Because it's not possible to add more wood during the cooking process, a turkey grill-roasted over a gas fire will not taste as smoky as one roasted over charcoal. As with the charcoal recipe, check the internal temperature in the thigh when rotating the bird for the final time to get an idea of how much longer it needs to cook.
- 2 cups kosher salt or 1 cup table salt
- 1 turkey (12 to 14 pounds), giblets and tail removed, rinsed thoroughly and wings tucked (see illustration)
- 3 cups wood chips
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
Dissolve the salt in 2 gallons water in a large (at least 16-quart) stockpot or clean bucket. Add the turkey and refrigerate or set in a very cool spot (between 32 and 40 degrees F) for 12 hours or overnight. (If the refrigerator space is at a premium, you can use a more concentrated brine for a shorter period of time. Double the salt in the solution, place 4 or 5 ice gel packs in the brine with the turkey, cover and place in a cool spot.)
Toward the end of brining time, soak the wood chips in a bowl with cold water to cover for 30 minutes, then drain. Make a foil tray for the chips with a 12 x 18-inch square of heavy-duty foil: To do so, make a 1-inch fold on one long side. Repeat 3 more times and turn the fold up to create a sturdy side that measures about 1 inch high. Repeat the process on the other long side. With the short side facing you, fold in both corners as if wrapping gift. Turn up the inside an inch or so of each triangle field to match the rim on the long sides of the foil tray. Lift the pointed end of the triangle over the rim of the foil and down to seal. Repeat the process on the other short side. Place the chips in the foil tray.
Meanwhile, spray a V-rack with nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse inside and out under cool running water to remove all traces of salt. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels; brush both sides with the melted butter. Set the turkey, breast-side down, in the V-rack.
Position the tray with the chips on top of a burner that will remain on during the entire cooking time. Turn all burners to high, close the lid and heat the grill until the chips begin to smoke, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the burner(s) without chips; leave one on high. Place the V-rack with the turkey over the cool part of the grill; cover and grill-roast, regulating the lit burner as necessary to maintain the temperature between 300 and 350 degrees F, for 1 hour.
Open the lid; with a wad of paper towels in each hand, flip the turkey breast-side up. The leg and wing that were facing the lit burner should now be facing away from it. Close the lid and continue grill-roasting for 45 minutes.
Using thick potholders, carefully turn the rack with the turkey (the breast remains up) so that the leg and wing that were facing the lit burner are now facing away. Insert an instant-read thermometer into each thigh to check the temperature and gauge how much longer the turkey must cook (see note in Grill-Roasted Turkey for Charcoal Grill). Close the lid and continue grill-roasting until the thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 175 to 180 degrees F, 15 to 45 minutes more. Remove the turkey from the grill, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes; carve and serve.
Recipe reprinted by permission of America's Test Kitchen. All rights reserved.
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