Christmas Turkey

BBQ133/17: Christmas Turkey

BBQ133/17 – Christmas Turkey:

Christmas time again and whilst most people are stressing about cooking their Christmas Turkey I was looking forward to it! The turkey cooked as a test run on Thanksgiving had been really good so I was quite relaxed about cooking this on the day. The write up for that cook has loads of detail in and is worth a read if you want to cook a turkey.

Christmas Turkey

The Meat:

Another 5kg quality turkey bought directly from Herb Fed – £57.25

Although the major couriers seemed to suffer a meltdown this year I had no issues with the delivery of the turkey on 21/12.

The Prep:

A simple sprinkling of salt and pepper, nothing else. I wanted to cook this one lower and for longer than the test run turkey so fired up 2/3 of a chimney with Oxford Charcoal Hardwood Blend and poured it into the charcoal baskets either side of the grill so the rotisserie could go down the centre.

The Cook:

The grill temperature was 180c this time rather than 250c in the last cook which is what I was aiming for. I added a chunk of oak and a chunk of cherry to the fire. Cherry is key for getting a great colour on the turkey.

After half an hour I checked back, topped up the charcoal with some big unlit chunks and added more smoking wood. The cook was making good progress and I could see it was going to take longer than the last cook at 90 minutes. I was also planning on taking the meat off at 65c rather than 75c to keep it juicy. As it was a quality bird I was happy to take it off earlier.

After 2 hours the internal temperature deep in the breasts was 65c so I took the bird off to rest for half an hour.

Christmas Turkey

I was really happy with the colour of it. So much juice was running off the bird as well.Christmas Turkey

Time to Eat:

I saw a video from DJ BBQ with Paul Kelly where they cut the legs off and then remove the breasts whole as it’s easier to slice. I do tend to carve my chickens and turkeys this way as I saw Jamie do it in one of his TV programmes a few years ago, maybe with Paul Kelly as well. The skin was nice and crispy, I think the longer cook had helped crisp it up but I still removed it and put it in the oven for 10 minutes with a bit of salt to make turkey skin scratchings!

Christmas Turkey

One breast sliced, so much meat and really, really juicy! It tasted fantastic!

Christmas Turkey


This was my best turkey yet. It was by far the juiciest one, the skin was the crispest so far and the taste was also the best. The whole thing was really stress free. Buy a quality bird and you don’t need to brine it, just a bit of salt and pepper then stick it on the rotisserie for 2 hours. Awesome!

Timing wise I wasn’t sure how long the turkey would take on the lower temperature so the rest of the food was ready before the turkey. Even after a 30 minute rest (uncovered in my hut) it was still steaming hot so next time I would cook the turkey and as soon as it starts the rest I would kick off the cook of everything else.

Cook Equipment: Weber Kettle
Cook Method: Rotisserie
Charcoal: Oxford Charcoal Hardwood Blend
Smoking Wood: Smokewood Shack Oak and Cherry
Cook temperature: 180C
Cook time: 2 hours and 30m rest
Internal temperature: 65C
Notes: 1: Cook the turkey and once it’s resting kick off everything else to cook.


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