By, Steve Abrams, Award Winning Barbecue Master

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook Time: about 2 hours
Rest time: 20 minutes

Total: 2 hours and 35 minutes

NOTE: This recipe works best with an infrared rotisserie burner, like the one on a Jackson Grill.  

The orange and lemon bring a hint of citrus and balance well with the turkey.  This recipe goes perfectly with fresh cranberry sauce!


  • 1 10-12 lb turkey, fresh or defrosted
  • 2 lemons
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, frozen and cut into small pieces
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 onions

Butchers string to tie the turkey


  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 ½ cups turkey stock
  • ¼ cup flour


Step 1: Remove parts from turkey cavity. Discard fat from just inside the body and neck cavities. Rinse turkey with cold water. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels.

Step 2: Gently lift turkey skin and slide frozen butter pieces underneath without breaking the skin.

Step 3: Zest orange before inserting rotisserie rod through the bird.  Put zested orange cut into quarters, one lemon cut into quarters, and one onion cut into quarters inside the cavity of the bird.  Position the bird in the centre of the rod and secure with forks. Tie wings and legs to the body of the turkey with slip knots and ensure the strings are snug without breaking the skin.  

Step 3: Rub turkey cavities with both halves of the second lemon, squeezing lemon gently.

Step 4: Combine salt, pepper, 1 tbs orange zest and garlic in a small bowl. Rub mixture inside body and outside of the bird.

Step 5: Fill disposable roasting pan with 1 cup of water and 1 onion, coarsely chopped. Remove centre diffusers and place the roasting pan in the centre of the barbecue.

Step 6: Bring bird on spit to the barbecue.  Insert rod and start motor. Watch to see if it rotates smoothly.  Use counter weight if it does not rotate smoothly or adjust the bird if necessary.  Use a grill brush to baste on a thin layer of butter.

Grilling the bird:

Start: For 10 minutes, put rotisserie burner on high and two outer burners on high to bring grill to temperature.

After 10 minutes, turn off the outer two burners and turn the rotisserie burner to medium.  If you want to speed up the cooking time, keep one of the outer burners on or adjust as necessary.

Every 15 minutes, baste the bird with butter or the juices in the roasting pan.  Add water to the pan if it is running dry. You will notice very little drippings coming from the turkey.  This type of infrared rotisserie cooking allows the bird to retain most of its juices.

Stop motor and place a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh.  Once it reaches 165°F (about 2 hours), remove the bird and allow to rest for 20 minutes under tinfoil.


While bird is resting, put juices through a fat separator.  Pour ¼ cup of the fat into a sauce pan and cook on your side burner or on the stove.  Add 1/3 cup fresh orange juice and 2 ½ cups turkey stock. Heat saucepan over med-high heat, add flour slowly until desired thickness is reached.  Whisk constantly for 5 minutes or until gravy boils. Season with salt and pepper.

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