Turkeyon a grill or smoker can be tricky. It’s easy to get rubbery skin (and that can actually make some people mad). There’s a lot of expectation on a Thanksgiving dinner especially with skin lovers.
Beer in the Rear Turkey is almost fool proof. It’s quick and give you a crisp golden skin with a hint of smoke.
The first time I heard about the beer can trick was around 1999 when my morning radio hosts became enamored with a recipe they found called Beer Butt Chicken. They thought it was so great (probably just liked that the word Butt was in a recipe) they wanted to bring a grill to the radio station and demo it in the parking lot. I’ve grown to like it too. So it’s fun to be able to super size the recipe.
This time the poor thing gets violated with not just a regular beer can but you use the big “Foster’s Lager” sized can of beer. You can find it in most grocery stores. Reserve half and enjoy as you prep. You’ve earned it. You’re going to want to punch some holes in the top of the can and put some spice rub in the can. And then you get to the bird…where you clean off the bird really well and make sure you get all the different things out of the inside of the cavity of the bird. They hide it in different areas… the neck, the gizzards…
With the bbq spice rub inside the can… the steam and the beer flavoring will actually steam through the turkey and infuse it with a really super flavor keeping the bird moist from the inside out. You’re not going to get much from the outside-in because the skin of a turkey is kind of like a wet suit. Rub the spice under the skin (I call this getting to second base with the Turkey). The skin is really pretty resilient and thick so you’re not going to damage anything.
Then you just insert the can upright inside the bird. Carefully lower the turkey on top of the can making kind of a tripod of sorts. If you need a little extra room on the grill you may want to remove the bottom grill grate and put the tripod on a small roasting pan actually on the floor of the grill directly on the burners of the gas grill. You won’t actually turn the burners on under the bird. Set up for indirect grilling heat. Temperature is going to be 325 to 375 (if you have a temperature gage on your gas grill – use it this time). You can usually get this temp/indirect by having one or two gas burners on and the other two off.
To get a lick of smoke use some wood chips in a smoker box on he lit burner or using a tin foil pouch. Making a smoker pouch really easy. Then and then just let it cook.
After about an hour – open it up turn the bird around let it cook for another hour or until it gets golden brown on both sides. Use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh and cook until you hit at least 160 degrees.
You’ll want to use gloves and be super careful removing that can. The liquid is dangerously hot and the can is greasy! Let rest before carving.
Beer In The RearTurkey
In the video demo we used an 11.75 lbs turkeyand cooked for two and a half hours (150 minutes). Approximately 345 degrees Indirect heat.
“Discard” half of the beer. Add 2 tablespoons Rub into remaining liquid in can. Using a “churchkey” can opener add additional holes to top of can. Insert upright under and inside turkey using legs as tripod support. Grill over indirect heat 2 to 3 hours until temperature measures 160 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh. Let rest before carving serving.
1 wholeTurkey(10 to 18 lbs.)
6 tablespoons of BBQ Rub or Greek Seasoning
1 can Fosters Lager (or 25.4 oz other)