Brined, Bacon Wrapped & Grilled
- 1 20 lb. turkey
- Bacon; 3 packs for 20 lbs.
- Salt & Pepper
- Fresh rosemary, sage & thyme
- Large disposable roasting pan
- Heavy duty tin foil
- Charcoal and lighter fluid and matches
- 2 gallons apple juice
- 1C. Kosher salt
- 1 1/2C. Brown sugar
- 3-4T. garlic
- 2T. Worchershire sauce
- 2T. Peppercorns
- 1 VERY large pot; big enough to put the whole turkey in with a lid.
Brining the Turkey:
- On the Sunday before Thanksgiving unwrap the turkey and pull out all the giblets. (They are in both cavities-front and back- usually in a small paper bag)
- Put the turkey in that VERY large pot.
- Bring the apple juice, salt and sugar in a large pot, heat and stir until dissolved all the way.
- Let cool.
- Add the Worchershire sauce, peppercorns and a garlic.
- Slowly pour over the turkey
- Cover it tightly with tin foil and put the lid on it.
- Put it in the refrigerator for at LEAST 24 hours; I usually let it brine for at least 3 days.
Bacon Wrapping the Turkey: A Good I.Dee: Wrap the turkey the night before you cook it.
- Take the turkey out of the brining liquid and discard the liquid and rinse the turkey.
- Place the turkey in the roasting pan…..Ummmm…breast and leg side up……
- Put the fresh spices in the cavity of the turkey
- Unwrap the bacon and put it on the counter so you can reach for it easily.
- Start with wrapping the wings; stretch out the wing and wrap round and round, starting at the farthest point from the turkey’s body.
- Fold the wing back and tuck it under the turkey; they will be less likely to burn if you do that.
- Repeat with the other wing.
- Next wrap the legs; pull the leg out from the body of the turkey and wrap round and round. It may take several pieces to wrap one leg.
- Make you are wrapping so that no skin is showing.
- Repeat with the other leg.
- Next put bacon slices on the sides.
- Then the top working from front to back.
- Until the entire turkey is covered and wrapped in bacon.
- Pepper the top.
- Wrap with heavy duty tin foil.
Preparing the Grill and Cooking the Turkey:
- Make sure all old charcoal is removed from the grill.
- Make two piles of charcoal, one on each side of the grill, using about 10-15 pieces of charcoal.
- Sprinkle lighter fluid on each pile of charcoal and light each pile with matches.
- Let the coals get hot. They are ready when there is hot red in the center of the pile and the edges of the charcoal are gray.
- Put the grate on the grill with the handle holes by the piles. This is VERY important!! You will need to add coals to the piles through those openings.
- Carry the turkey out to the grill using a cookie sheet under it.
- Transfer the turkey from the cookie sheet to the grill.
- After 20 minutes, add two or three coals to each side, through the openings.
- Add 2-4 coals every 20 minutes or so, making sure the coals doesn’t burn out or get too hot. If you can hear the turkey simmering and the coals have not burned much, wait another 10-15 minutes and check it again.
- The cooking time will be about 20 minutes per pound. (A 20 pound turkey will take about 6 ½ hours or so… a 25 pound turkey will take about 8 hours.)
- The turkey is done when the popper pops out (or the legs are easy to move and feel as if they will pull off easily.) You DO NOT want to overcook a turkey , it will be dry….(if the turkey does not have a popper, stick to the 20 minutes per pound and take off the grill then.
- Remove the foil. The bacon will be brown and crispy looking.
- There will be a lot of liquid in the pan. Take a turkey baster and squeeze out the juices into a pan. It might be easier to use a cup with a handle. Be careful, though, it will be VERY, VERY hot!
- Go get someone to help you take it off the grill. You could do it, but it is a LOT easier if you can get an extra pair of hands to help you.
- Hold the cookie sheet as close to the turkey pan as you can and slide the cookie sheet under the turkey pan and slide the turkey pan onto the cookie sheet at the same time.
- Carry it in the house, place it on the kitchen counter and let it rest for at least an hour. Lay the tin foil loosely on top.