Turkeys grazing
Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas

How To Cook The Christmas Turkey On The Barbecue

Enjoy succulent, flavoursome turkey cooked on the BBQ at Christmas

If you want the juiciest, tastiest most succulent roast turkey this Christmas then the easiest way to achieve this is to cook it outside on the barbecue. Barbecues are the ideal piece of kit for cooking the Christmas turkey, or any other large piece of meat. You don’t have to stand outside and watch the bird cook, just set everything up and leave it; if you are using charcoal just check every now and again that you have enough fuel. Make sure you have enough gas in the cylinder before you start cooking.

Cover the turkey with a light covering of vegetable oil and then apply a rub. Weber recommends:

  • 1teasp ground black pepper
  • 35g (1.3oz) sea salt
  • 25g (0.9oz) brown sugar
  • 15g (0.5oz) sweet paprika
  • 15g (0.5oz) mixed herbs

Stuff the neck cavity with your choice of stuffing or leave empty and cook the stuffing in the oven.

Truss the wings and legs to the turkey with string.

Turkey on BBQ rotisserie prepared for cooking

The bird is best cooked on the rotisserie accessory as it then self-bastes; the juices run back into the bird as it rotates. If you don’t have a rotisserie just place the bird in the centre of the grate.

Set up the barbecue for indirect heat (click here to watch the video showing the 3 cooking methods on a Weber barbecue). Set the heat to about 150C/300F.

Place a foil tray, half filled with water, in-between the char baskets or on the top of the gas burners which you aren’t using; this will collect any juices which will then make your gravy.

Close the lid and cook the turkey until the core temperature reaches 75C/165F; use the digital instant read thermometer to check. Check the temperature in several places, especially between the legs and the breast. Don’t be tempted to leave the bird any longer once it reaches the correct temperature as it will then start to dry out.

Allow about 15 - 20 minutes per 850g (1lb) of bird.

Once cooked let it rest for about 30 minutes.

Chestnut, bacon and cranberry stuffing (courtesy of Good Food magazine)

  • 100g (3.5oz) dried cranberries soaked in 50ml (1.75fl oz) ruby port for 1 hour
  • 1 small onion; chopped
  • 2 rashers back bacon, unsmoked; cut into strips
  • 50g (1.75oz) butter
  • 2 garlic cloves; chopped
  • 450g (1lb) sausage-meat
  • 140g (5oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2tbsp fresh parsley; chopped
  • ½teasp fresh thyme leaves; chopped
  • 140g (5oz) chestnuts; cooked, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium egg; lightly beaten
  1. Fry the onion and bacon in the butter until the bacon is cooked and the onions soft. Add the garlic and fry for another minute.
  2. Cool, mix with all the other ingredients. Season.
  3. Stuff the neck cavity.

This stuffing can also be baked in the oven or rolled into small balls and roasted in hot goose fat.

Turkey cooked on the BBQ

Sausage and apple stuffing (courtesy of Sara Buenfeld)

  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 stick celery; finely chopped
  • 1 large onion; chopped
  • 800g (1lb 12oz) good quality Cumberland sausages
  • 1 cooking apple; peeled and chopped
  • 85g (3oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2tbsp fresh sage; chopped
  • 5tbsp fresh parsley; chopped
  • 1 large egg
  1. Cook the onion and celery in olive oil in a large pan until soft. Remove into a bowl.
  2. Take the sausage-meat out of the skins and mix in a bowl with the apple, herbs, egg and breadcrumbs. Season. Mix well. Add the onion and celery.
  3. Stuff into the neck cavity.

If you have any left over line a loaf tin with streaky bacon and spoon in the stuffing mix, cover with more bacon.
Bake for 40 – 50 minutes in a moderate oven at 180C/356F/Gas 4.
This can be made in advance and kept chilled for up to 3 days. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

For more Christmas BBQ information, hints and tips go to our Youtube channel or get in touch with our experts in The Barbecue Shop here in store.