Sage, Orange, and Clove Rotisserie Turkey Recipe

For the second year in a row, Rich made our Thanksgiving turkey using the rotisserie feature on our grill. This is a super delicious way to make a turkey if you have a rotisserie. And it doesn’t tie up your oven! Our turkey was 16 pounds, bigger than what the recipe called for and it’s a good thing it wasn’t any bigger because it barely cleared the grill when it turned.

We followed the recipe below exactly. Two years in a row, because it’s just that good.



Serves: 12 to 14 // Prep time: 20 minutes | Grilling time: 2¼ to 2½ hours | Special equipment: butcher’s twine, rotisserie, instant-read thermometer


  • 2 tablespoons dried granulated orange peel
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 whole turkey, 12 to 14 pounds
  • 2 small oranges, washed and dried
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bunch fresh sage, tied with butcher’s twine


  1. In a small bowl mix the rub ingredients.
  2. Remove and discard the neck, giblets, pop-up timer, and any excess fat from the turkey. Rinse the turkey, inside and out, under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (350º to 450ºF).
  4. Pierce each orange several times with a knife. Insert 6 whole cloves into each orange. Put the clove-studded oranges, garlic, and sage into the turkey cavity. Truss the turkey with butcher’s twine, tying the wings close to the body and securing the legs. Pin the skin flap to the body with two or three small trussing needles. Position one set of fork prongs on the far end of the spit and slide the spit into the neck end through the turkey (skewer the oranges) and out the other side, just underneath the drumsticks. Slide the other set of fork prongs on the spit and drive the prongs into the back of the turkey. Make sure the turkey is centered on the spit before tightening the fork prongs into place. Rub the entire exterior of the turkey with the rub, pressing it into the skin.
  5. Set the spit in place, turn on the rotisserie motor, and let the turkey rotate over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, until the internal temperature reaches 170º to 175ºF in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone), 2¼ to 2½ hours. Note: If you do not have a rotisserie, grill the turkey over indirect medium heat for 2¼ to 2½ hours.
  6. When the turkey is fully cooked, turn off the rotisserie motor and, wearing barbecue mitts, carefully transfer the spit from the grill to a cutting board. Loosely cover with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 20 minutes (the internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees during this time). Remove the spit and discard the oranges, garlic, and sage. Carve the turkey and serve warm.



Rich wants you to know that that’s Kistler chardonnay.

This is yeah write’s NoMo writing challenge Day 27.

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2 Responses to “Sage, Orange, and Clove Rotisserie Turkey Recipe”

  1. Nancy LowellNovember 28, 2015 at 8:23 pm #

    That looks amazing!!

  2. Andrea@WellnessNotesNovember 28, 2015 at 9:45 pm #

    That sounds like a great way to cook a turkey! We were invited to our friends’ house, and I was very glad because I don’t love making turkey…

    Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!

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