What is the best way to grill a turkey?

What is the best way to grill a turkey?

Grilling a turkey can be a delicious and unique way to prepare this traditional holiday dish. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to grill a turkey from Papa Ken at Maine Grilling Products.

Ingredients and Equipment:

  1. Whole turkey (size of your choice)
  2. Brine (optional)
  3. Dry rub or marinade of your choice
  4. Charcoal or gas grill
  5. Wood chips or chunks
  6. Grill thermometer
  7. Aluminum foil
  8. Basting brush
  9. Grill-safe roasting pan or drip pan


  1. Prepare the Turkey:

    • Thaw the turkey completely in the refrigerator if it's frozen. This may take several days depending on the size of the turkey.
    • Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey cavity.
    • If desired, brine the turkey for 12-24 hours before grilling to enhance flavor and moisture. Rinse and pat dry after brining.
  2. Season the Turkey:

    • Generously season the turkey inside and out with your preferred dry rub or marinade. Make sure to get the seasoning under the skin for more flavor.
  3. Prepare the Grill:

    • If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal and let it burn until it's covered with white ash. If using a gas grill, preheat it to medium-high heat.
  4. Indirect Grilling:

    • The key to grilling a turkey is to use indirect heat. On a charcoal grill, push the coals to one side. On a gas grill, turn off one or more burners to create a cool zone. Place a drip pan filled with water under the grates on the cool side.
  5. Add Smoke Flavor (Optional):

  6. Place the Turkey on the Grill:

    • Place the turkey on the grill grates on the side opposite the heat source, so it's not directly over the flames or coals.
  7. Grilling Time and Temperature:

    • Maintain a grill temperature of around 325°F (163°C). Use a grill thermometer to monitor the temperature.
    • Grill the turkey for approximately 12-15 minutes per pound. A 12-pound turkey, for example, will take about 2.5 to 3 hours.
  8. Basting and Monitoring:

    • Every 30 minutes, baste the turkey with melted butter or oil to keep it moist. You can also use a marinade or sauce.
    • Check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. The turkey is done when the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F (74°C). Make sure the thermometer doesn't touch the bone.
  9. Rest and Carve:

    • Once the turkey is cooked, remove it from the grill, cover it loosely with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicier bird.
    • Carve the turkey and serve.

Remember that grilling times can vary depending on your grill, the size of the turkey, and outdoor temperature. It's essential to use a meat thermometer to ensure the turkey reaches the safe internal temperature. Grilling a turkey can be a fun and delicious alternative to traditional roasting, providing a smoky and flavorful twist to your holiday meal. Enjoy!  Papa Ken

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