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Try a Grill-Roasted Turkey this Thanksgiving

Cooking CornerIf you want a traditional, perfectly carved, Thanksgiving turkey but would like to bring a delicious twist to the meal, then look to chef, cookbook author, and James Beard–award nominee Kathy Gunst. She has discovered a way to bring the tradition of the Thanksgiving turkey to the holiday table in an unconventional way.

Every Thanksgiving, Kathy Gunst roasts a turkey in the oven, but one year she had a larger crowd than usual and needed to cook two turkeys.

“So, on a colder-than-normal November day, I decided to grill-roast a second turkey,” says Gunst. “The recipe, it turns out, couldn’t be simpler.” Grilling the bird resulted in a picture-perfect glazed turkey with juicy meat and a subtle smokey flavor.”

“This recipe is nothing short of a revelation. You will not believe how a plain old turkey, simply seasoned with salt and pepper, placed on a hot grill, can have this much flavor with so little fuss,” says Gunst.

Grilled Turkey

  • 1 10–12 pound turkey

Cleaned and dried. Salt and freshly ground black pepper seasoned to taste.

Heat a fire in the grill (charcoal or gas) and cook a small (10 to 12 pound) whole turkey over indirect heat with a minimum of seasoning. Be sure to place a shallow pan underneath the bird atop the charcoal or burner covers to catch the drippings and reduce flare-ups. Grill for approximately 2 hours (use a thermometer to check for doneness).

Stuff the bird and/or add an array of vegetables to the grill, like stuffed squash, corn on the cob, or turnips and potatoes for a complete meal. Add your vegetables to the grill 30 minutes or so before the turkey is done. Once the meat is cooked and cooled the bird is ready for carving.

“I can’t overestimate how important it is to have a good, sharp knife for carving the bird. It should be very tender and carve easily, but a well-sharpened favorite carving knife will make things that much easier,” says Gunst.

Chef’s Choice® Turkey-Carving Tips

Turkey-Carving Tips
Turkey-Carving Tips

Step 1
Be sure to use a good, sharp knife. Sharp knives are not only safer, but they will also help you smoothly cut thin, even slices without shred­ding the meat. Fortunately, you don’t have to be an expert to put a razor-sharp edge on your knife. Chef’sChoice® M130 professionally sharpens, steels and strops all brands and types of knives. Preci­sion guides eliminate guesswork for sharp, durable edges. For help finding a sharpener that’s right for you, call 800.342.3255 or visit www.chefschoice.com

Step 2
After the turkey is cooked (the meat thermometer should read 180–185° F when inserted in the thickest part of the turkey), cool the bird for 15 minutes. Cooling makes the meat firmer and easier to slice.

Remove and set aside the turkey legs and the last joint of each wing.

Make a long, deep (to the bone) horizontal “base cut” into the breast just above the wing.

Step 3
Slice down vertically through the breast until you meet the orig­inal base cut. This will release perfect, even slices.

Following these preparation and carving tips can help make your Thanksgiving a meal to remember and one that our country’s founders would have enjoyed!


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