Cooking a heritage turkey for Thanksgiving connects you to our country’s history and the farmers dedicated to preserving heritage breeds . . . and to some tasty meat. The miso in this rub acts almost like a light brine, only without any of the mess.
2 cloves garlic, smashed
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup white miso
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup mixed, minced herbs
1 (12-pound) heritage turkey
Mash the garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper (don’t use too much salt or the bird will be too salty). In a small bowl, mix together garlic, miso, butter and herbs.
Very carefully work your fingers under the skin and rub the mixture all over the breast and legs. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, soak 2 cups applewood chips in cold water for 30 minutes.
Preheat the grill.
Drain and transfer chips to a smoke box (or create a tray from heavy-duty foil). Lift up cooking grates on the grill and place the chip tray directly on the burner (when grilling the bird, you’ll be using direct heat, which means only one burner will be on . . . place the chip tray on that burner). Replace the cooking grates and turn all burners to high.
When grill is hot, turn off all burners but the one the wood chips are resting on (leave that one on high) and adjust the heat so the temperature stays around 325F. Spray a “V” roasting rack with cooking spray, place the turkey breast-side down, and position in the middle of the indirect heat area. Close the cover and cook for 2 hours, turning the rack 180 degrees halfway through.
After 2 hours, flip the bird over head-to-toe (so to speak—breast should be up now, and neck where the tail was) and grill for another 1 to 1-1/2 hours, turning the rack 180 degrees halfway through. Use a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the leg without touching bone to test if the turkey is done (should read 145F).
Take the turkey off the grill, tent loosely with foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.