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Butter-Herb Rotisserie Turkey

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This Butter-Herb Rotisserie Turkey will be the star of your Thanksgiving dinner! Not only will the rotisserie help keep the bird basted throughout cooking, but the grill will add a flame-kissed flavor. And you’ll have enough drippings to make a delectable gravy! 

rotsserie turkey

Loaded with amazing flavor, this butter-herb rotisserie turkey is a game-changer! The constant rotation will keep your bird from drying out during cooking. It is one of the easiest ways to grill your holiday bird, and the best part is that you can add wood, like apple, cherry, or hickory, to the fire for a little extra smoke flavor to your turkey.

I recommend placing a drip pan underneath the turkey. That way, you can collect all of those flavorful drippings to make your gravy. Baste the bird with a mixture of broth and melted butter after the first hour of cooking to give the skin a shiny, golden brown color.

It’s important to note that you will need a rotisserie attachment for your grill. Be sure to check with your grill manufacturer to see if they offer rotisserie spits for your grill’s make and model. It’s worth noting that most spits can only handle turkeys up to 16 pounds. If you have a larger bird (18-22 pounds), we suggest roasting it in the oven instead. If set on using your grill or smoker to cook a large turkey, spatchcock it first.

How long does it take to cook a turkey at 350 degrees?

At 350 degrees, a 16-pound turkey will take about 4 hours to cook. The optimal doneness temperature is 165 degrees F in the breast and 175 degrees F in the thigh section. If you go above this by 5-7 degrees, that’s fine. 

Do not stuff the raw turkey before threading it. It’s both a matter of food safety and logistics. The constant rotation of the rotisserie would spill the stuffing out and into your grill, which could cause numerous flare-ups. Please keep it safe and serve the stuffing on the side. 

Recipe success

  1. Thaw your turkey: If you’ve purchased it frozen, it will need 3 days to thaw in your fridge and at least 24 hours of brine time. So, this process starts 4 days in advance!
  2. Fuel: Have enough fuel to get you through a 4-5 hour cooking time.
  3. Meat thermometer: Have a reliable instant read thermometer handy to check the internal temperature of your turkey.
  4. Check the rotisserie motor: Ensure that your rotisserie spit is functioning properly prior to the cooking event.
  5. Gather all your ingredients: Have your brine made, your injection marinade ready, and your rub ingredients on hand.
  6. Extras: You’ll need kitchen twine for trussing (optional step to contain the wings) and a disposable aluminum pan to catch those delicious drippings.

Brining the turkey:

If you plan to brine your turkey, make sure that your frozen turkey isn’t pre-packed in a brine solution.

For the Butter-Herb Rotisserie Turkey recipe, we will be using a wet brine that includes bourbon. However, if you prefer, you can substitute apple juice instead.

To begin, brine the turkey in a large covered stockpot for 24 hours in your refrigerator. The bourbon flavor won’t overpower the bird, and it will help keep it moist and tender. The next day, remove the turkey from the brine solution and pat it dry with paper towels. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t add any salt to the butter-herb rub, as the brine will have already infused the turkey with salt flavor.

Butter-Herb Rotisserie Turkey Ingredients:

How to Make a Butter-Herb Rotisserie Turkey:

  • Follow brine recipe instructions. Brine your thawed turkey for 24 hours.
  • Prepare your grill for 350 degrees F.
  • Once up to temp, remove the grate and place a 9″ x 13″ drip pan in the center of the grill. Fill it with 1 cup of water.
  • Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels inside and out. 
  • Truss the turkey with kitchen or butcher’s twine.
  • Apply the unsalted butter-herb rub evenly to the turkey, including under the breast skin and cavity. Be gentle; the skin can tear.
Rotisserie Turkey on the grill

Threading and Cooking the Turkey:

  • Poke through the center of the onion with a pairing knife. 
  • Cut out a space large enough to fit the rotisserie rod. Slide rod into the onion and through turkey. Secure spit forks, but not too tightly yet. 
  • Following manufacturer’s instructions, place onto the motor achieving a good balance of the bird. Secure the forks completely. 
  • Cook turkey for 3 1/2-4 hours or until the thickest part of the thigh and leg meat reaches 175 degrees F and breast reaches 165-175 degrees. 
  • Baste turkey with drippings after the first hour and do so until 30 minutes before the turkey comes off the grill.

Resting and Carving

  • Once cooked, remove turkey with the rod still intact.
  • Place onto a large cutting board and tent with aluminum foil. Let the turkey rest for 15-25 minutes while you make a gravy with the drippings collected in the drip pan.
  • Using heat-resistant gloves, carefully remove the rod and onion. 
  • Carve the butter-herb rotisserie turkey, place it onto a platter and serve with gravy and your favorite sides.

Side dishes

rotsserie turkey

Butter-Herb Rotisserie Turkey

Cooking turkey on the grill is a great way to add flavor to your Thanksgiving feast. Our Lemon-Herb and Butter Rotisserie Turkey is delicious and frees up your oven for sides and pies.
4.67 from 6 votes
Print Pin
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American BBQ, American Food
Keyword: bbq turkey, rotisserie turkey, turkey recipe
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 10 People
Calories: 677kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Follow brine recipe instructions. Brine turkey for 24 hours.
  • Prepare your grill for 350 degrees F.
  • Once up to temp, remove the grate and place a 9″ x 13″ drip pan in the center of the grill. Fill it with 1 cup of water.
  • Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels inside and out.
  • Truss the turkey with kitchen twine.
  • Apply the unsalted rub evenly to the turkey, including under the breast skin. Be gentle; the skin can tear.
  • Threading the Turkey:
  • Poke through the center of the onion with a pairing knife.
  • Cut out a space large enough to fit the rotisserie rod. Slide rod into the onion and through turkey. Secure forks, but not too tightly yet.
  • Place onto the motor achieving a good balance of the bird. Secure the forks completely.
  • Cook turkey for 3 1/2-4 hours or until the thigh and leg meat reaches 175 degrees F and breast reaches 165 degrees.
  • Baste turkey after the first hour and do so until 30 minutes before the turkey comes off the grill.
  • Once cooked through, remove turkey with the rod still intact.
  • Place onto a large cutting board and tent with aluminum foil. Let the turkey rest for 15-25 minutes while you finish up clearing the grill. You can use this time to make a gravy with the drippings collected in the drip pan.
  • Using heat-resistant gloves, carefully remove the rod and onion.
  • Carve the butter-herb rotisserie turkey, place it onto a platter and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 677kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 98g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 337mg | Sodium: 589mg | Potassium: 1021mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 4mg
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