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Grillin’ Turkey 101

Juicy roasted turkey is delicious.  But you would never think to cook up a turkey when it is 80 degrees outside right?  Wrong.  For Mother’s Day last weekend, I wanted to make something a little nicer that wasn’t beef.  We decided to make turkey – not just any turkey mind you. Kid Kritics Approved Shelton’s free-range, no anti-biotic, certified organic turkey.  Only the best for my mama (actually my mother-in-law)

Since it was 80 degrees at our house, we decided instead of heating up the house by roasting a turkey in the oven, we would try grilling one.  I have to admit that I was intimidated at first.   But don’t fear – it was probably the easiest meat I have ever cooked.  No kidding.

The first thing we had to decide was how to season the turkey.   We decided to make an herb rub.  This is the recipe we used.

  • Rosemary Herb Turkey Rub
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (we didn’t have fresh basil, so we used Pesto – yummy!)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 (12 pound) whole turkey breast
Grillin' Turkey 101. A tasty alternative to the traditional turkey!

Fresh Rosemary from my garden!

Grillin' Turkey 101. A tasty alternative to the traditional turkey!

The rub.  Green. Herby. Delicious.

Grillin' Turkey 101. A tasty alternative to the traditional turkey!

Next we spread a generous amount of the rosemary mixture under the breast skin and all over the top.  Then we secured the rub o’goodness in with toothpicks.

Grillin' Turkey 101. A tasty alternative to the traditional turkey!

When you grill a turkey, you don’t want it to be directly touching the grill or the pan you put it in.  We used a roasting pan and it was about 1-2 inches off the bottom of the pan.  These are the steps we took to grill our turkey:

1) Preheat Grill to 500 degrees with all of the burners on high.

2) Place the turkey in the grill.

3) Turn off the middle burners and lower the heat on the other burners to medium.  (grill thermometer at 300 degrees)

4) Cook 11-13 minutes per pound.  We found that our turkey needed a little less time than that so just check it with a meat thermometer.  You want the thickest part of the turkey to reach 165 degrees F.

Grillin' Turkey 101. A tasty alternative to the traditional turkey!

We were out working in the garden while it was cooking and it smelled like heaven!  We could hear it sizzling inside the grill, locking all that herb flavor in.  It turned out perfecto!  Perfectly brown and crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside.

Grillin' Turkey 101. A tasty alternative to the traditional turkey!

I loved how this turkey (breast only) looked like a heart.  Turkey is actually heart healthy!

  • Less than 12% saturated fat
  • Good source of B vitamins
  • Contains selenium which is an antioxidant
  • Low in calories, high in protein
Grillin' Turkey 101. A tasty alternative to the traditional turkey!

Verdict on grilled turkey:  We want to do it for Thanksgiving!  Not only was it moist and delicious, but it will free up your oven so that you can cook other things.

Turkey is a great meat for kids because it is so tender it is easy to chew.  My girls loved eating it for dinner, and also on turkey sandwiches the next day!

Thank you to Shelton’s, and Kid Kritics  for making our grilling dreams come true.  The source, home, and food of your turkey is really important and so you need trust where you buy from.  Check out Shelton’s for a great turkey experience, and Kid Kritics to find more foods, recipes, and brands that have received the kids seal of approval.



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