Thanksgiving is here and everyone’s in the mood for turkey! But how do you get away from those boring, dry turkeys of the past? The answer is in this incredibly flavorful and tasty Maple-Brined Turkey recipe, courtesy of our friends at Weber. By following these tips and tricks, you’re definitely going to impress your friends and family at the table this Thanksgiving!
Begin with Brine
Thanksgiving only comes around once a year, so preparing for it can be stressful. There are plenty of moving parts when it comes to the prep, but rest assured that this recipe starts off very simple. Brining, or the process of soaking or preserving in salty water, is a necessary first step to get the best turkey on the big day. For this maple brine, you’ll need a few key ingredients and a little bit of patience. Start off with a big mixing bowl and add the following:
- 1 quart of warm water
- 1-1/2 cups of dark maple syrup
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 3/4 cup of kosher salt
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon of dried sage
- 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon of cracked black peppercorns
Once these ingredients have all been added, whisk everything together, and move onto your turkey!
Preparing Your Turkey
Avoid a Thanksgiving mishap by making sure you prepare your turkey the right way. The most underestimated part about cooking a turkey is often timing. Thawing a turkey can take up to three or four days when thawing in a refrigerator. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time in advance for the thawing process, as larger turkeys will take even more time. Once your turkey is thawed, you’ll be able to easily extract the turkey neck and giblet package from its cavities. At that point, your turkey is ready for the brine. Find a durable plastic bag, place it inside a large stockpot, and set your turkey inside of it. Then take your brine mixture and pour it into the bag along with ice. Close and tightly seal the bag, then refrigerate the turkey for 12 to 14 hours.
After that process is complete, pull the turkey from the fridge, and remove it from the brine. Once the turkey is removed, discard the brine and rinse your turkey under cold water. Pat the turkey down with a paper towel to dry it off, then take one large chopped onion and stuff it inside the neck cavity. Pin back the neck skin with toothpicks or skewers, tuck back the wing tips, and tie the drumsticks off with butcher twine. Next, take three tablespoons of unsalted melted butter and spread it evenly around the surface of the turkey. Finally, stack two foil pans on top of each other and place a roasting rack on the pans. Once that is complete, place your turkey on the rack and let it sit for one hour. While you wait, prepare your wood chips for the grill by soaking them in water for 30 minutes, then placing them in your smoker box.
Let’s Get Ready to Grill
Now we’ve reached the fun part! All that hard work is about to pay off now that we’re ready to fire up the grill. The first step to cooking anything on your grill is to preheat it. Place your smoker box on your grill and turn your burners up to a medium-low heat. Once the wood chips begin smoking, then you’re ready to place the turkey on the grill. First, turn off one burner and designate that area for indirect cooking. Then with your turkey still on the roasting rack and in the foil pans, place it on the grill and let it cook for about one hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once that hour has passed, open the lid of your grill and flip your turkey, making sure to replace the wood chips in your smoker box with new, pre-soaked ones. Close the lid of your grill and let your turkey cook for another 60 to 90 minutes. Around that time, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your turkey. Once it reaches a minimum of 170 degrees Fahrenheit, it will be ready for some extra flavor in the form of maple syrup. Take two tablespoons of dark maple syrup and brush it all over the surface of your turkey. Let it cook for approximately 15 more minutes, then remove it from the grill.
Carving and Serving
After you’ve removed your turkey, let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes on a cutting board. Once the turkey has cooled slightly, you’re ready to carve it. Depending on how you and your guests like your portions, cut as big or small of pieces as you’d like and serve them with your choice of side dish. You can find plenty of great sides that pair well with a turkey on our side dishes page! And of course, you can’t have a plate of turkey without a delicious gravy, so make sure you add in this tasty bacon gravy, also courtesy of Weber. When you put this plate in front of your guests, you can rest assured their mouths will start watering!
With the holiday season here, you can certainly reuse this recipe often! Plenty of people will know about your turkey talents and you’ll soon have a classic dish that you’re known for. Be sure to have plenty of propane on hand when grilling by finding the closest location selling Blue Rhino on our Propane Finder. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and enjoy this flavorful meal, because you’ve earned it!