If you are looking for a different way to make your Thanksgiving Turkey, make Grilled Turkey. The crispy texture and smoky flavor makes this the best turkey recipe.

A whole grilled turkey on a platter
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Easy Turkey on the Grill:

We usually roast our turkey in the oven. But I was excited to grill it for a twist on our holiday dinner. The results were the juiciest turkey that we have ever made. The texture turned out crispy and full of smoky flavor.

This smoked turkey flavor recipe is just what we needed for the holiday. It saved oven space and we loved the delicious flavor. We still seasoned the turkey with melted butter and simple seasoning. Then place the turkey on the grill for less than 3 hours.

We still served out standard side dishes which included gravy, vegetables, and rolls. We loved this grilled turkey and grilled spiral ham so much that we now prepare it throughout the year. Instead of making a turkey breast, place the turkey on the charcoal grill for a delicious twist.

Ingredients - turkey, butter, garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, chicken broth

Ingredients: 

  • Whole Turkey fully thawed
  • Butter softened
  • Garlic Powder 
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Dried Thyme Leaves
  • Chicken Broth 

How to Grill a Whole Turkey: 

  • Step 1 – Heat Grill – Preheat the grill to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  
  • Step 2 – Prepare Turkey – Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey and tuck the wings under the turkey. You can tie back the wings of the turkey if you prefer. Pat dry the turkey dry with paper towels
  • Step 3 – Transfer Turkey – Place the turkey breast side down in a aluminum foil roasting pan.  Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the roasting drip pan.  
  • Step 4 – Top turkey with butter – Rub the butter all over the skin of the turkey. You can also rub the turkey with vegetable oil.
  • Step 5 – Combine Seasoning – Mix together the garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika and dried thyme leaves.  Rub this mixture on the outside of the turkey.  
  • Step 6 – Place turkey on Grill – Turn off the middle burner on the grill. Then place the turkey on the grill over indirect heat with the lid on the grill closed.  
Adding seasoning to the turkey and placing on the grill
  • Step 7 – Grill Turkey – Cook the turkey based on the size of the turkey. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the turkey is cooked. That the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Step 8 – How Long to Cook Turkey – A 12-15 pound turkey will take approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours. A 15-20 pound turkey will take approximately 2 ½ – 3 hours. A 20-24 pound turkey will take approximately 3 – 3 ½ hours. Check the turkey every 30 minutes and add more broth if needed.  
  • Step 9 – Remove Turkey – Remove the turkey from the grill and let the turkey rest for 20 minutes.
  • Step 10 – Serve and Enjoy – Move the turkey to a serving platter, carve and enjoy!
A whole grilled turkey on a platter

How Long to Grill Turkey:

It will depend on how large your turkey will depend how long you grill. These gas grilling tips will give you the correct grilling lengths for your turkey. Cook times will vary.

  • A 12-15 pound turkey will take approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours.
  • For a 15-20 pound turkey will take approximately 2 ½ – 3 hours.
  • A 20-24 pound turkey will take approximately 3 – 3 ½ hours.
  • Check the turkey every 30 minutes and add more broth if needed.  
A whole grilled turkey on a platter

Grilled Turkey Recipe Tips:

  • Thawing Turkey – To thaw a turkey properly, allow 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey to thaw in a refrigerator.
  • Preheat Grill – Make sure to preheat grill before placing the turkey on the grill grate.
  • Prepare Turkey – Prepare the turkey by removing the neck and giblets to prepare for the grill. Prep time is easy which a delicious turkey recipe.
  • Seasoning the Turkey – Seasoning the turkey with simple seasoning. We make sure to add the softened butter completely covering the turkey.
  • Meat Thermometer – Make sure to use a thermometer to ensure the turkey is cooked to 165 degrees.
  • Brining – Brine the turkey throughout the grilling process. I love to use the drippings to baste the turkey.
  • Resting the Turkey – After grilling the turkey make sure to allow the turkey to lock in the moisture. We recommend to rest turkey for at least 15 minutes.
A whole grilled turkey on a platter

How do you know when Turkey is finish Cooking?

