Two-Step Grilled Turkey

  • 1 small (10-12 lb.) turkey, thawed (if previously frozen) and prepped for traditional roasting
  • 2/3 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 large onions, one sliced into generous wedges and the other sliced into many thin strips (divided)
  • Fresh herbs, as desired
  • 1 lemon, sliced into generous wedges
  • 1-2 T. miso butter, optional

Preheat the oven to 450°F and remove any racks from the oven that might be in the way while roasting a turkey.

Once your turkey is thawed and prepped for roasting (remove anything in the cavity of the bird or in the neck pocket, remove any excess skin near the opening of the cavity, remove any plastic bits holding legs together or the like, etc.), carefully set the turkey on a roasting rack set inside a roasting pan.

Combine the mayonnaise with the seasonings (granulated garlic through black pepper) and stir well to make a sauce. Using your fingers, liberally apply the sauce to the inside of the turkey's cavity as well as under the skin of the bird. Place the generously wedged onion, any herbs you've opted to use, and the lemon slices inside the turkey cavity and position the turkey on the roasting rack breast side down.

Roast the turkey until the thickest part of the breast meat reaches 155°F. I like to place a probe thermometer in that spot before placing the turkey in the oven so I don't need to open the oven door to monitor the temperature. Remove the turkey from the oven and allow to cool enough for safe handling.

When the bird is cool enough to handle, remove to a large cutting board and, using a sharp knife, cut a line just to the side of the center of the breastbone. Make sure you cut through the ribs.

Line the roasting rack with aluminum foil. Place the thin strips of onion and any of the aromatics removed from the cavity of the turkey into the bottom of the foil "boat" you've just made. Carefully place the split turkey on top of the bed of onions. If desired, dot the top of the turkey with miso butter.

Prepare a grill for indirect medium-high heat grilling. Place the roasting rack without the roasting pan on the grill and grill the turkey for another 30-45 minutes or until the meat on the bird is fully cooked and the onions in the bottom of the foil "boat" are softened and bubbly. Allow the turkey to rest before carving.

  • Yields: 1 fully cooked turkey and all the deliciousness that comes with it
  • Preparation Time: About 4 hours - it's a project, but it's worth it!
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