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Simple Steps: How To Cook A Turkey In A Gas Grill

Looking to impress your guests this Thanksgiving by cooking a delicious turkey without using an oven? Well, look no further! In this article, we will show you exactly how to

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Looking to impress your guests this Thanksgiving by cooking a delicious turkey without using an oven? Well, look no further! In this article, we will show you exactly how to cook a turkey in a gas grill, resulting in a juicy, flavorful bird that will have everyone asking for seconds. No need to stress or spend hours in the kitchen—this simple solution will allow you to spend more time enjoying the holiday with your loved ones. So, let’s get started on mastering the art of cooking a turkey in a gas grill!

Simple Steps: How to Cook a Turkey in a Gas Grill

How to Cook a Turkey in a Gas Grill

When it comes to cooking a turkey, many people automatically think of using the oven. However, using a gas grill can be a fantastic alternative that yields delicious and flavorful results. Grilling a turkey not only imparts a smoky flavor but also frees up your oven for other dishes during busy holiday cooking sessions.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of cooking a turkey on a gas grill. From preparation to temperature control and everything in between, you’ll have all the information you need to create a mouthwatering grilled turkey that will impress your family and friends.


Before getting started, there are a few key steps you need to take to ensure a successful turkey grilling session. Let’s dive into the preparation process:

  1. Thawing the Turkey: If you have a frozen turkey, make sure to thaw it completely before grilling. The best way to do this is by transferring the turkey from the freezer to the refrigerator a few days ahead of time. As a general rule, allow approximately 24 hours of thawing time for every five pounds of turkey.
  2. Cleaning the Turkey: Once the turkey is thawed, it’s essential to clean it thoroughly. Remove the giblets and neck from the body cavity and rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels to ensure it’s completely moisture-free.
  3. Marinating or Seasoning: To enhance the flavor of your turkey, consider marinating it or applying a dry rub. You can use a store-bought marinade or create your own using a combination of herbs, spices, and oil. Ensure that the marinade or seasoning is evenly distributed on the surface of the turkey.
  4. Brining the Turkey (Optional): Brining involves soaking the turkey in a solution of salt, sugar, and water to help lock in moisture and add flavor. If you choose to brine your turkey, make sure to follow a trusted brine recipe and allow enough time for the turkey to soak. Brining can range from a few hours to overnight, depending on the size of the turkey.

Setting Up the Gas Grill

Once you have prepped the turkey, it’s time to set up your gas grill for the cooking process. Follow these steps to ensure your grill is ready for the turkey:

  1. Clean the Grill: Start by cleaning the grill grates and removing any debris or leftover food from previous grilling sessions. Use a grill brush to scrape off any stubborn residue.
  2. Preheat the Grill: Preheating the grill is crucial to ensure even and consistent cooking. Turn on the gas supply and ignite the grill. Close the lid and allow the grill to preheat for approximately 10-15 minutes until it reaches the desired temperature.
  3. Set Up Indirect Heat Zones: Indirect heat is the key to grilling a turkey. It allows for slow cooking, preventing any potential flare-ups or burnt spots. For a gas grill, simply turn off one or more burners while leaving the others on. The burners that are turned on will provide indirect heat, while the turned-off burners create a cooler zone.
  4. Use a Drip Pan: Place a drip pan under the grill grates in the cooler zone. The drip pan will catch any drippings from the turkey, preventing flare-ups and making cleanup easier later on.

Cooking the Turkey

Now that your gas grill is ready, it’s time to cook the turkey. Follow these guidelines for perfectly grilled turkey:

  1. Positioning the Turkey: Place the turkey on the grill grates over the drip pan in the cooler zone. Make sure the turkey is centered and not touching the sides of the grill or any burners.
  2. Temperature Control: Adjust the burners to maintain a consistent temperature inside the grill. The ideal temperature for grilling a turkey is around 325°F (163°C). Use a reliable meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the turkey throughout the cooking process.
  3. Basting the Turkey: Basting the turkey with a flavorful liquid helps keep it moist and adds extra layers of flavor. Prepare a basting liquid of your choice, such as a mixture of melted butter, herbs, and spices. Baste the turkey every 30 minutes using a brush or baster.
  4. Cooking Time: The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the turkey. As a general guideline, calculate approximately 15-20 minutes of cooking time per pound of turkey. However, always refer to the internal temperature for doneness. The turkey is safe to consume when the thickest part of the thigh registers an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
  5. Resting the Turkey: Once the turkey reaches the desired internal temperature, carefully remove it from the grill and place it on a cutting board. Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes. Resting allows the juices to redistribute and results in a tender and juicy turkey.

Carving and Serving

After the turkey has rested, it’s time to carve and serve. Follow these steps to ensure a beautiful presentation:

  1. Carving the Turkey: Begin by removing the legs and wings from the turkey. Then, make a horizontal cut near the thigh joint to separate the drumstick from the thigh. Slice the breast meat against the grain into thin, even slices.
  2. Serving Suggestions: Arrange the sliced turkey on a platter and garnish with fresh herbs for an appealing presentation. Serve with your favorite sides such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or cranberry sauce.
  3. Storage and Leftovers: If there are any leftovers, store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking. Leftover turkey can be used for sandwiches, salads, soups, or other creative dishes.

With this comprehensive guide, you’re well-equipped to cook a delicious turkey on your gas grill. Whether it’s for a holiday feast or a casual backyard gathering, grilling a turkey will undoubtedly elevate your cooking game and impress your guests. Enjoy the process, and savor the flavorful results of your grilled masterpiece!

How to cook a Turkey on a Gas Grill

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to cook a turkey on a gas grill?

The cooking time for a turkey on a gas grill can vary depending on the size of the turkey and the temperature of the grill. As a general rule, it takes about 15-20 minutes per pound to cook a turkey on a gas grill. Therefore, a 12-pound turkey would take approximately 3-4 hours to cook.

Should I brine the turkey before grilling it on a gas grill?

Brining the turkey before grilling can help to add flavor and ensure that the meat stays moist during cooking. To brine a turkey, you can use a mixture of water, salt, sugar, and any additional spices or herbs of your choice. Place the turkey in the brine solution for at least 12 hours before grilling.

What temperature should I set my gas grill to when cooking a turkey?

It is recommended to preheat your gas grill to a temperature of around 325-350°F (163-177°C) when cooking a turkey. This temperature allows for even cooking and helps to prevent the turkey from drying out. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165°F (74°C) before removing it from the grill.

Do I need to use indirect heat when grilling a turkey on a gas grill?

Yes, using indirect heat is essential when grilling a turkey on a gas grill. This means that you should only have burners lit on one side of the grill while placing the turkey on the other side. This setup allows for indirect cooking, preventing the turkey from getting too much direct heat and reducing the risk of burning.

Should I use wood chips or smoke the turkey on a gas grill?

Using wood chips or smoke can add a delicious smoky flavor to your grilled turkey. Soak the wood chips in water for about 30 minutes before placing them in a smoker box or directly on the grill. Place the turkey on the grill, close the lid, and allow the smoke to infuse the meat as it cooks.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, cooking a turkey on a gas grill is a convenient and flavorful way to prepare this holiday classic. Start by preheating the grill and preparing the turkey with a flavorful marinade or rub. Place the turkey on the grill, ensuring it is securely positioned. Cook the turkey using indirect heat, monitoring the internal temperature regularly. Once the turkey reaches the desired doneness, remove it from the grill and let it rest before carving. With these simple steps, you can confidently cook a turkey in a gas grill, impressing your guests with a delicious and juicy centerpiece.

Albert T. Sikes

Albert T. Sikes

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