Thanksgiving Recipes: Weber Grill

November 23, 2013

Larry Donahue, Corporate Chef of Weber Grill Restaurants, came into our ABC 7 Eyewitness News studio to show us how to prepare your turkey in a different way.

Chef Donahue's Recipes:

Hickory Smoked Turkey

Serves: 8 to 12
Prep time: 20 minutes
dry brining time: 12 hours
Way to grill: indirect medium heat (350° to 400°F)
Grilling time: about 2-1/2 hours
Special equipment: 3 large disposable foil pans, instant-read thermometer


1 turkey, about 12 pounds
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened


1 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 cups chicken broth, plus more for gravy
4 handfuls hickory wood chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes


3 cups reserved pan juices
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. The day before grilling, prepare the turkey. Remove the giblets from the turkey and set aside for another use. Rinse the turkey with cold water, shake off the excess water, but do not pat dry. In a small bowl combine the salt and pepper and season all over the turkey, inside and out. Place the turkey on a sheet pan. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 12 hours.

2. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator. The skin may look dry, and that's okay. Do not rinse the turkey. Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Brush the legs, breast, and wings with the butter.

3. Place one foil pan inside the other and combine the aromatics in the top pan. (Do not use a high-quality metal roasting pan, as the smoke may discolor it.) Add 2 cups of the chicken broth. Place the turkey, breast side down, inside the foil pans and over the aromatics.

4. Drain and add 2 handfuls of the wood chips directly onto burning coals or to the smoker box of a gas grill, following manufacturer's instructions. Grill the turkey over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, for 1 hour, keeping the grill's temperature between 350° to 400°F.

5. After grilling for 1 hour, wearing barbecue mitts and using a pair of tongs, flip over the turkey so that the breast side is facing up. For charcoal grilling, add 12 to 15 unlit briquettes to the coals to maintain the heat of the grill. Add the remaining 2 handfuls of the wood chips. Continue grilling and smoking the turkey until it is golden brown and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone) reaches 170°F, 1½ hours. After the turkey has been on the grill for 1½ hours, check to see if the wing tips or the ends of the drumsticks are getting too dark. If so, wrap them with foil.

6. Carefully remove the turkey and roasting pans from the grill. Transfer the turkey to a carving board and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Save the pan juices and vegetables to make the gravy.

7. Strain the pan juices into a fat separator, pressing the vegetables firmly with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the vegetables left in the strainer. Let the pan juices stand until the fat rises to the surface, about 2 minutes. Pour the pan juices into a 1-quart measuring cup. Add more chicken broth, if needed, to make 3 cups. Measure the turkey fat; you should have ½ cup. Add melted butter, if needed.

8. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, warm the fat. Whisk in the flour and let bubble until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the stock mixture and the bourbon. Gently heat until lightly thickened, stirring often. Season with the salt and pepper.

9. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.

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