Grilled Turkey with Prairie Rub

Rub a turkey with a unique blend of dry mustard, dried orange peel, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and more.
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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 3 hr 30 min
  • Active: 3 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 6
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One 10- to 12-pound turkey, excess fat trimmed and giblets removed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 bay leaves

1 head garlic, halved

1 medium onion, quartered

3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning

2 tablespoons granulated garlic

2 tablespoons English-style dry mustard

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon minced dried orange peel

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 cups wood chips, such as hickory or mesquite, soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained


  1. Pat the turkey very dry, inside and out. Sprinkle the breast cavity with salt and pepper. Put the bay leaves, garlic and onion inside the cavity. Mix the brown sugar, Italian seasoning, garlic, mustard, paprika, ginger, orange peel, pumpkin pie spice, cayenne, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Pulse the rub in a spice grinder in a few batches until finely ground. Spread the Prairie Rub over the entire turkey.
  2. Prepare an outdoor charcoal grill over a medium-high heat for both direct and indirect grilling. Position a drip pan under the grate on indirect side of the grill.
  3. Put the turkey breast-side up over the drip pan. Toss 1 cup of the wood chips onto the coals. Cover the grill and rotate the lid so that the vent holes are directly over the meat. To maintain a medium-low smoky fire, add about a dozen pieces of charcoal and another cup of wood chips to the fire whenever the fire dies down. Rotate turkey about every 45 minutes to prevent the side near the coals from overcooking. Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 165 degrees F, 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, garlic and onion before carving.
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