Cooking with Fire Episode 10: Thanksgiving #2, Turkey

Cooking with Fire Episode 10: Thanksgiving #2, Turkey

Josh Cary and Chef Tom Jackson are here with their second Thanksgiving Podcast of the year, and this time they’re talking turkey.

Grilled Thanksgiving Turkey


  • 1 whole turkey (10-15lb)

For the Brine:

  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 6 quarts water, divided
  • ice

For the Poultry rub:

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder


Combine 1 quart of water with the salt, sugar, bay leaf and black peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Add the remaining 5 quarts of ice water. Be sure the water is cool before adding the turkey and make sure the turkey is fully submerged. Add a plate or two to hold the bird down. Refrigerate the turkey in the brine, one hour per pound.

Remove the turkey from the brine. Pat the bird dry with paper towels. Spatchcock the turkey. To take the backbone out, place the bird breast side down. Cut along both sides of the backbone with kitchen shears, from one opening of the cavity to the other. Pull the skin away from the meat, but leave it attached.

Mix the poultry rub ingredients together. Season the meat under the skin for maximum flavor absorption, as well as on top of the skin.

Preheat your grill to 350°F, set up for indirect grilling. Lay the bird flat, skin side up on a foil lined sheet pan and place the pan in the cooker. Cook the turkey until all the meat has reached an internal temperature of 165°F. It is likely that the legs will cook a bit faster than the breasts. That is fine. However, do NOT cook the breasts past 165°F. We recommend using an instant read thermometer.

The thighs will separate from the rest of the body very easily, just slice through the skin. You can serve the quarters whole, separate the leg from the thigh (by cutting at the joint) or you can pull the meat from the bones and discard the bones. The breasts can either be sliced intact or removed from the breastbone, separated from wings, and sliced to serve. The wings can be served whole, or you may remove the skin and pull that meat from the bones.

Until you're ready to serve, store the meat, covered, in a pan with the juices rendered while cooking.


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