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Rob Williams


By popular demand, we are posting a fairly myopic recipe for my “rotisserie turkey.” This recipe uses the “set it and forget it” appliance known as the Ronco rotisserie, still sold online for a regular price of $150.  People rave about the moist juicy flavorful turkey this recipes produces.

I strongly recommend using my brining recipe prior to following the steps below. The rbine will help moisten and tenderize the turkey.

I suggest that you use my Turkey Brine if you choose to cook your turkey this way.

1 Large Yellow or White Onion
1 stalk of celery
2 Large carrots
4 Large Shallots
Olive Oil
½ bunch fresh thyme
½ bunch fresh sage
½ bunch fresh rosemary
½ cup chicken broth
Salt and Pepper
A turkey no larger than 14 pounds
½ cup olive oil
1 cup melted butter

1. Make sure the bird is fully thawed by placing it in the refrigerator at least 3 full days before cooking. If, on the night before, it is not thawed, place the turkey in a room temperature bath until it thaws.

2. Clean the turkey by removing the neck and giblets enclosed in the bird. Use them for the gravy, or discard. (see gravy recipe)

3. Rinse the raw bird completely with cold water, using your hands to “massage” the bird as it is rinsed with the water. Do this all over, and inside the bird’s cavity. MAKE SURE that everything you touch is thoroughly cleansed afterwards.

4. Drizzle olive oil into the cavity of the turkey, followed by generous amounts of salt and pepper. Rub the salt and pepper all over the inside wall of the turkey.

5. Place the bird, breast side up

6. Chop the celery, onions, carrots, peeled shallots, and herbs and mix together in a bowl.

7. Stuff the chopped herbs and vegetables into the cavity of the turkey. This is done to flavor the bird, and will not be eaten. Do not over stuff the cavity. NOTE: Ronco does not advise stuffing the bird in any way and claims that it may inhibit the rotisserie’s ability to heat and cook the bird properly. I have ALWAYS stuffed my turkey cavity as described here with stunning results. If you choose to not stuff yours, it may effect cooking time.

8. Create a ball of aluminum foil just the right size to shove into the end of the turkey cavity snuggly. This is done to close off the cavity and keep the seasoning stuffing inside the cavity as the bird rotates.

9. Use heavy string or twine to tie down the wings and legs of the turkey (as described in your Ronco recipe guide if you have one). The purpose of this is to prevent the wings or legs, which will try to flare out as the bird rotates and cooks, from touching the machine’s heating element and burning.

10. Fill the rotisserie drip tray with the broth and what remains of the vegetable mix. This will add aromatic flavor to your turkey as it cooks. Additionally, as the turkey roasts, juices will fall from the bird into the tray, which can be used later to season your gravy.
Secure the turkey centered on the spit rods and place it into the rotisserie.

11. Turn your rotisserie on and set the timer to cook your turkey for 10 minutes per pound (in other words, do the math. If your turkey was 12 pounds, set the timer to cook for 120 minutes)

12. Once the turkey is cooking, open the oven once every 20 minutes, change the setting to no heat rotation and apply a layer of melted butter. Also use this opportunity to drain any liquid from your drip tray so that it doesn’t overflow. I use this liquid as part of my turkey gravy.

13. After your turkey has cooked for 10 minutes per pound, use a high quality meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. If the breast meat is 150 degrees and/or the leg meat in 170 degrees, close the door and allow your turkey to rotate for an additional 5 minutes on the no heat setting. If your bird has not reached these temperatures yet, continue cooking it, checking the temperature regularly until those readings occur.

14. Once the finished bird has rotated for 5 minutes on no heat rotation, it is ready to be carved. If you are not ready to serve it yet, allowing to rotate on the no heat setting is fine for up to 10 minutes more.