• Michael Laxer

Whole Turkey on the Spit - Vintage Cookbook TBT



In something of a departure from our usual Vintage Cookbook TBT here we are looking at a "found recipe" that could be an alternative for the adventurous this coming holiday weekend in Canada. I came across it while leafing through the Big Boy Barbecue Book w. Pineapple Glazed Ham, Char-Grilled Rock Lobster Tails, Poppy Seed Bread & more which we looked at in 2018.


After the "found recipe" I will also include the page related to cooking larger turkeys on the BBQ from the cookbook itself.


The recipe is out of a newspaper column or feature apparently entitled Gobbler Gossip and Recipes. It had been cut out and placed inside the cookbook which makes sense as it is a look at how to cook an entire turkey on a barbeque spit or rotisserie! It was written by Dorothy Batcheller who was apparently a big booster of poultry and wrote a few cookbooks on the subject. The recipe is likely from around 1971 as that is when the cookbook was released.


Unsurprisingly, it is for a smaller turkey. Nevertheless I am quite sure that it would be a fairly spectacular dinner centerpiece for anyone who is willing to take it on.


I might even one day myself.


The first recipe does not include a total cooking time, so I have found a chart related to BBQing a whole turkey from the website canadianturkey.ca. Remember that Health Canada says to "Cook whole birds until the temperature of the thickest part of the breast or thigh is 82°C (180°F) and pieces of poultry reach 74°C (165°F)". You determine this by using "a meat thermometer to take the temperature in the thickest part of the breast or thigh meat and make sure the thermometer is not touching any bones." Visit the site for all their safety tips.


The second recipe from the "Big Boy" cookbook also includes some advice related to how long to cook per pound and the different approaches when using charcoal or gas.






(First posted on the original The Left Chapter blog in 2018)

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