Chef shares how to cook ‘perfect’ Christmas turkey – and he doesn’t

When it comes to Christmas dinner, every family has their own traditions.

Some like to go all out, serving up a roast with all the trimmings, while others prefer to treat it like any other day and enjoy pasta for their evening meal.

Martyn Lee, executive chef for Waitrose prefers to go down the more classic route of a turkey dinner, but his cooking method is anything but traditional.

Instead of cooking his bird in the oven for long periods of time, Martyn prefers to take his outside and stick it on the barbecue – and he thinks many others might try doing the same this year.

Speaking to Femail, the chef said: “I cook my turkey on the barbecue every Christmas.

“It never fails to impress and I predict many will join me in doing the same this year.

“It’s really easy, quicker than if you were to cook it in the oven and gives a beautifully succulent taste with a crispy skin.

“And it’s not just the turkey, you can cook the full Christmas feast on the barbecue – trimmings, desserts and all.”

He cooks his turkey on a barbecue (stock photo)
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

So what are his top tips for cooking a turkey on the grill?

His first tip is one of the most essential parts of preparation – brining.

“You need to fully immerse the turkey in the brine – with 80g of salt per litre of water – and then leave it for around 24 hours to properly marinate,” he told the publication.

“You then need to desalinate for an hour in fresh water before you take it over to the barbecue.”

He goes on to say that in order to get the best meat out of the turkey, he separates it before cooking.

How will you be cooking yours? (stock photo)
(Image: Getty Images)

The thigh and leg meat requires longer, slower cooking than the white breast meat so if you cook them all together, the breast will be overcooked and dry.

Martyn adds that cooking turkey on a barbecue is different than cooking burgers or hot dogs, as it requires a different kind of heat – indirect heat.

“The best way to do this is to stack coals along one side of the barbecue and the meat on the other side.

“My tip would be to use foil to deflect the heat if necessary.”

Do you have a cooking or food story to share? We want to hear all about it. Email courtney.pochin@mirror.co.uk

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