charcoal or add wood chips if you want a smoky flavor.) Bank the charcoal on the left and right sides in the grill and put an aluminum drip pan in the middle to catch grease. You just created your outdoor oven.
Positioning the bird: After brining, place the turkey in the middle of the grill grate breast-side up, and close the lid. Adjust the vents to keep the temperature at about 350 degrees. Now sit outside and enjoy the sunshine, or work on the sides in the kitchen.
The heat: You want this to cook with indirect heat; direct heat would burn the bird.
WATCH IT: Once the turkey is on the grill, all your work isn't "done." Keep an eye on the fire, as well as the temperatures inside the grill and the turkey. Stoke the fire when it runs low and add charcoal as necessary.
Jeanne Grinstead, Times staff writer