This Thanksgiving, free up some of your oven space and make your Turkey on the Grill! Embrace the joys of outdoor cooking and watch as your Thanksgiving feast takes on a whole new level of deliciousness.
Why Make Turkey on the Grill
- Optimize Oven Space, Reduce Stress: Grill your turkey to free up oven space for delicious sides and desserts, making Thanksgiving meal prep a breeze!
- Indulge in Irresistible Smoky Goodness: Infuse your turkey with that delightful smoky grill flavor, adding a delicious twist that’ll make your taste buds sing!
- Enjoy Juicy and Tender Delights: Let the grill work its magic, keeping your turkey moist and oh-so-tender, ensuring every bite is succulent and unforgettable.
- Experience a New Grilling Adventure: Get ready for an exciting Thanksgiving grilling journey, bringing a dash of fun and excitement to your holiday cooking traditions.
How to Make Turkey on the Grill
- Whole Turkey – I highly recommend brining your turkey. It helps keep the meat super moist and flavorful. For a step by step guide on how to brine your turkey, go to this post!
- Oil, Salt and Pepper
- Prep the Turkey: Remove the turkey from brining liquid, if applicable, blot with towels and allow to air dry for 30 minutes. Then coat with oil. If you didn’t brine your turkey, then season it with salt and pepper after coating in oil, but again, I highly recommend brining!
- Preheat the Grill: Heat the grill to 350°F. If your grill has 3 burners, turn on the 2 outside burners, leaving the middle off. If your grill has 2 burners, turn on only one. Your goal is to get the grill heated to 350°F, but for the turkey to sit in indirect heat.
- Place Turkey on the Grill: Place the turkey on a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack. Place the baking sheet on the section of the grill that is turned off so the turkey is not sitting over direct heat.
- Cook the Turkey: Cook the turkey for 90 minutes, rotate the pan, and cook an additional 90 minutes, until the turkey is at an internal temperature of 160°F when checked using a meat thermometer and the skin is golden brown.
- Allow to Rest: Remove the turkey from the grill and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving. Serve with gravy, cranberry sauce and other classic Thanksgiving sides!
Helpful Tips for Turkey on the Grill
- Brining for Flavor and Moisture: Even when cooking on the grill, I still brine my turkey to enhance its flavor and ensure a moist and tender texture throughout the grilling process. You can brine your turkey for as long as 2 days, or as short as overnight, so whatever your timeline, you can get that extra flavor infused straight into your bird.
- Indirect Heat Cooking: Utilize the indirect heat method by not turning all of your burners, allowing for a slower and more even cooking process that results in a juicy and evenly cooked turkey.
- Monitoring Internal Temperature: Invest in a reliable meat thermometer to monitor the turkey’s internal temperature, ensuring it reaches the safe minimum temperature for consumption while preventing overcooking.
- Resting Period: Allow the turkey to rest for at least 30 minutes after grilling to lock in the juices and ensure a succulent and flavorful final product when it’s time to carve and serve.
FAQs For This Recipe
- How long do you grill a turkey? For optimal results, grill your turkey at 350°F, allowing approximately 11-13 minutes per pound, or until a meat thermometer registers 160°F.
- Do you grill a turkey breast side up? Yes, breast side up and then rotate the pan halfway through to ensure even cooking.
- Should I cover the turkey with foil when grilling? You can, but you don’t have to.
- Why do you grill the turkey on indirect heat? If you don’t use indirect heat when grilling your turkey, you’ll end up with skin that’s burnt to a crisp while the inside is still undercooked. Indirect heat allows for slow, even cooking.
Since my oven will be full of Brussels sprouts, stuffing, vegetables, and pies this year (and every year) for Thanksgiving, I’m really looking forward to having all the extra space I can get and cooking our turkey on the grill! If you’re still wanting to roast a turkey, check out my Thanksgiving turkey roundup post for all of my turkey recipes!
Look at that crispy golden skin! Doesn’t it look perfect?! Bring something new to the Thanksgiving dinner table this year with a grilled turkey. Let me know in the comments if you’re planning on grilling your turkey this Thanksgiving and tag me on social media if you do so I can see those beautiful birds!
Turkey on the Grill
- Sheet Pan
- cooling rack
- 18 pound turkey
- oil of choice
- Heat the grill to 350°F. If your grill has 3 burners, turn on the 2 outside burners, leaving the middle off. If your grill has 2 burners, turn on only one. Your goal is to get the grill heated to 350°F, but for the turkey to sit in indirect heat.
- Place the turkey on a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack. Place the baking sheet on the section of the grill that is turned off so the turkey is not sitting over direct heat.
- Cook the turkey for 90 minutes, rotate the pan, and cook an additional 90 minutes, until the turkey is at an internal temperature of 160°F when checked using a meat thermometer and the skin is golden brown.
- Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving. Serve with gravy and cranberry sauce.