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Cooking whole turkey on the grill in the backyard.

Whole Turkey on the Grill

3.40 from 5 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: grilled turkey, how to grill a whole turkey, whole turkey on the grill
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 121kcal
Author: Karen



  • 1 16 lb whole turkey fresh or thawed (under 16lbs)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons black pepper


  • Prepare the turkey by removing giblets. Make a ¼-½ slice in skin near the wing and tuck the tips. Tie legs if desired.
  • Rub oil all over the turkey and season with salt and pepper.
  • Prepare the grill for indirect heat, by pushing coals to the outer edge of the grill once they are completely heated.
  • Place aluminum foil or drip pan in between the coals and place the turkey in the center either directly on the rack or on a roasting rack.
  • Roast Turkey, covered, 350-400 degrees or until thickened part 165 degrees being careful not to touch the bone while maintain the temp
  • To maintain grill temperature, add fresh 8-12 briquettes every 30-45 minutes.
  • After the second round of adding coals. Place aluminum foil along the wings of the bird to prevent over cooking them. And leave them until it's done.

Pro Tip

  • After adding 15 minutes later, start briquettes in the chimney starter on the side, wait 30 minutes and add them to the grill. Repeat as many times as necessary until the bird is done.


Note on Cooking Time: Allow 11-13 minutes per pound for grilling turkey.
Expert Tips:
Use a meat thermometer to most accurately determine when the turkey is ready to serve.
To maintain an even temperature while grilling a turkey, use a charcoal starter placed on the side.
Be sure to move the coals out to the perimeter of the grill for best results. You want the turkey cooking by indirect, rather than direct heat.
Use a fresh or thawed turkey when making this recipe.
For the most moist turkey, let it rest before cutting.


Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 873mg | Potassium: 11mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
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