Food: Dust down that BBQ for the Christmas party

Roast turkey with roast hasselback potatoes
Roast turkey with roast hasselback potatoes

Top tips for cooking your festive feast on the outdoor grill

When we think of barbecue cooking we instinctively think of balmy summer nights and chilling with a glass of wine as the aroma of burgers charcoaling fills our lungs, but at Hillmount Garden Centre in Belfast’s scenic Castlereagh Hills, barbecuing is not just limited to the summer months.

At their BBQ Academy guests can attend half and full day courses to learn how to perfect their barbecuing skills.

Next Tuesday (November 24) they will host a Weber bbq demonstration where you can come along and learn how to cook hearty dinners and even your Christmas turkey on the barbecue.

And, we’ve got a sneak preview of what’s on the menu next Tuesday.

To buy tickets for the bbq demonstration, tel 028 9044 8213.

Or visit

Roast Turkey with roast 
Hasselback potatoes

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty level: Medium

Preparation time: 25 minutes

BBQ time: 3 hour 
BBQ temperature: 200 °C

Cooking method: Indirect

Equipment: Original Large Roast Holder/ Large Drip Pan

Core temperature: 75 °C


5kg whole free range Turkey

50g butter

10g fresh rosemary

10g fresh thyme


Good pinch of salt and pepper

4 tsp sea salt

8-12 small potatoes

Sunflower oil


For the hassleback potatoes wash 8-12 small potatoes about the size of an egg, then with a sharp knife carefully slice lots of downward cuts all along the top but only three quarters of the way through. Rub with a little sunflower oil and season with salt. Once the potatoes cook they will fan out and crisp up. Place in a heat proof tray or large drip pan for cooking indirect the roasting turkey.

Smother the turkey in butter and squeeze the lemon all over the bird. Place the rosemary, thyme and lemon skins in the cavity of the turkey. Finally, season with sea salt and a little ground black pepper.


Prepare the barbecue for indirect heat, approx. 200°C. If roasting on a charcoal kettle barbecue place the drip pan with the potatoes on the charcoal grate in between the coals. Replace the cooking grate and place the turkey over the potatoes. If you are roasting on a gas barbecue you may want to roast the turkey on a large roast holder, position this in the drip pan with the potatoes to collect the juices.

Roast the turkey for 3-3 ½ hours or until the internal temperature of the meat has reached 75°C. Let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.

Extra tip: Covering the turkey with foil will help to retain the heat.