fueled by the feast

Let's fire up the grill —it's time to talk turkey!

Let's fire up the grill —it's time to talk turkey!

Thanksgiving — it’s the season of the bird, which means in kitchens across the country, it’s a time of intensely divisive culinary debate.

Grand arguments are being waged over whether cranberry sauce should be freshly made or plopped out of the can. Decades-long disputes pit pumpkin against sweet potato. Then there’s green bean casserole. Is it gluten-free? Does it even belong on the table? Have at it.

The king of kitchen clashes revolves around the battle of the bird. Turkey is the main event — but it’s also the hardest dish to deliver. Cooking it through while maintaining moisture, texture and taste? That’s a triple threat only some will overcome.

With your propane-powered grill and this smoked turkey recipe, FueledBy is going to make you a Thanksgiving dinner hero who can serve a turkey everyone — even crazy Uncle Larry — will be talking about until next year. And that’s when you’ll have to do it all over again. Let’s fire it up!

Smoked turkey on the grill.

Here's what you need

The Essentials:

  • 1 propane grill (why you’ll want to use propane)
  • 1 fresh whole turkey between 15 and 17 pounds, patted dry with paper towels (bonus points for a locally harvested bird)
  • Wood chips (pecan, apple or maple) for smoke. Soak in water for 8 hours to 48 hours — some should be charred before you start cooking)
  • Aluminum foil container for wood chips
  • 1 piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover the bird
  • Digital meat thermometer

The Rub:

  • Canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

The Baste:

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne (for an extra kick if you’re into that sorta thing)

Here's what you do

  • Let your turkey sit on the counter for 30 to 45 minutes before cooking.
  • Prepare your grill for smoking by placing a aluminum container filled with soaked wood chips over the heating element, under the rack, on the opposite side of the grill from where you’ll place the turkey. Go easy on the wood — you can oversmoke a turkey.
  • The grill should maintain a temperature between 275 and 300 degrees.
  • Place your turkey in a roasting pan, brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 45 minutes.
  • During this time, make the basting liquid by mixing together the chicken stock, garlic, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper.
  • Baste after the first 45 minutes and every 45 minutes thereafter.
  • Start checking the internal temperature after 2 ½ hours.
  • If the top is starting to really brown, place the piece of aluminum foil over it.
  • You’re looking for 165 degrees in the breast and 175 degrees in the thigh. When you stick the turkey, juices should run out clear from the thigh.
  • Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes before carving.
  • Pour yourself a class of cider and have a happy Thanksgiving!
Turkey Table 2Sm

Happy Thanksgiving!