Originally posted November 27, 2015

grilled turkey

grilled turkey by joanie

There are so many reasons to love this recipe. A great one is that if you grill your turkey, then your oven is free for other things, like rolls or stuffing! Another is dry brining. It couldn't be easier. Third, if you spatchcock your bird, then it cooks in half the time. And finally--and most importantly--this thing tastes great! The meat was juicy, and the skin was so crisp like cracklings.

A word about my grilling technique. I have a 3-burner grill. I put the wood chips on the left and turn the burner on high. I use this as my primary temperature control. The center burner stays off. The right burner might come on at a low temperature to better regulate heat distribution.

Russ Crandall has some good tips on grilling and smoking a turkey. https://www.yahoo.com/food/how-to-smoke-turkey-in-a-grill-125724934.html

I didn't capture my turkey drippings for gravy because I forgot to put a pan in the grill under the turkey, but next time I will...if I remember.


  • 12 lb turkey
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp dried savory
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • apple wood chips


Rinse the turkey and pat dry. Spatchcock it if that's what you're about. However, if you're grilling it whole, do not truss it. If you feel compelled to shove something in the cavity, then make it an aromatic and leave enough room for air flow. In any case, tuck the wings back.

Mix the paprika, savory, cumin, mustard, brown sugar, and salt. Coat the entire turkey and let chill uncovered on a rimmed baking sheet for 8 hours.

Thoroughly rinse the turkey and pat dry. Combine the garlic power, onion powder, and black pepper. Coat the entire turkey and let sit out for 2 hours to reach room temperature.

If you're using wood chips, soak them for 30 minutes. Drain and place in the grill where you intend to have full heat.

Heat the grill and fiddle with it until it holds a steady 325º.

Place the turkey breast-side up directly on the cold side of the grill with the legs facing the heat. Cover. Cook until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast reaches 150º and the legs reach 160º. If the legs are cooking too fast compared to the breast, turn the burner near the breast on low. Do not baste the turkey unless you don't like delicious crispy skin.

Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes before carving.

12 hours



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