A couple years ago my husband bought a rotisserie attachment for our Weber grill and he has been obsessed with cooking all kinds of meat with it ever since. I certainly don’t complain because all the food comes out wonderful and I don’t have to cook it! He uses a smoke box in the bottom with applewood chips and everything is just YUM! It is always nice and juicy and the whole backyard smells so good the whole time it’s cooking. I’m talking drool-worthy.
Our recipe says we could use up to a 14 lb turkey, but it really depends on the shape of the turkey. We’ve had trouble with some of the larger birds we’ve made because the wings sometimes fall out of the butcher’s twine and flop around, singeing on the bottom. He’s cut the tips off at that point when he got frustrated with trying to retie them up repeatedly. The one we did for this blog was 11.5 lb, and it was a perfect size. (Tonight I’m making turkey toacos with the leftovers.)
Check out this recipe we adapted from Weber to be Paleo-friendly. Don’t be daunted by the length of the directions, it is actually pretty easy to make.
Sage & Orange Rotisserie Turkey
2 Tbs fresh grated orange peel from a large washed orange (rest of orange will be used later)
1 Tbs dried sage
1 Tbs Himalayan sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 whole free-range turkey 11 to 14 lbs (hotel style without the wings works great, too)
6 medium cloves garlic, crushed
1 bunch fresh sage
olive oil to rub on turkey
1. Wood chips need to soak in water for 1/2 hr before heating. Soak enough wood chips to fill your smoke box.
2. Combine first five ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside to mix flavors.
3. Remove extra pieces from turkey (the packet of pieces parts from inside the cavity) and any pop-up timer. Also trim any excess fat from around neck and butt. Rinse the turkey in cold water, inside and out. Pat dry.
4. Put the rest of the orange, crushed garlic and sage in the cavity of the turkey.
5. Tie the legs together and secure the wings so they don’t flop and get caught on anything during rotation. Grab the rotisserie spit and slide one set of fork prongs to the very end. Slide the spit straight through the turkey, butt first. We like butt first because the breast meat, the thickest part, is then closer to the heat, and cooks better. Make sure to skewer the orange on the way through. Slide the second set of fork prongs onto the skewer. Check that the turkey is centered around the spit, so the spit will rotate properly. Make sure both forks are all the way into the turkey and holding it securely.
6. Coat turkey with olive oil and then thoroughly rub in mixture from step 2.
7. Prep grill. Remove grates and place smoking box with soaked chips inside grill. Turkey will be cooked over indirect heat, so only use the burner on the far left. You want the grill temp to be between 350° and 450°.
8. Set the spit into the rotisserie, turn on the motor, and close the cover. Let the turkey cook over indirect heat until an internal temperature of 165° to 170° is reached in the thickest part of the thigh and also the breast (don’t touch the bone when testing).Your turkey should be done in about 2 1/4 to 3 hrs. Check it a few times in the first 1/2 hour to make sure it is rotating properly and nothing has gone amiss. We‘ve had wings fall out of the twine, and once one of the forks loosened up and was no longer holding the turkey! If something does go wonky, shut off the rotisserie motor to correct the problem.
9. When the turkey is ready, shut off the motor. Grab two oven mitts and carefully remove the spit from the rotisserie and place it on a cutting board. Remove spit. Cover with aluminum foil, not too tightly, and let it set for at least 20 minutes. The internal temp will rise 5° to 10°.
10. Remove orange and herbs from inside. Carve and serve warm.
In the last picture you can see the pink just under the skin from the smoking.
Don’t have a rotisserie & still want to try this recipe?
Don’t fret, you can cook your turkey right on the grill! Follow all directions for prepping the turkey and the smoking box, then put your turkey to one side and light the burner on the other side so it cooks over indirect heat. Finish with covering in aluminum foil as above. We’ve never tried this, but Weber’s recipe says it can be done this way. Let us know if you have ever done this and if it was successful. We’d love to hear from you.
Need some Thanksgiving sides to go with your turkey?
Check out this post we did last year for paleo versions of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes.
Thanksgiving, Paleo Style