Learn How To Cook A Holiday Turkey On Your Barbecue

As Thanksgiving approaches our thoughts naturally turn to idea of serving a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Tradition is great, but this year, why not try something just a little different. Perhaps this year is the time to create a new tradition by adding a little twist to the normal fare.

You can use your gas grill to cook your turkey and even add a little smokey flavor, too. Truthfully, it's a simple way to cook. And besides that, it leaves your oven free for other dishes.

Make sure you take into account the size of your grill when you purchase your turkey. Avoid buying one that's too large to fit on the grill. Preferably, the turkey, in its pan, should be able to sit on the grill rack, with the lid completely closed. If you accidentally got one that's too large - don't worry, you can still grill it Just prop open the lid and place some heavy aluminum foil over the gap.

Get the turkey ready and stuff it just like you normally would. Place the stuffed turkey in a pan that you can use on your grill. I've always been partial to the disposable aluminum trays. Place it on the grill over a burner that can be turned off. You'll leave the other burners on, but you want to cook the turkey using indirect heat, not directly over a flame.

If you'd like to infuse your turkey with a smokey taste, then you'll need to get some wood chips. Most likely you'll be able to find that at any store that sells either grills or grill accessories. Soak the wood chips in water per the instructions on the bag or box. You can purchase a special metal tray made for using wood chips or you can simply put them in some aluminum foil. As they heat up and dry out they release a flavored smoke that surrounds your cooking turkey. Place the wood chips (in their container) over a lit burner.

At this point, close the lid of your grill. If you can't close it without the lid touching the turkey, you'll need to prop the lid open and cover the gap with some heavy foil. It you need to do that, then add extra cooking time because some of the heat is going to escape. However, the foil should help to keep the flavored smoke in.

Cooking time will vary, of course, based on the size of the turkey, whether or not you've stuffed it and whether or not you've been able to close the lid of the grill completely. To ensure even cooking, rotate the turkey 180 degrees after the first couple of hours.

Just like you would when cooking any type of poultry, you need to be certain that the internal temperature of the meat reaches 160 degrees F It's best not to guess, so invest in a meat thermometer to be certain Undercooked poultry is dangerous to your health.

Your fully cooked turkey should be nicely browned and when you poke the thigh with a fork or skewer the juices should run clear. You might want to glaze the cooked turkey before carving it. Use your imagination, try different ideas and you just might end up with a whole new holiday tradition.

Learn more about how to cook turkey and how to barbecue turkey for this coming holiday season.