A quicker, easier method for cooking your holiday turkey with an even better flavour than your conventional oven offers – brine and spatchcock a whole turkey, then roast it in a charcoal-fired Ooni Pro for evenly cooked, tender, flame-roasted meat. Using charcoal means being able to maintain a lower temperature more easily over a long cook time.
5kg whole turkey (if frozen, defrost before starting recipe)
Salt & pepper
4 lemons, halved widthways
2 garlic bulbs, halved widthways
For the brine
5L (169oz) cold water
100g (3.5oz) salt
75g (2.6oz) cup sugar
Handful of peppercorns
Note: you will need a meat thermometer and Ooni Pro for this recipe. We use charcoal to fire up the oven in order to maintain a lower temperature more easily over a long cook time.
Start preparing your turkey at least a full day before you want to cook it.
To spatchcock the turkey, use kitchen scissors to move under the turkey skin and cut around each side of the backbone, then snip across the backbone between the two breast halves. Then, press down onto the breastbone to flatten the ribcage.
Add 1kg of the water to a saucepan. Add the salt and sugar and heat until dissolved. Leave to cool for a few minutes then add to the remaining cold water and the peppercorns.
In a large container big enough to submerge the whole turkey, add the cooled brine, place the turkey inside the container and submerge the turkey under the brine. Seal and leave the turkey to brine in the fridge for at least 24 hours before cooking. Brining the turkey using this method adds flavour and prevents the meat from drying out once cooked.
Fire up your Ooni Pro. Aim for 180˚C (350˚F) on the stone baking board inside. You can check the temperature inside your oven quickly and easily using the Ooni Infrared Thermometer.
Close the chimney vent on your Pro, which will reduce the heat from being drawn into the chimney and prevent the flames from having direct contact with the turkey.
Take a large roasting tray and lay a roasting rack on top. Place the brined turkey on top of the rack, massage with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Cover the turkey with aluminum (tin) foil, wrapping the foil over the turkey and tray. Ensure that the foil is not in direct contact with the turkey skin.
Roast in the oven for 1.5 hours, then remove the foil. Drain off the juices in the roasting tray into a jug. Set aside for basting later on.
Increase the heat of your Ooni Pro up to 205˚C (400˚F). Add the lemons and garlic to the roasting tray, cut side down, and return the turkey to the rack on top of the tray.
Cook the turkey for a further 30 minutes (without the foil), basting it every five minutes. The turkey is cooked when the skin has turned golden brown and crispy and the meat has reached 74˚C (165˚F) when tested with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the turkey. If the skin is cooked properly but the temperature of the thickest part of the meat has not reached 74˚C (165˚F), then cover the turkey again with foil and continue cooking until it has reached this temperature. This will allow the turkey to keep cooking without burning the skin.
Once cooked, remove the turkey from the oven and wrap in foil. Leave to rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving.