Enjoy a perfectly grilled turkey with this easy-to-follow gas grill turkey recipe. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, a special occasion, or just a weekend barbecue, grilling your turkey will infuse it with delicious smoky flavors and leave you with a juicy and tender centerpiece for your meal.
Grilling a turkey may seem like a daunting task, but with the right steps, it can be a rewarding experience. The flavors imparted by the grill give the turkey a unique taste that’s hard to replicate. Plus, it frees up your oven for other dishes during the holidays. This recipe will guide you through the process, from prep to carving.
For the Turkey:
1 whole turkey (12-14 pounds)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 lemon, cut into quarters
1 onion, cut into quarters
4-6 garlic cloves, crushed
Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage)
For the Grill:
Propane gas tank for your grill
Preparing the Grill:
Clean and preheat the grill: Begin by cleaning your grill grates and ensuring the propane gas tank is filled. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, aiming for a temperature of around 350-375°F (175-190°C).
Set up for indirect grilling: If your grill has multiple burners, turn off one side to create an indirect grilling zone. The turkey will be placed on this side, away from direct flames.
Preparing the Turkey:
Thaw the turkey: Make sure your turkey is fully thawed if frozen. Allow it to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before grilling.
Prepare the turkey: Remove giblets and neck from the turkey cavity. Rinse and pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
Season the turkey: In a bowl, mix melted butter, olive oil, salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Brush this mixture all over the turkey, inside and out.
Add aromatics: Place lemon and onion quarters, crushed garlic cloves, and fresh herbs inside the turkey’s cavity. This will add flavor and aroma.
Grilling the Turkey:
Oil the grates: To prevent sticking, generously oil the grill grates. Use tongs and an oiled cloth or paper towel.
Position the turkey: Place the turkey on the grill grates on the side with the turned-off burners. You want indirect heat to cook the turkey evenly.
Add smoke: If you have a smoker box or wood chips, you can add them to the grill to infuse the turkey with a smoky flavor. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your grill.
Monitor the temperature: Insert a grill thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey breast. Keep an eye on the temperature and adjust the grill’s heat to maintain a consistent temperature.
Grill time: Grilling time depends on the turkey’s size. A general guideline is about 10-12 minutes per pound. A 12-14 pound turkey might take 2.5 to 3.5 hours.
Baste the turkey: Every 30 minutes, open the grill and baste the turkey with any remaining butter and seasoning mixture to keep it moist.
Check for doneness: The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the breast and 175°F (80°C) in the thigh.
Rest and carve: Remove the turkey from the grill and allow it to rest for about 20-30 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute and keeps the meat tender.
4. Cook’s Tips
Brining: Consider brining your turkey a day before grilling for added flavor and moisture. A simple brine includes water, salt, sugar, and aromatics.
Grill thermometer: Invest in a reliable grill thermometer to monitor the temperature without constantly opening the grill lid.
Keep the lid closed: Try to avoid frequently opening the grill lid. Each time you do, you release heat and smoke.
Make an herb-infused butter by mixing your melted butter with fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage. Brush this on the turkey for an extra layer of flavor.
Spice It Up
For a spicier twist, add cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to your seasoning mixture.
Grilling a turkey on a gas grill can be a fantastic way to enjoy a flavorful and juicy bird, whether it’s for a holiday feast or a summertime barbecue. The smoky aroma and perfectly crispy skin will make this turkey a centerpiece worth celebrating. Serve it up with your favorite sides and enjoy your delicious creation. Happy grilling!