Baja California Grilled (Or Roasted) Turkey

“Every year we get a turkey for the holidays from my DBF's employer. I love traditionally roasted turkey, but this year I decided to do something different. I couldn't have been happier with the results. This meat is so moist and flavorful, it got rave reviews from everyone who tried it. The turkey is brined, marinated, and then grilled or roasted in the oven. The recipe calls for a bone-in turkey breast and legs - I just cut my turkey into parts. You will also need a plastic bucket or stainless stockpot (nothing galvanized) plus six frozen ice gel packs to keep the turkey cold while marinating or room in your fridge. From Baja Cooking on the Edge. The 5 hour prep time includes the time the turkey is in the brine.”
6hrs 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Combine the brine ingredients in a 5-gallon bucket and stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Put the gel packs in the brine. Completely submerge teh turkey pieces in teh brine and weight with a lid and a foil-wrapped brick to keep it under the surface. Marinate for 4 hours - no longer!
  2. Make the marinade: Chop the garlic to a paste with the salt and chipotles. Stir in the oil, soy sauce, and lime juice. Add the ground chile, cumin, oregano, and granulated garlic. Stir in the orange juice and cilantro to make a paste the consistency of sour cream. Thin, if necessary, with a little more orange juice.
  3. After 4 hours, remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry. Rub the marinade all over the turkey.
  4. Heat the grill to medium hot. Grill the turkey pieces on all sides for about 30 minutes (total) until you have nice grill marks and the spices are cooked. I used my grill pan for this step). Turn off one side of the grill and move the turkey pieces to a disposable aluminum pan on the cooler side. Brush with more of the marinade, close the lid, and cook with the burner on medium (325 - 350 degrees) for about 1 hour, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 170 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the breast.(Alternatively, transfer the turkey to a 350 degree oven.).
  5. Brush the turkey with the marinade twice more during cooking. If the turkey starts to turn black, cover with foil. Discard the marinade.
  6. Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes before carving. Reserve the pan juices for sauce.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a