Rotisserie Herb Butter Turkey - A Very Merry Grilled Christmas!

Holidays are all about gathering with family and friends to celebrate the season. And this year, there's no better way to have a very merry grilled Christmas than over a festive Rotisserie Herb Butter Turkey dinner! Using the rotisserie for just a few hours will have your guests feeling like they've been invited into your home for an intimate holiday feast. Great for any time of year, this dish really feels special on Christmas Day when loved ones surround you!  So invite them all over and get started cooking!

The most important step for roasting, grilling, or smoking a turkey is to use a brine to infuse it with moisture and flavor. Whole birds and significant cuts of meat can easily cook unevenly and dry out without the extra moisture. The herb butter is a mixture of butter, sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley, salt, pepper, and paprika. Once the turkey is brined and trussed, rub the fragrant herb butter around and under the skin. Fit the bird onto your rotisserie rod, making sure everything is balanced.

The best part of using the rotisseries is the skin's flavor, color, and texture, but simplicity is a handy byproduct. The gentle rotations cook the turkey uniformly and gently, so it cooks itself, allowing you to handle other sides and dishes in the meantime. You can't go wrong with this very merry grilled Christmas recipe. Just add mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing...the works! Full of flavor and bodacious presentation, this rotisserie-grilled turkey will become a favorite.

Serves 6-8

Rotisserie Herb Butter Turkey Ingredients

For the Brine

  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • fresh herbs such as bay leaves, rosemary, parsley
  • Heavy Duty Turkey Brining Bags
  • Rimmed Baking Sheet
  • Roasting Pan with Rack

For the Turkey

  • One 13-15 lb turkey
  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

For the Stuffing

  • 2 apples sliced into large chunks
  • 1 onion cut into large chunks
  • 4-5 cloves garlic smashed
  • A handful of various fresh herbs

Rotisserie Herb Butter Turkey Directions

For the Brine

  1. Remove the innards from the turkey and drain any defrosted liquid from the turkey, inside and out. Pat the turkey dry. Place the brining bag in the sink and place the turkey in the brining bag.
  2. Boil 8 cups of water on the stove with the salt, sugar, and other aromatics for a minute or two until the salt and sugar are dissolved, whisking vigorously. Add the saltwater mixture to more water and ice cubes to make 2 gallons, and the water cools to room temperature.
  3. Pour the cold brine into the brining bag and over the turkey, then add the peppercorns and herbs. Squeeze out the excess air in the bag and secure it closed, cinching the bag around the bird to fully submerge it. Set the bagged turkey in a roasting pan, a large stockpot, or an extra clean ice chest or cooler with ice.
  4. Keep the turkey refrigerated or cold while brining for 12-24 hours. Remove from the brine, and pat dry. Refrigerate uncovered for 12-24 more hours for crisper skin when cooked.

Notes: Skip the brining bags and use a container large enough for the bird and 2 gallons of water and ice to submerge the bird fully. Or, line a 5-gallon bucket or ice chest with two kitchen garbage bags to use instead.

For the Turkey

  1. Prepare your grill with a rotisserie attachment—Preheat a three-burner grill on high.
  2. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey, rinse, and dry with paper towels.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the butter and chopped fresh herbs with salt, pepper, and paprika until well combined.
  4. Gently work your fingers under the skin of the turkey breast and legs. Work 3/4 of the herbed butter evenly under the skin, then rub the top of the skin with the rest of the herb butter mix—season with more kosher salt and pepper.
  5. Stuff the turkey cavity with the chopped apple, onion, and smashed garlic, then add the herbs.
  6. Tie the wings to the sides of the turkey with twine. Insert the rod of the rotisserie attachment through the middle of the turkey stem to the stern. Then, attach the forks to hold and tighten the wing nuts firmly so the turkey doesn't shift during cooking.
  7. Place the rotisserie attachment with the turkey on the grill and cook for 10 minutes, then turn the center burner off and outer burners to low for indirect heat. If this is your first time cooking on a rotisserie, you'll want to test the internal temperature of the turkey as it cooks and adjusts the cooking temperatures of the grill burners, so it cooks evenly (so the middle isn't cooking faster than the outsides, etc.).
  8. Cook the turkey 15 minutes per pound. Check the turkey's internal temperature in the thigh without touching the bone or rotisserie rod for a finished cooking temperature of 10 degrees less than the temperature you feel safe for cooking (we go for 155°F), and juices run clear. The suggested final temperature for poultry is 165°F, but remember, it will continue to cook as it rests.
  9. Remove from the grill, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 15 minutes until the temperature registers 165° F. If it doesn't come to temperature, pop in the oven at 350°F or on the grill to finish cooking to temperature.

Taken from