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Barbecue Secrets

Turkey on the Grill!

Dec 24, 2010

Best of the season to you, barbecue fans!

Here are two turkey recipes - an excellent recipe from that includes brining the bird, which adds a huge amount of flavour, and this one, from Barbecue Secrets DELUXE!

Merry Christmas, and Happy Grilling!

Don Genova’s Smoked and Grilled Mediterranean-style Turkey in a Hurry 


Makes enough to serve a festive gathering of at least 15 people


My friend and fellow foodie Don Genova is a well-known Canadian media personality. He hosts a great blog ( and his podcast, “All You Can Eat,” is consistently ranked among the most popular food podcasts on iTunes. I asked him to contribute one of his favorite recipes to Barbecue Secrets DELUXE!, and I'm pleased to share it with you here. The trick to this recipe is to start the turkey in a hot smoker and finish it on a hot grill so you get a nice, crispy skin.

Note: This recipe is unusual because it calls for you to prepare your smoker for a higher temperature than the normal 200–220˚F | 95–100˚C. Don uses an electric Traeger smoker, which uses hardwood pellets and is easy to get to a higher cooking temperature. I’ve adapted this recipe with the assumption that you’re using a standard water smoker like a Weber Smoky Mountain Cooker.


1 cup | 250 mL olive oil

1/2 cup | 125 mL fresh oregano and rosemary, chopped

4–5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

smoked paprika, sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

4–6 Tbsp | 60–90 mL lemon juice

10–12 lb | 4.5–5.5 kg  turkey


Mix together the oil, herbs, garlic, spices, and lemon juice in a small bowl.


Cut the wing tips off the turkey and save them for making stock. Then cut off the turkey thighs and legs, keeping the thigh and leg as one piece. Cut the  backbone out of the turkey and save it for stock, then butterfly the breast by squishing it flat, skin side up.


Smear the oil and herb mixture all over the turkey pieces, working some of it under the skin wherever possible, and marinate it, refrigerated, for at least an hour and up to overnight.


Let the turkey sit at room temperature for about an hour before you start cooking.

Remove the turkey pieces from the marinade, and reserve the marinade for basting.

Prepare your smoker for barbecuing, bringing the temperature up to 250 - 300˚F | 120–150˚C.  To achieve this higher temperature on a water smoker, don’t put any liquid in the water pan and makes sure all vents are wide open.


Put the turkey pieces on the smoker for about two hours, skin side up, using hickory or apple wood as the flavoring agent.  Remove the turkey pieces from the smoker and set them aside. (To avoid wasting charcoal, either use the remaining cooking time to smoke some tomatoes, onions, nuts, etc., or close off all air vents to shut down the fire.)                       


Prepare your grill for medium direct heat. Grill the turkey pieces for about half an hour, turning regularly, until the skin crisps, the juices run clear, and a meat thermometer inserted at the thickest part of the thigh reads160˚F | 70˚C. Remove the turkey pieces from the grill, let them rest, tented in foil, for about half an hour. Carve the turkey pieces into slices and serve them with your favorite accompaniments.