This rotisserie turkey is the Ferrari of turkeys. It's the king/queen of all turkeys. Once you try it, you'll know what I am talking about. The meat is perfectly cooked in every part of the bird; the breast meat is flavored inside-out, buttery-tender, and exceptionally juicy. The skin is unbelievably crispy and delicious. And the tantalizing garlic and herb flavor will blow your mind. Your neighbors will be drooling while you are cooking it.
I used to brine whole turkeys to keep the meat moist, but that changed once I tried injecting them with garlic and herb-infused butter. It was a revelation! Brining works great for turkey meat until you try this method. Once you do, there is no going back. It's much quicker than brining, requires a lot less prep work, and the results are much better, in my opinion. You get a tastier and juicier turkey much faster. Isn't that the goal? I now make all of my turkey recipes using this method: oven roasted turkey, roasted turkey breast, etc.
Garlic and herb butter
This is what makes this rotisserie turkey so awesome. Making infused garlic and herb butter is quick and easy; just mix some herbs, pepper, and salt with melted butter and let it infuse for 5 minutes. But you absolutely must use fresh herbs. Dried herbs will not give you the same results! Only fresh!
Which herbs to use is an excellent question. I've tried many, and the ones I absolutely love are sage and rosemary. They are so aromatic! I also add parsley. Sometimes, I use cilantro when I have it on hand.
My method for making rotisserie turkey
First and foremost, I spatchcock the turkey. This way, the turkey cooks a bit faster and more evenly. I also like how it crisps up on both sides this way. Sure, it's harder to cook a spatchcocked turkey, but it's doable. If your rotisserie setup can't accommodate this, skip spatchcocking and rotisserie your bird as is. You will still get excellent results.
Next, I lift the breast and thigh skin, creating pockets (see the video below). Using a kitchen meat injector, I inject the meat under the lifted skin with the infused butter, then fill the pockets with the strained garlic and herb mixture.
My concern was that butter would ooze out during cooking and cause flare-ups and excessive smoking, but that hasn't been the case. I believe this is because I made the injections under the skin, and the entry points were covered with the garlic and herb mixture.
Finally, the turkey is cooked over direct heat at around 300F in my Big Green Egg fitted with a Joetisserie. This setup is just big enough to accommodate a 12-lb spatchcocked turkey. Your setup may differ from mine; your rotisserie may have a heat source on the side instead of a bottom, but that shouldn't matter.
The bird is done when the breast meat reaches about 160F - 165F, while the legs and wings hit 185F - 190F.
This rotisserie turkey is an eye candy. When you pull it off the grill, you will be very tempted to start ripping pieces off it and devouring them straight away. I don't blame you. But let the bird rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting it up. Let those meat fibers relax again and re-absorb some of the juices.
Rotisserie Turkey, Herb and Garlic Butter Flavored
- 1 whole turkey (about 12 lbs) as is or spatchcocked
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Garlic and Herb Butter
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 10 garlic cloves minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh finely chopped rosemary
- 1 Tbsp fresh finely chopped sage
- 1 Tbsp fresh finely chopped parsley
- 1 Tbsp fresh finely chopped cilantro (you may substitute cilantro with parsley if you don't have it)
- 1 tsp black pepper finely ground
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Preheat the rotisserie grill to 300F.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, kosher salt, garlic, and herbs. Microwave the ingredients on high for about one minute or until the butter fully melts. Remove the bowl from the microwave oven. Stir the mixture and set aside for five minutes.
- Return the bowl to the microwave oven and cook the mixture on high for another 30 seconds to ensure that the butter is fully liquefied. Strain the butter mixture through a fine sieve. Save the garlic and the herbs.
- Spatchcock the turkey, if you want to cook it butterflied. Otherwise, skip this step.
- Rub the turkey with some olive oil on top and bottom (or inside and out) and season lightly with salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
- Using a large spoon, lift the skin above each of the turkey breasts and thighs/legs, creating wide pockets. The pockets should be closed on the bottom and the sides. Fill the kitchen injector with the strained butter and inject small amounts of butter in the breasts, doing so under the skin (not through the skin), in a diamond pattern.
- Add the garlic and herbs that you saved earlier in the pockets and spread the mixture evenly.
- Cook at 300F for about 1 hour and 40 minutes or so until the internal temperature in the breast reaches 160F, and the thighs/legs register 185F-190F.
- Remove from the grill and let the turkey rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- 1 rotisserie grill