AmazingRibs.com is supported by our Pitmaster Club. Also, when you buy with links on our site we may earn a finder’s fee. Click to see how we test and review products.

Sous Vide And BBQ Join Forces To Create The Best Turkey Ever

Sous-vide-que turkey parts on a plate

Through the magic of our Sous-Vide-Que technique, you’ll produce the best turkey you have ever tasted, guaranteed.

If you are like us, the last thing you want during the holidays is to be responsible for serving family and friends a flavorless, dried out turkey. But cooking a whole bird just right can be quite the challenge, especially when it comes to getting the dark meat just right without over cooking the white meat. In an effort to remedy this, and to reduce the number of steps in cooking a whole turkey as possible, we are pleased to share our recipe for sous-vide-que turkey.

If you are not familiar with the concepts of sous-vide-que, this is a concept we have worked hard to develop, essentially combining the ability of the sous vide cooking process to ensure moist, tender meat every time with the depth of flavor only a smoker or grill can create.

For this recipe, you will need a sous vide immersion circulator such as the Joule. You will also need a grill and hardwood chips, pellets, or sawdust. We want lots of smoke in a hurry, so chunks are not ideal. I do it with GrillGrates, a product that puts the smoldering wood within 1/2-inch of the meat. Your Thanksgiving or weeknight turkey will never be the same.

And here’s a recipe:

Sous Vide And Grilled Turkey Recipe


sous vide que turkey breast
Tried this recipe?Tell others what you thought of it and give it a star rating below.
4.05 from 49 votes
Create perfect turkey every time by combining the precision of the sous vide cooking process and the deep smokey flavor of live fire cooking.

Serve with: chardonnay or pinot noir.


Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Difficulty: Moderate

Makes:


Takes:

Prep Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Sous vide: 12 hours

Notes:
About the salt. Remember, kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works.
About the Huli-Huli. You can make you own easily by following the link above or just buy a pre-made teriyaki sauce and it works just fine.
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page

Method

  • Prep. Break down the bird into quarters, 2 breast lobes, and two drumstick/thigh combos. Sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat and a similar amount of sugar and let it sit in the fridge for about 2 hours so the salt can penetrate deep. Then put the meat in freezer safe zipper bags.
  • Next, set up the sous vide machine. Ideally we would cook the legs and breasts separately at different temps, as in the video above, the experts at Joule recommend we cook the breasts at 130°F and legs at 150°F, but our tests found very little difference if you compromise and cook them both at the same temp, 145°F. So set your sous vide machine for 145°F.
  • Cook. Slip the meat into the bags and slip the bag into the water and seal it so there is no air in the bag. Push it under water. If it floats, open the bag and insert a weight like a spoon. Leave it in the water for at least 12 hours. Watch the water level since some will evaporate.
  • Prep again. After 12 hours or more, begin preparing the gravy by removing the meat from the bag and pouring the juices in the bag into a sauce pan. Bring the juices to a low simmer and skim off any scum. Season it with salt and herbs. I like thyme and sage. Strain. This is the basis of your gravy. You can thicken it with a roux made from equal parts butter and flour heated in a pan til it turns pale yellow, but I prefer to serve it thin so it can penetrate a bit.
  • Fire up. Pre-heat a grill as hot as possible and throw chips or pellets on the fire and generate as much smoke as possible. I like to use a product called GrillGrates because they have a bottom that can hold the wood and smoke in very close proximity to the meat.
  • Cook again. Pat the meat dry then place the turkey parts on the grill. Paint the meat with the Huli-Huli sauce on all sides. Turn the meat every 2 to 3 minutes so the grates don't burn the skin. You can paint one or two more times. Leave the meat on just long enough, with the lid up, to color and flavor the meat without overcooking it.
  • Serve. Remove from the grill, plate, and serve immediately.
    Also enjoy this extended version of our sous-vide-que turkey video!

Related articles

Published On: 11/14/2017 Last Modified: 5/26/2021

  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.


If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and much more!

Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 4,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner like TV network or a magazine publisher to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club, but please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get 21 great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial membership, and help keep this site alive.


Post comments and questions below

grouchy?

1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

Moderators

  Max

Click for comments...

Spotlight

These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


The Undisputed Champion!

Thermapen One Instant Read Thermometer

ThermoWorks’ Thermapen ONE provides an accurate reading in one second or less. The ONE also includes features that are common on high-end instruments: automatic backlight, rotating display, and water resistant seals. Don’t accept cheap substitutes.
Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review


Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?


The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it’s easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.

Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

Click here to order directly and get an exclusive AmazingRibs.com deal


The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted


Napoleon’s 22″ Pro Cart Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It’s hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the 22″ Pro Cart a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special


Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker


Green Mountain’s portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it’s also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order


Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages

We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
Click here for our review on this unique smoker



Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts


The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy


The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers because temperature control is so much easier.

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them