This Christmas serve up a lunch to remember by cooking it on the barbecue instead. Barbecuing your turkey will give it a unique flavour and creates a juicier dish than when oven cooked.
To add extra flavour to your turkey, try cooking it over woodchips rather than coals to infuse the smoke from the wood. We would recommend a delicious cherry or pecan wood to complement the meat.
Charcoal BBQ Tip: If you are using a charcoal BBQ, light approximately 4kg of charcoal briquettes. Once these are hot, place the coals into the barbecue baskets at each end of the barbecue. If your BBQ does not have baskets, pile them at each end so that you leave the centre free. Place the turkey over the centre to ensure that it does not burn during cooking. This is known as indirect cooking.
Gas BBQ Tip: If you have a gas BBQ, you will also need to use the indirect method of cooking. Turn on the outer burners only, allow the BBQ to heat up, then place the turkey in the centre away from the burners.
The most important thing to consider is how much cooking your turkey on the BBQ will affect its texture and flavour, therefore deciding the beverages that will match with it.
Sparkling wines aren’t just for toasts & canapés, vintage fizz is often rich, complex and great with Turkey. There’s Champagne of course, but why not stay local with the likes of Nyetimber, Ridgeview, Camel Valley & Gusbourne here in England? If you’re on a tighter budget then look for Cremant from other parts of France, Cava from Spain, South African Cap Classique, plus sparklers from Australia and New Zealand. For whites, good value white Burgundy from Maconnais or white Rioja would hit the right notes.
If you are feeling brave try an off dry Riesling from Germany or Alsace, both produce BBQ bird-worthy bottles.
Now for Reds, I’m a Pinot Noir man when it comes to Turkey, but nothing too light and acidic, it’ll get lost in those charred flavours. Cote Chalonnaise in Burgundy, Chile or Australia gets my vote. But a decent Beaujolais Cru from Moulin a Vent, Morgon or Chenas would be nice too. If you want something bolder, Rhone is good, or give Crozes Hermitage or Gigondas a whirl.
What leaps to mind is Rauchbier or smoked Beer, originally produced in Bamberg in Germany it has spread across the globe. Schlenkerla is top dog but plenty of breweries here in the UK make some lovely stuff. Look out for Okells’ Aile, Dark Star’s Smoked Porter or Lovibonds Henley Dark. If you want something more contrasting, I would go for a Weisse or Wheat beer. Many consider the benchmark to be Schneider-Weisse, but London’s Pressure Drop Wu Gang Chops the Tree Hefeweisse really impressed me recently.
A cranberry juice and soda or sparkling water punch is an idea. Hot drink wise I would go for Earl Grey, or if you are feeling lucky, chai tea. No sugar or milk mind!