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Friday, July 8, 2011

Grilled Apple Brined Mesquite Smoked Turkey

I always wanted to grill a whole turkey, but I feared ruining Thanksgiving dinner. We had a free frozen turkey in the freezer that we got from the grocery store for shop around the holidays. I thought it was time to attempt the infamous grilled turkey.

To my surprise, the results were absolutely amazing. The turkey was moist with a wonderful apple sweet and smoked favor. This was the perfect time of year to grill a turkey because I had all of the fresh herbs (sage, marjoram, thyme) in the garden.

Although I veered off course on the recipe, I got the base of the recipe from Essentials of Grilling: Recipes and Techniques for Successful Outdoor Cooking


For the Brine
1 64 fl oz bottle apple juice
1 bunch fresh sage
1 bunch fresh marjoram
1 bunch fresh thyme
6 bay leaves
1/2 cup coarse sea salt
2 tbsp fresh cracked pepper

1 turkey, 12-14lb
Freshly ground coarse pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 handfuls Mesquite, soaked

To make the apple brine, combine the apple juice, sage, marjoram, thyme, bay leaves, sea salt, and pepper in a large sauce pan. Bring the whole mixture to a boil over medium high heat and stir until the salt is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let sit until room temperature. Remove the neck and giblet from the turkey cavity. Rinse the turkey and place in a 2.5 gallon Ziploc bag with the cooled brine. Squeeze as much air out of the bag so the turkey is completely submerging in the brine. Seal the Ziploc bag shut and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

Take the turkey from the brine and pat it dry. Season it inside and out with pepper. Truss the turkey and brush it with oil. Prepare the grill for indirect grilling over medium heat (350 degrees F). Place a pan with water and a grill rack (this is the same setup as you would use in the oven) over the burner that is off. Then, place the turkey on the grill rack breast side up. Wrap the Mesquite in aluminum foil and poke it with holes. Place the foil packet on the burner that is on. If the wings begin to burn, cover them with aluminum foil. Cook the turkey until the internal temperature is 170 degrees F for the breast about 2 ½ to 3 hours. Transfer turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

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