Follow our step-by-step, photo illustrated recipe to roast up some mouthwatering Eastern Carolina Turkey Barbecue, in the oven. We’re turning that same old turkey and gravy, into turkey barbecue and sauce for a nice twist on your holiday meal. Prep the turkey a day ahead of time, and take the pressure out of getting a big meal on the table in a rush.
- 1 Whole Turkey
- ½ cup Butter, at room temperature ( 1-stick)
- 1 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- ½ teaspoon Liquid Smoke
- 2 Tablespoons Steve’s Butt Rub recipe
- Eastern North Carolina Vinegar Based BBQ Sauce, to taste.
Steve’s Butt Rub Recipe:
- 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons Paprika
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
- Place all spices in a jar, cover and shake well. Store leftover rub in a tightly closed jar.
NC Eastern Style Vinegar Based BBQ Sauce recipe:
- 2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 cup Water
- 1 Tablespoon Texas Pete Hot Sauce
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- ½ Lemon, medium sized, sliced, seeds removed
- 1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- Place all ingredients in a sauce pot and bring to a low simmer.
- Let simmer 20–30 minutes, remove from heat and let cool.
One day prior to cooking your turkey.
- Remove butter from refrigerator, set aside and let come to room temperature.
- Remove thawed turkey from refrigerator and place in clean sink.
- Remove any strings or bands that might be attached to the turkey legs.
- Remove neck and giblet pieces from inside turkey. Save for making gravy later. Do Not Discard.
- Rinse turkey well, inside and out, under cold running water.
- Pat turkey dry with several folded paper towels.
- Place softened butter in a small mixing bowl.
- Add 2 Tablespoons of the butt rub recipe.
- Add Worcestershire sauce.
- Add mustard.
- Add liquid smoke.
- Mix ingredients well to fully combine.
- Spread half of butter rub UNDER the skin of the turkey, fully coating the breast meat.
- Truss the turkey, securing the legs and wings with kitchen twine.
- Rub remaining butter all over the outside of the turkey, coating all parts well.
- Line a 9×13 sheet cake pan with aluminum foil.
- Add rolled up pieces of foil to pan, or insert wire roasting rack if available.
- Place turkey on roasting rack.
- Cover turkey with aluminum foil, sealing all edges shut tightly to the pan.
- Refrigerate turkey overnight, until ready for roasting.
- Thoroughly clean utensils, sink, and all exposed surfaces.
- Sanitize sink and counter with a solution of Bleach and water.
On cooking day, 1 hour prior to roasting turkey.
- Remove turkey from refrigerator. Remove aluminum foil.
- Let sit one hour, on your countertop before roasting.
- After one hour… Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Add one cup water to the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Place pan with turkey, uncovered, on lower rack in your oven.
- Roast turkey for 30 minutes ONLY at this 425 degree temperature.
- REDUCE HEAT to 350 degrees, after the 30 minutes have passed.
- Roast the turkey for the proper amount of time, based on weight of turkey.
- Baste the turkey with pan drippings once each hour, until turkey is done. Rotate the pan each time you baste the turkey for more even cooking.
- If turkey breast is getting too dark before it’s done, lightly tent the turkey with aluminum foil.
- Test for doneness by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast without touching any bones. Turkey is ready to remove when temperature reads 165 degrees.
- Remove roasting pan from oven. Sit on folded towel or wire rack to let meat rest.
- Lightly tent the turkey with aluminum foil. It will continue to increase in temperature and cook once it’s removed from the oven.
- Let turkey rest beneath the foil tent for 45-60 minutes before carving and serving.
- Breast meat may be sliced and served with some of the vinegar based sauce poured over each slice.
- After slicing and removing breast meat, pull the rest of the meat from the bones.
- Place pulled meat in a mixing bowl. Add vinegar based sauce as desired, and toss well to coat.
- Serve warm and Enjoy!
Use our Butt Rub and our Eastern North Carolina Vinegar Based BBQ Sauce recipes, or substitute them with your favorites.
Keywords: Eastern Carolina Barbecue Turkey Recipe, made from scratch, OXO Kitchen Tools Review, BBQ, southern recipes