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BBQ Turkey with Herby Stuffing and Pan Gravy

BBQ Turkey with Herby Stuffing and Pan Gravy Photo: Kristy Komadina

If you've got a coal burning or gas hooded barbecue, this is the recipe for your Christmas turkey. Completely avoid switching your oven on in hot weather and benefit with smoky, succulent roast turkey.

IngredientsBrought to you by Essential Kids'

  • 1 size 48 frozen turkey (pre-brined)
  • salt and pepper to season
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • Stuffing
  • 1 stale loaf ciabatta bread, roughly torn or chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 8-10 leaves fresh sage, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 500ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to season
  • Basting liquid
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Pan gravy
  • Reserved pan juices
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 100ml chicken stock


Remove the turkey from your refrigerator at least an hour before cooking so that it can come to room temperature.

Make your stuffing first. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery and saute for 8 minutes until softened. Add the chopped sage and fry gently for another minute before adding the bread cubes. Toss around to coat in the onion mixture then add the chicken stock, plenty of salt and pepper as well as the chopped parsley. Turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

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To make the basting liquid combine the wine and melted butter in a small bowl.

To prepare the bird, wash and dry, inside and out. Season all over with olive oil, salt and pepper then loosely stuff the internal and neck cavities with the stuffing.

Webber/Coal BBQ

Fill the coal baskets that come with your bbq with coal then light using firelighters in the centre of the bottom grill. Alternatively light 30 or so heatbeads using your preferred method. It should take around 45 minutes for the heatbeads to become white hot.

Move the baskets (or heatbeads) to the edges of the bbq. Place a disposable aluminium tray in the centre and fill with 2 cups of water. Place the top grill in place.

Now place the turkey on the grill over the tray beneath. Cover with the lid and make sure the vents are open. Leave for one hour without opening the lid. Check the turkey, baste with the basting liquid and add 6-8 coals on each side. If the turkey is browning quickly, cover loosely with some foil. Replace the lid and check again in 1 hour, repeating the process of basting and adding coals. After another hour the turkey should be done. Baste a final time. Remove from the bbq and cover with foil to rest for at least half an hour, but up to an hour.

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Hooded Gas BBQ

Place a bbq tray filled with 2 cups of water underneath one half of the grill (lift the grill and place on top of the burners). Now light the other two burners on the other side and bring the temperature up to about 180 - 200°C. Place the turkey on the grill over the foil tray and close the lid. Check every hour, basting with the basting liquid and covering with foil if the turkey is browning too quickly. It should be done at the 3 hour mark. Remove from the bbq and cover with foil. Leave to rest for at least half an hour or up to an hour.

To make the pan gravy, take the tray that was under the turkey in the bbq and place it on top of your stove, bringing to the boil. In a small bowl, place the flour and just enough chicken stock to make a slurry, whisking together until there are no lumps. Add the slurry to the pan juices and whisk, cooking out the flour for a minute or two. Add the white wine and if needed a little more stock to get the consistency that you desire. Serve the gravy piping hot with the carved turkey and some cranberry sauce.

Why you should make it ...

Most of us are used to grilling snags and steaks on our barbies, but they can be utilised for so much more. I love slow cooking in the outdoors. There's something extra special about lifting the lid, revealing a perfectly cooked, golden turkey underneath. If you're using a Webber, you'll even have pan juices to make a beautiful gravy while the turkey rests.

I've used a pre-brined frozen turkey that I defrosted for 48 hours in my refrigerator. If you're using a fresh turkey, I would highly recommend brining for 24 hours to ensure a moist result. Most people don't have the space in their refrigerators to sufficiently chill a turkey in brine so I would recommend an esky filled with ice to keep things cold and safe.

Kristy is a mother of three who loves feeding her family wholesome, nutritious and above all delicious food. She has her own food blog called The Life She Made where she posts family style recipes and talks about life as a stay at home mother.

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