Turkey on the Grill

If you are like me, you have spent quite a bit of time scouring the internet for the “right way” to cook your Thanksgiving turkey. I have watched tutorials, read blogs, read cookbooks…and every time I thought I found “the way” some other technique would look just a little bit better. I was spiraling and putting way too much pressure on myself.

Let’s back up a little shall we? Every year my mother prepares our turkey. She has since the beginning of time. The baton was passed to her from her mother when she was really young, so she’s an old turkey pro. My mom makes a mean turkey. She has done dry brines, wet brines, no brines at all…and each year, a juicy turkey with crispy skin hits our table.

My sister wanted the turkey duty one year (god bless her)…we ended up carving in to a raw turkey. We ended up carving the meat and laying it flat in a roasting pan and finished cooking it! hah It tasted good, but not really the visual I think she was going for…

This year, it’s my turn. My mom is over it, and my sister will be on a flight from New York to LA, so she has a free pass on all cooking duties. We are hosting at our house…so that means I’m on turkey duty.

If you have read my cookbook, you know I wasn’t always a good cook…and my family loves to remind me of this! So, this turkey needs to be legit, ya hear? This turkey needs to be next level!

After all my research, and planning out my oven rotation…I have decided that I will be grilling our turkey. That’s right. On the grill, just like the good little Texas girl that I am. Here is why…

I’m going to keep my heat low and even, and my grill has a thermometer on the outside so I can keep track without opening the lid.

I want to free up my oven for all the other dishes!

Also, I’m all about crispy skin! What better way to get nice golden brown skin??

Here is how you do it…

Heat the grill to medium heat…if you can…keep it at around 350 degrees

Prep the turkey! If you are brining….See DRY BRINE RECIPE or you can opt for a WET BRINE RECIPE



After you have brined for 24 hrs, rinse brine off. Rinse well, but don’t rub hard.

Pat the bird dry REALLY WELL. Get under the wings, get everywhere!

Place the turkey breast side up in a turkey roasting pan with a grate. The grate is important. It helps heat circulate all around, so the skin isn’t sitting in juice.



Stuff the inside of the turkey with aromatics! Add a couple onion, fennel, apple & lemon wedges to the inside of the bird.  Scatter some additional wedges throughout the roasting pan

Get the butter! Rub it everywhere! I take a whole stick, and literally rub the turkey down. They I pinch off little pieces and push it far under the skin. The butter is what is going to brown that skin up and make is nice and crisp. Don’t be stingy with it.

Shower with kosher salt & black pepper

Place a bundle of fresh herbs inside the bird

herb bundle


Tuck the wings under the turkey and tie the legs together with butcher string




Place roasting pan on grill, close lid and keep it closed!! Don’t be opening and closing that thing! You wanna keep all the heat in there and keep it consistent.

Keep the thermometer close by…at the 1 hour and 45 minute mark you should check the temp…


bird on grill


Grill to an internal thigh temp of 180 degrees

Stick the thermometer in to the thick part of the thigh, without hitting the bone!

(My turkey was 14.25lbs and cooked for exactly 2 hrs)

Remove from grill, and let turkey rest 20 minutes before carving.


Turkey on the Grill


How easy is that?! Feel free to baste with melted butter halfway through…but you don’t have to…

Good luck!