Jack Save's the Day Turkey

October 19, 2012
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Author Notes

This technique came about as a result of my mother-in-law, Ramona, needing to use the oven for all of her wonderful side dishes and pies. My father-in-law suggested roasting the turkey on their grill, which had been put away for the winter. He got it out of the garage and built a fire in their Webber, mounding the coals on either side of a small aluminum pan to catch the drippings (to be used for the gravy). This method works great - better than you can imagine.
Our family has been roasting the Thanksgiving turkey on the grill for decades. Jack is gone now, but his brilliant idea lives on. —Donato Daddario

  • Serves 10
  • one 20 pounds turkey
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 quart water
  • to taste Kosher salt
In This Recipe
  1. Thoroughly clean grill rack. Build a fire with charcoal briguettes. Once coals are grayish around the edges, separate into two mounds putting small aluminum pan (approx. 6x8x2) between. Open all vents on grill cover. Place turkey on rack. Keep grill covered w/ steam vents open.
  2. The turkey needs more time if the weather is very cold. It needs roughly 3-5 hours on the grill depending on the size and the weather. Check every half hour or so. Use a meat thermometer to gauge termperature - 170 degrees is said to be appropriate for poultry.
  3. Do not put stuffing in the cavity. Instead, put any of the following: a halved onion / apple / celery ribs and salt and pepper. Rub the body of the turkey with olive oil.
  4. Turkey skin will become crispy and golden but the meat will be very moist with a slightly smoky taste. Let sit for 30 minutes or so, loosely draped in foil, before slicing. An electric carving knife works best.
  5. If too thin, add more flour/water mixture. If taste is too robust, add more broth/liquid. If too thick, add more broth/liquid. Season to taste.
  6. For a demonstration, see Ramona making this gravy on YouTube under The Gravy Granny.

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