How to Roast Turkey on the Barbecue
The natural gas barbecue can easily be used as an oven to roast a turkey, freeing up your primary oven for the side dishes. Just keep these hints in mind:
- Weather conditions (temperature, wind and humidity) may influence the time required for cooking a turkey. ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen does not recommend barbecuing at temperatures below 3°F (-16°C).
- Before the day, make sure the turkey and roasting pan will fit on the natural gas barbecue when the lid is down. There should be at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of space between the top of turkey and the lid.
- Do not barbecue turkeys larger than 5.5 kg (12 lb).
- Preheat the natural gas barbecue on high for at least 10 - 15 minutes. Turn the control down to medium or to a setting that maintains a temperature of 325- 350°F (160- 180°C). When using a dual burner natural gas barbecue, it may be necessary to adjust the control to low or off on the side where the turkey is to be roasted. On a triple burner natural gas barbecue, turn the centre burner off. If the barbecue does not have an accurate heat indicator, place an oven thermometer on the grid to monitor the temperature.
- Prepare the turkey for roasting; for food safety reasons, cook the stuffing separately.
- Place the turkey, breast side up, in a roast holder or on a rack set inside a large foil pan. For increased stability, place the foil pan on a cookie sheet or jelly-roll pan.
- Rub the turkey skin thoroughly with softened butter, margarine or oil. Sprinkle with seasonings, if desired. Insert a meat thermometer into the middle of the thick thigh muscle parallel to the bone and next to the body, or into the thickest muscle of the breast. Be sure the thermometer does not touch bone.
- Place the pan with the turkey on the barbecue grid. Cook, with the lid down, until the meat thermometer registers 180 - 185°F (82 - 85°C). Baste the turkey occasionally.
- If desired, 1 cup (250 mL) water may be added to roasting pan periodically to prevent fat from splattering. A 5.5 kg (12 lb) turkey will generally require 3 - 3 1/2 hours cooking time on a natural gas barbecue.