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Rotisserie Turkey with Cajun Dry Brine

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  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 12-pound turkey 1x


Rotisserie Turkey with Cajun Dry Brine recipe. A cajun spice rub, 24 hours in the refrigerator, and a spin on the rotisserie, give you a great turkey.


  • 12- to 14-pound Turkey

Dry Brine (1/4 cup kosher salt and 1/4 cup Cajun spice rub)

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt (I used Diamond Crystal; reduce to 3 tbsp if using Mortons, because it is denser).
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cup dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cup dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Dry brine the turkey: 1 to 3 days before it is time to cook, dry brine the turkey. Mix the dry brine ingredients in a small bowl. Work the skin loose from the breast, being careful not to tear it, and rub 1 tablespoon of dry brine directly on the breast meat, under the skin. Sprinkle and rub the rest of the dry brine evenly over the turkey. Make sure to rub some inside the cavity of the turkey as well. Put the turkey on a rack over a roasting pan or baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate, removing the plastic wrap the night before cooking to allow the skin to dry. (If you are only dry brining for 24 hours, skip the plastic wrap. If you are closer than 4 hours to cooking, dry brining won't help - wait until right before you truss the turkey to rub it with the salt and spices.)
  2. Prepare the Turkey: One hour before cooking, remove the turkey from the refrigerator. Truss the turkey and skewer with the rotisserie spit. Put a gallon zip-top bag full of ice on the breast, not touching the legs or drumsticks, to chill the breast meat until cooking.
  3. Prepare the grill: Set the grill up for rotisserie cooking at indirect medium heat (325*F to 350*F). If you can, put all the heat on one side of the grill - instead of two outside burners on medium, set one outside burner on high, and leave the other one off - this concentrates the heat on the legs, which we want to cook more than the breast. For my Weber Summit, I remove the grates, preheat the grill on high for 15 minutes, then turn off all the burners except burner #6, right next to the smoker burner. I leave burner #6 on high, turn the smoker burner on high, and set the infrared rotisserie burner to medium. The drip pan goes in the middle, over the unlit burners.
  4. Cook the turkey: Put the spit on the grill (with the leg side of the bird facing the two lit burners, if your grill can be set up that way). Start the rotisserie spinning, and cook the turkey with the lid closed for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. (If you are using an infrared rotisserie burner, check the turkey every half hour, and shut off the infrared burner if the bird is browning too quickly. I usually shut mine off after the first hour.) Start checking the temperature in the breast with an instant read thermometer at 2 hours. The turkey is done when the breast meat registers 155*F to 160*F in its thickest part with an instant read thermometer. Remove the turkey from the grill, remove the spit from the turkey, and cut the trussing twine loose. Let the turkey rest for 15 to 30 minutes before carving.
  5. Carve the turkey: If you have a favorite way of carving a turkey, go ahead and use it. My preferred method: Cut the legs free from the body of the bird, and cut the drumsticks away from the thighs. Leave the drumsticks whole (my favorite part!) and slice the meat from the thighs in 1/2" slices for dark meat lovers. Peel the entire breast half from one side of the bird by working a knife down the keel bone, following the inside of the ribcage, from the top of the bird down to the wing. Once the breast half is free of the bird, it is easy to slice into 1/2" thick slices on a carving board. Repeat with the other breast half. Finally, cut each wing away from the carcass, separate the drumette from the wing and the wing from the wingtip. Arrange all these pieces on a platter and serve.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Category: Rotisserie
  • Cuisine: Cajun