Grilled Thanksgiving Turkey

Are you still pondering your turkey recipe for Thanksgiving? Here's one you probably haven't considered before. It's a grilled turkey with a spicy dry rub on top and a fantastic butter injection.

Are you still pondering what turkey recipe to do for Thanksgiving?  Here's one you probably haven't considered before.  It's a grilled turkey with a spicy dry rub and a fantastic butter injection.  This is one of my favorites and it's so easy. So free up some oven space this year and grill your bird outside! 


  • 1 Turkey (whatever size fits on your grill the best)
  • Injection Kit (easily found in grocery stores and Target)

For the injection:

  • 1 tsp Popcorn Salt
  • 1 stick of salted butter

For the dry rub:

  • 1 T Black Pepper
  • 1 T Salt
  • 1 T Red Pepper
  • 1 T Dried Parsley
  • 1 T Dried Onion Flakes

To make the injection liquid microwave the stick of butter (a little bit at a time) in a glass bowl until it turns to liquid.  Try 10 seconds on 10 seconds off.   Stir in 1 tsp of popcorn salt until it goes totally into solution. Popcorn salt is very finely ground salt so it works best for injections because it is less likely to clog the needle tip.

Fill the injector and inject each breast 5 times. I do 4 vertical injections and 1 horizontal injection to make sure I get good coverage. I also inject the legs and thighs a few times.  After the injection put the turkey into the fridge for about 3 hours. I would aim anywhere from 30min to 3-4 hours.

While the turkey is hanging out in the fridge make the dry rub.  Add 1 T of each of the dry ingredients into a bowl and there you have it. It's pretty easy and very tasty.  When the turkey is ready for grilling, rub the outside of the bird and really try your best to get it under the skin if possible.

For grilling a turkey you want to have indirect medium/medium high heat for a couple of hours until the breast registers 160-165 degrees F. For indirect heat I use the Weber indirect baskets about 3/4 full on each side of the grill. You can also simply dump charcoal on each side of the grill leaving some space in the middle.  In between the charcoal put an aluminum drip pan with a little water in it so the drippings won't burn.  Put the bird right over the water pan and close the dome.  The starting temperature for me is usually about 400 degrees F.  If you are a little low on the temperature add some more charcoal.  If you are a little hot just wait another 20 or so min for it to settle down.

This should take only about 2 hours total if your grill temp stays around 400 degrees.  Usually for me after a couple of hours of cooking my grill temperature will only drop to about 350 degrees; however, I do add a few handfuls of unlit charcoal during the cook whenever the temperature gets too close to 350. When the breast registers 160-165 degrees bring the turkey inside, wrap it in some foil and let it rest for about 20 minutes.

If you are using a propane grill try to set up indirect heat as I mention above and use a medium or medium high heat.

I love this turkey because the butter flavor dominates (I mean I do recommend 5 injections in each breast!). The spicy dry rub also provides some nice heat to the turkey. I hope you give this a try for Thanksgiving this year. This is a really easy grilled turkey recipe that produces outstanding results!

John is the author of the grilling blog http://www.grilling24x7.com. Check out more grilling recipes and tips at http://www.grilling24x7.com and follow John on Twitter at http://twitter.com/grilling24x7

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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