Grilled turkey takes about 3 hours to cook. The best way to ensure your turkey is finished cooking is to use a meat thermometer. Make sure to cook the turkey in a foil pan or a rimmed baking sheet.

Sliced turkey breast on a platter

Seasoning Recipe Variation Ideas:

The seasoning we used in this recipe is made with simple ingredients. But you can easily change to what you prefer or have on hand. Combine these ingredients in a small bowl and then rub over your turkey.

These are some of our favorite additions.

  • Garlic Cloves
  • Rosemary
  • Chopped Onions
  • You can even add in some stuffing to the turkey. You can stuff the turkey with oranges and lemons.
A whole grilled turkey on a platter

What to Serve with Grilled Turkey?

You can easily serve this turkey with your favorite traditional holiday side dishes. But since we are grilling out, I like to add my favorite grilled sides.

  • Grilled AsparagusThe Asparagus is topped with easy seasonings then wrapped in foil to make an easy side dish. This makes for a delicious side dish.
  • Grilled Carrots in FoilAll you need is carrots, foil and simple seasoning to make this recipe. These carrots taste great and grilling them really enhances their sweetness.
  • Green Beans in FoilIf you are looking for a quick and easy side dish. That you can put on the grill, make Grilled Green Beans in Foil. This side dish takes only a few ingredients, wrap in foil and toss on the grill.
Sliced turkey breast on a platter

How to Store Leftovers:

Refrigerate the leftover turkey in an airtight container for up to 5 days. We recommend to store in individual containers with your leftover side dishes.

A whole grilled turkey on a platter

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do you Grill Turkey Covered or Uncovered?

This turkey is grilled in a foil pan uncovered. This allows for the turkey to have a crispy skin and a smoky flavor.

How Much Turkey per person?

This guide will help you buy the correct size turkey for your family. Feeding a family of about 10 then buy a 10-18 pound turkey. If you are feeding 15 people buy a turkey for about 18 pounds.
For a family of over 20 people then we recommend buying a turkey of about 25 pounds.

Print Recipe for Grilled Turkey:

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Grilled Turkey

5 from 5 votes
If you are looking for a different way to make your Thanksgiving Turkey, make Grilled Turkey. The smoky flavor makes this a delicious recipe.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Calories 531

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the grill to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey and tuck the wings under the turkey. You can tie back the wings of the turkey if you prefer.
  • Place the turkey in a foil roasting pan.  Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the roasting pan.
  • Rub the butter all over the skin of the turkey.
  • Mix together the garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika and dried thyme leaves.  Rub this mixture on the outside of the turkey.
  • Turn off the middle burner on the grill and then place the turkey on the grill over indirect heat with the lid on the grill closed.
  • Cook the turkey based on the size of the turkey and use a meat thermometer to ensure that the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • A 12-15 pound turkey will take approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours. A 15-20 pound turkey will take approximately 2 ½ – 3 hours. A 20-24 pound turkey will take approximately 3 – 3 ½ hours. Check the turkey every 30 minutes and add more broth if needed.
  • Remove the turkey from the grill and let the turkey rest for 20 minutes.
  • Move the turkey to a serving platter, carve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

To thaw a turkey properly, allow 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey to thaw in a refrigerator.
Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 531kcal, Carbohydrates 1g, Protein 71g, Fat 26g, Saturated Fat 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat 5g, Monounsaturated Fat 8g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 252mg, Sodium 1015mg, Potassium 771mg, Fiber 0.2g, Sugar 0.3g, Vitamin A 461IU, Vitamin C 2mg, Calcium 43mg, Iron 3mg

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If you are looking for a different way to make your Thanksgiving Turkey, make Grilled Turkey. The smoky flavor makes this a delicious recipe. Instead of making a turkey breast, place the turkey on the charcoal grill for a delicious twist. #grillonadime #grilledturkeyrecipe #turkeyrecipe

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Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Grill on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. From the Best Blackstone recipes, to grilling, and easy smoker recipes, together we are going to cook real food, with easy ingredients… for real families!

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