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Brined BBQ Turkey

Posted 12/21/2020

This is the year to try something new with your Christmas turkey! If you have never had a brined and barbequed turkey, then you are in for a treat. This may be the juiciest and most flavourful bird you have ever cooked. This is also a good way to free up space in the oven for your side dishes. Make sure that you save one of the thighs for yourself as these are especially scrumptious!

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Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 4 hours

Additional Time: 12 hours

Total Time: 16 ½ hours

Servings: 15-20 servings




1          5-7 kg turkey

3          large   tart apples

1          tbsp    butter

1          tbsp    poultry seasoning



10        cups   water, approximately

3/4      cup     salt, approximately

3          tbsp    poultry seasoning

2          tbsp    garlic powder

2          tbsp    onion powder

1/2      tbsp    smoked paprika

1/2      tbsp    Frank’s RedHot Seasoning powder

1          liter     apple juice

4          cups   ice cubes, or more




Step 1:  In a large saucepan, heat water but do not bring to boil. Add salt. You want to make the brine as salty as possible without leaving any undissolved crystals in the water. Add remaining brine seasonings and stir. Remove from heat. Add apple juice and ice cubes.

Step 2:  Prepare turkey in the usual way; remove giblets and pin feathers, and rinse in cold water. Place turkey in a container large enough to fully submerse the bird. The turkey will need to be kept cold overnight so make sure the container will fit into the fridge. (As an alternative, we use a cooler that we keep only for this job, and place the cooler in a cold garage.) Place quartered apples on top and alongside turkey.

Step 3: Pour the brine over turkey and apples. You will want to completely cover the turkey. Add more water if needed. If the ice cubes have melted, add more ice to the container. It is important to have the water as cold as possible for brining. Let turkey brine overnight.



Step 4: Remove turkey from brine and rinse in cold water. Save the brine. You will want to rinse turkey well to avoid an overly salty bird. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Remove apples from brine and stuff into turkey cavity. If room allows, halve an onion or two and add to cavity as well. Close cavity and place turkey on a rack in a roaster pan. Rub skin with softened butter and sprinkle with poultry seasoning. Pour reserved brine into roaster until the liquid level is almost touching the turkey.



Step 5: Prepare BBQ by preheating to 350F. We like to place tin cans with smoking wood chips on the corners of the BBQ rack to increase flavour. Place uncovered roaster on BBQ and close lid.

Step 6: Cook turkey at 350F for approximately 4 hours or until meat thermometer reads that turkey is done. Add water as needed to keep level just below bird. Cover turkey with roaster lid or tinfoil when skin is brown enough, about halfway through cooking time.

Step 7: When turkey is cooked, remove from BBQ and let rest covered for at least 30 minutes. Carve and serve!





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