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“Camp”giving- Achiote BBQ Turkey

Pulling off a Thanksgiving style turkey while your camping is no easy task. To make matters easier, and also to prepare for the unknown, I did a lot of prep on the turkey before we headed outdoors.  First, I broke down the turkey into its respective pieces. Then it was marinated overnight in the achiote mixture.

The achiote mixture was lightly heated in a sauce pan before marinating. This ensures the paste is easily broken up. You can also use a blender to get everything nice and smooth.

On site, a good amount of foil and foil pans were used to help act as a mini ‘oven.’  I wrapped just the massive turkey breasts in foil, keeping the heat concentrated as well as keeping precious juices in as well. The tricky thing about turkey is its size. Unlike chicken, you have to really keep rotating the turkey pieces to ensure even cooking as well as not burning.  It helps if you have a cover/dome/lid on your BBQ!


Break down turkey by separating legs, thighs, wings and breasts. Do your best to keep all bones in the breast region.

Place all items for achiote mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Place turkey pieces in achiote marinade overnight.

On site, start your bed of coals 30 minutes prior to cooking.  You must build a big and even coal bed, or your turkey will take hours. Place turkey pieces on to the grill, skin side up for breasts. Sear for 5 minutes per side. Wrap breasts in foil and return to the grill. Continue to rotate pieces around the grill. Internal temperature should reach 165* when done. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.