When it comes to turkey, where there’s smoke, there’s flavor. But unlike birds smoked the slow traditional way, this magnificent barbecued turkey picks up a sweet, smoky taste and a rich, dark color in short order. The secret is a seasoned brine. Resting a couple of hours in a salt-and-sugar liquid results in an exceptionally moist and succulent bird. The brine also attracts the delicate, not the bitter, flavors of smoldering wood chips.
Barbecuing has other benefits, too. The bird browns beautifully, and the thigh joint, which tends to stay pink in oven-roasted birds, cooks through. (The pink just beneath the turkey skin is a natural result when brined meats are smoked.)
Through the years, cooking turkey on the barbecue has been a favorite Sunset technique – it frees up the oven, not only at Thanksgiving but for any season or occasion.