Holiday Recipe: How to grill a turkey
In the Midwest, grilling season continues year round, regardless of the temperature outside. And, if you’ve never prepared your holiday turkey on the grill, you are in for a wonderful treat. In fact, many mouths water just at the thought of stoking up the grill and smelling that sweet aroma of the holiday bird grilling to perfection wafting through the cold crisp air. Guaranteed to impress your family and friends, a grilled turkey is easier to prepare than you may think and it frees up your oven for other holiday treats. Just follow these helpful tips and follow the recipe we’ve included in the downloadable PDF file for a classic recipe for turkey on the grill.
©2003 Weber-Stephen Products Co. Used with permission.
- Weber® Weber Q™ 200 Gas Grill
Blain # 569535
- Grill brush
Blain # 475894
- King Kooker® Marinades
Blain # 496202
- Pan (for thawing bird)
Blain # 027408
- Meat Thermometer
Blain # 497354
- Propane Tank
Blain # 283798
- Vegetable Oil**
- King Kooker® Marinade Injector with Needle
Blain # 496197
- Selecting the bird. Weight is really not an issue when grilling a turkey as long as the turkey fits in your grill with the lid down to allow for indirect cooking. Note that turkeys over 24 pounds may not fit under your grill lid. Additionally, at least one inch clearance between the turkey and the lid is ideal, so think structure. A broad, flat bird will fit better than one with a high breast bone. Please refer to our downloadable PDF file to determine the size of turkey you need to feed a specific number of guests.
- Thawing. A turkey should be completely defrosted in the refrigerator before grilling. Place the frozen turkey in its original wrapping on a tray in the refrigerator. Allow 24 hours of thawing time for every four pounds of turkey. Never thaw poultry at room temperature. If you’re using a fresh turkey, grilling is just as you would a completely defrosted one. Since fresh turkey is highly perishable, check the “sell by” date before you buy. Buy the turkey only one to two days before you plan to cook it and be sure to keep it refrigerated.
- Before you start grilling. Whether you’re cooking on a charcoal or gas grill, make sure you have plenty of fuel. For gas grills, a full tank should last about 17 or 18 hours, so check your gas gauge before you start. For charcoal grills, please refer to our chart located in our downloadable PDF file to see how many briquets you need over the course of the grill time with a Weber grill.
- Food safety. To avoid spreading dangerous bacteria to other foods, always wash hands, utensils and work surfaces with hot soapy water after handling raw poultry. Cook stuffing in a covered foil pan beside the turkey, by the indirect method, during the last 45-60 minutes of grilling time, to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
- Turning and basting: The best part about grilling your bird on the grill is that you don’t have to turn or baste. Simply set up the grill for indirect grilling (refer to our downloadable PDF file), place the turkey in the center of the cooking grate and close the lid.
- Telling when the bird is done. Turkey is fully cooked when a meat thermometer registers 180 degrees F in the thigh or 170 degrees F in the breast (about 11 to 13 minutes per pound). Once your bird is done, remove the turkey from the grill and allow it to rest 20 minutes before carving. Please see our downloadable PDF file for a chart of approximate cooking times.