You know, I don’t think I’ve ever done turkey on Easter before. It’s just not a “turkey holiday”, which is kind of a ridiculous way of putting it, but I’ve never thought about it before. Anyway, my grocery store had half hams for 87 cents a pound if you bought $25 worth of groceries. But we weren’t going to be spending that much on our last visit. And Target had turkey breasts for 99 cents a pound.
Done deal. We like turkey breast and haven’t had one since Thanksgiving. Of course, in our quest for a bargain, wouldn’t you know that we ended up going to 2 different Targets. The first one didn’t have any on the Tuesday before Easter and the second one did. So, we burned up an extra half gallon of gas (2 bucks) to pick up a turkey breast.
For the last several years, I’ve cooked turkey breasts on the grill. (Oh, by the way, there’s only 3 of us—often just 2—to cook for so a turkey breast at 7 ½ to 8 ½ pounds is perfect). On a holiday like Thanksgiving, grilling leaves plenty of space in the oven for other dishes and makes the timing easier. And quite frankly, grilled turkey breast is quicker than doing it in the oven.
So here’s how to do it:
Summary: Grilling a Turkey Breast is easy and faster than in the oven–and incredibly tasty!
- 1 frozen 7-9 lb turkey breast
- 2 roasting pans from the dollar store
- Chicken broth
- Salt, pepper, garlic spice blend
- 1 stick butter or margarine at room temperature
- Put the frozen breast in the refrigerator for a couple of days to thaw (or as Mrs. CB says “dethaw”).
- Get out your roasting pans (there’s a reason for 2), broth, spice blend and butter/margarine.
- Open the package for the bird, rinse it and then pat it dry with paper towels. Put the bird on a small rack in the bottom of the roasting pan. If you don’t have a rack, cut 2 or 3 carrots into 6 inch lengths and/or celery stalks and put them on the bottom of your rack and then put the breast on those.
- Put the softened butter/margarine into a small bowl and add a couple of good tablespoons of the salt, pepper, garlic blend. (I mix it 1/3 each using sea salt/kosher salt, cracked black peppercorns and dried garlic chips). Mix the spice and butter blend together into a paste.
- Lift the skin at the neck cavity of the breast and separate it from the meat. Stick you hand down there to pull it apart. Now either use a table spoon or your hand and scoop up a couple of spoonfuls of the blend and work it down inside the skin as far as you can on each side. Use a couple of spoonfuls on each “lobe” of the breast. Rub it in deep.
- Slather the top and sides of the breasts with the mixture too.
- Pour a cup to a cup and a half of the broth into the bottom of the pan. (This is important to basting the bird and making gravy later). Put the 2 nested roasting pans on a baking sheet and carry them out to the grill. (The idea here is that the 2 pans AND the baking sheet are a lot more stable for toting the breast around—like through your kitchen, apartment or house).
- Heat your grill. Use an “indirect fire”. If you have a gas grill, turn one side to high and leave the other side off. If you’re using charcoal do a fire on one side of the grill with no coals on the other. The breast is going on the “cool” side of the grill.
- When the grill is hot, pull the 2 roasting pans apart and put the pan with the breast in it on the grill surface. You’ll be grilling the breast for about an hour until the internal temperature is right at 160 degrees (done is 165 and it’ll gain at least 5 degrees while it rests).
- Use a basting tube to suck up pan juices about every 10 minutes and squirt on the breast.
- You may wish to pivot the pan at least once so the breast browns evenly.
- When you get to the desired temperature, take the pan off the grill; put it back in the other pan and take it inside. Take the breast out of the pan and put it on a large cutting board to rest.
- Take the used pan out of the new one and pour the left over liquid into a fat separator or into a bowl. Throw the used pan away. Keep the unused one.
- Let the breast rest a good 15 minutes while you finish stuff like mashed potatoes and gravy.
- Carve the breast by removing each “lobe” intact and then slicing the meat.
- This makes for a tasty, moist breast with crackly, tasty skin.
Number of servings (yield): 6
My rating 5 stars: ★★★★★ 1 review(s)
That’s actually pretty easy, isn’t it? I’ve found that it saves me a lot of mess and fuss and stress when I’m cooking a holiday meal. Of course, I live in Southern California where we have the weather to cook on the grill pretty much year-round. But you can grill in cold areas in the winter if you can generate enough heat on your grill.
The Cheap Bastid Test: The breast cost $7.63. The broth cost $1. A stick of margarine cost $.25 and let’s call the spices another $.10. We’ll get a minimum of 3 meals from the breast, plus I’ll get turkey stock and a big slow cooker full of turkey soup when I cook down the carcass. Let’s call it $9 and there will be 4 dinners made for 3 people. That comes out to $.75 per meal per person. (But, oops! I forgot about the cranberry sauce–it’s $1.50 and according to Mrs. CB it’s required.) That’s what I call cheap eating! And really good eating, too!
That’s the Cheap Bastid Way: Eat Good. Eat Cheap. Be Grateful!