Ditch the oven for the barbie this Christmas

With the festive season fast approaching, a leading barbecue chef is telling people to ditch the kitchen oven and take the turkey outdoors.

Barbie expert Paul Yates, who tours the country serving gourmet food on his Monolith Ceramic Grill, says cooking the famous festive meat on a lidded barbecue, such as a kettle BBQ or ceramic grill, will create simply succulent results.

Paul said: “This year forget your kitchen oven and dust off the barbecue instead.  If you’ve got a ceramic or lidded barbecue you can create far better results than your convection oven will ever achieve.  By using indirect heat, basically placing the meat next to the fire, rather than directly over it and shutting the lid, you can turn your Barbie into an outdoor oven and slow cook a joint to create incredibly succulent meat.”

“The new generation ceramic grills in particular can now create the ultimate roast.  Inspired by a Japanese way of cooking in clay, ceramic barbecues are a unique design which ensures slow air circulation and accurate temperature control, preventing food from drying out and losing flavour.”

Paul cooks his roast outdoors every year and has his own favourite recipe for cooking turkey:

Serves: 8-10 people
Preparation Time: 40 mins
Cooking Time: 4 hours
Resting Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 40 minutes

Bird preparation



  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 bulb garlic, halved horizontally
  • 2 bay leaves


Remove the giblets and season the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper. Now stuff the rest of the ingredients in the cavity, there’s no particular order.

Flavoursome butter


12oz or 375g butter, at room temperature

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves


Throw the ingredients into a mixing bowl and get your hands in to mix it all together. (This is the messy bit). When thoroughly mixed, take half your butter and stuff it under the skin and massage it so that the butter spreads throughout.

Add some olive oil and bacon


Olive oil

Salt and pepper

10 rashers smoked streaky bacon

The remainder of your lemon, parsley and garlic butter


Drizzle some olive oil onto the skin of the turkey breast and season well. Now smear on the remainder of your butter and layer on the streaky bacon. You can now cover your turkey and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.


Bring the charcoals to cooking heat in the barbecue and place a pan of hot water in the coals.  This creates a water bath, which is one of the best ways to cook meat.  Place the turkey in the barbecue above the water bath and cook indirectly for 4 hours at 225°F or 110°C. Check the core temperature both in the breast and close to the bone in the leg with an instant read temperature probe, you’re looking for an internal temperature of 170°F or 75°C. When the time is up, transfer the bird to a carving board and rest for a further 2 hours before carving.

During this time you’ve ample time to make the gravy. I use the veg from inside the bird together with the bacon from the breast and fry up with the giblets until the giblets are browned. Then I make a stock by adding water and simmering for an hour. The last stage is to put the contents of the stock pan through a sieve to produce a clear liquor.

Serve the gravy piping hot on hot plates and that way no one will be any the wiser that your Christmas barbecue turkey wasn’t as hot as everything else on the plate….but it will be the most succulent ever tasted.

Happy Christmas!

For more reviews, recipe tips and advice visit Paul’s website www.barbecue-smoker-recipes.com