Christmas Turkey with a turkey gravy

Turkey on the BBQ

Ingredients

  • turkey (I used a 12lb turkey)
  • butter
  • smoky brae smoked sea salt & pepper
  • 4-5 rashers of streaky bacon

    For the Trivet

  • 4 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 12 shallots, cut in half
  • 6-7 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tangerine, quartered
  • 1tsp cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • turkey giblets
  • 1 cup apple juice

    For the gravy
  • 1 heaped tbsp plain flour
  • water
  • 1l vegetable stock

About the Cook

Cooking Method: Roasting

BBQ Used: Weber 57cm Kettle

Charcoal Setup: 50/50 split indirect

BBQ Temperature: Approx 150-160C

Smoking Wood Used: None

 

Total Cook Time: approx 6 hours (inc prep and rest time)

 

Method

1. Remove the Turkey from the Brine

If you missed the previous article about brining your turkey, you can check it out here or watch the video here. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat the skin dry with paper towels.

2. Prepare the Turkey

Use your fingers to create a pocket between the skin and the flesh of the breast. Push one or two knobs of butter under the skin, taking care not to tear the skin.

Next, you want to truss the turkey to hold it in shape. For more detail on how to do this, you can click the video link at the bottom of this page. 

apply butter to the outside of the skin then season the entire turkey with smoked sea salt and pepper.

Finally, place strips of streaky bacon over the breast of the turkey. The fat rendering from the bacon will keep the breast meat moist.

3. Make the trivet

We are roasting the turkey in a tray full of veg and other goodies. The veg acts as a trivet to hold the turkey off the bottom of the tray. Add all the trivet ingredients to the tray then place the turkey on top. The cooking juices from the turkey will soften the veg and this will act as the base for our turkey gravy.

4. Set up your BBQ

I cooked this turkey on my Weber Kettle Charcoal BBQ. I used a 50/50 split indirect method with the coals pushed to each side of the charcoal grate giving an area of indirect heat in the centre. You want to aim for a low roasting temperature of 150-160C. Place the tray containing the turkey in the middle of the cooking grate. If you have a probe, push it into the deepest part of the turkey breast then close the lid

5. The cook

Roast the turkey for an initial 2 hours then remove the bacon from the breast to allow it to colour up. Do not eat the bacon (I know, it’s difficult) You will need this to finish the gravy later. Continue to roast the turkey until the internal temperature of the breast has reached 75C. The legs will cook slightly faster than the breast and the internal temp for them should be a little higher at 83C or until they feel tender.

Remove the turkey from the roasting tray and place it on a platter. Cover it with foil and allow it to rest for at least 1 hour before carving into it.

6. Making the gravy

With your turkey resting, you will have a roasting tin full of goodies. We are going to turn this into an amazing turkey gravy. Before we add anything else to the tray, you will need to remove some of the fat. I like to lay one or two slices of bread on top of the liquid and as the fat sits on top of the other liquids, the bread will soak it up.

Add a few more lit coals to your BBQ to ramp up the temperature then place the tray over the coals to bring it back to a simmer.

Roughly chop the bacon you removed from the turkey earlier and add it back to the tray. Next, mix the flour with a little bit of water to make a slurry and stir this into the gravy. As the gravy bubbles, this will start to thicken the gravy. 

Finally, add the vegetable stock and place the lid on the BBQ. Allow the gravy to simmer for 15-20 minutes then pass it through a strainer so you are left with a rich gravy.

Time to serve

With the turkey rested and the gravy made, it’s time to serve up. you can removed the breast and legs from the turkey and portion them or simply carve it off the bird.

If you find you are ready a little too early, your can double wrap the turkey in foil then wrap a heavy towel around it – this should keep it warm for at least 2-2 1/2 hours.

Watch this cook on my Channel

You can watch the step by step video for this recipe over on my YouTube channel where you can find all my tutorials, vlogs and recipes just like this one.

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