Grilling a ThanksgivingDitch the oven. Forget the dangerous deep fryer. Try using a propane-powered grill to cook your turkey this year.

Blogger G. Stephan Jones of The Reluctant Gourmet said he tried the technique and loved the smoky flavor and juicy meat it produced – not to mention the oven space it freed up for various side dishes.

Here’s some tips he recommends to get the best out of your propane-grilled bird.

Thaw it: Obviously you don’t want to grill a frozen turkey. Thaw it completely before you put it on the grill. Because this could take several days, you’ll want to keep in in the fridge to avoid food poisoning.

Rotate it: Jones recommends using indirect heat. Light one side of the grill and put the turkey on the other side. Be sure to turn it often as you cook. Start with the breast up and the legs pointing to the back of the grill and flip it so the breast is up but the legs point to the front. Keep rotating to avoid a burnt bird.

How frequently you flip depends on the weight of your bird. Jones has a handy formula to follow.

(The weight of the turkey X 12 minutes per pound ) / 3.

So if you have a 12-pound turkey: 12 lbs x 12 min./lb = 144 minutes divided by 3 = 48 minutes per rotation. So be prepared to flip every 48 minutes. Though Jones recommends cutting that time in half in the later stages of cooking.

Keep the door closed: Just as you’d keep the oven door closed when you’re roasting a turkey, you’ll want to close the top of the grill so the heat doesn’t escape.

Have the right equipment: You’ll need a shallow roasting pan to catch the drippings for gravy and a meat thermometer so you can test for doneness. You’ll want an internal temperature of 165 degrees for the breast meat. Don’t depend on the pop-up thermometer inside the turkey- unless you like your turkey extra dry. And don’t forget oven mitts to protect your hands while you turn the turkey.

For more tips, read The Reluctant Gourmet blog post.

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