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Effortlessly Grill A Turkey: Mastering The Gas Grill Method

Looking to cook turkey on your gas grill? Look no further! We’ve got the solution for you. Cooking a turkey on a gas grill might sound like a daunting task,

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Looking to cook turkey on your gas grill? Look no further! We’ve got the solution for you. Cooking a turkey on a gas grill might sound like a daunting task, but with the right techniques, you can achieve a delicious and juicy bird that will impress your family and friends. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps on how to cook turkey on a gas grill, ensuring a flavorful result every time. So, let’s dive in and explore the process of preparing and grilling a turkey to perfection!

Effortlessly Grill a Turkey: Mastering the Gas Grill Method

How to Cook Turkey on a Gas Grill

Cooking turkey on a gas grill is a fantastic way to infuse your bird with a smoky, charred flavor while keeping it moist and tender. Whether you’re hosting a summer barbecue or celebrating Thanksgiving, grilling a turkey can add a unique twist to your culinary repertoire. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps to perfectly cook a turkey on a gas grill, from preparation to serving. So, let’s fire up the grill and get ready to create a mouthwatering turkey feast!


Before diving into the grilling process, there are a few essential steps in preparing your turkey for the grill. Let’s discuss each one in detail:

1. Selecting the Right Turkey

When it comes to grilling a turkey, it’s crucial to choose the right bird. Opt for a fresh or thawed turkey that is 12-14 pounds in size. Any larger, and you risk uneven cooking or the possibility of the bird drying out.

2. Thawing the Turkey

If you have a frozen turkey, make sure to thaw it completely before grilling. Thawing your turkey in the refrigerator is the safest method. Allow approximately 24 hours of thawing time for every four to five pounds of turkey. Be sure to remove all the giblets and neck from the cavity once the bird is fully thawed.

3. Brining the Turkey

Brining your turkey is optional but highly recommended. Brining enhances the flavor and tenderness of the meat, ensuring a juicy and flavorful outcome. To brine your turkey, mix a brine solution of water, salt, sugar, and any desired herbs or spices. Place the turkey in a large container or brining bag and submerge it completely in the brine. Allow the turkey to brine in the refrigerator for at least 12 to 24 hours.

4. Seasoning the Turkey

Seasoning the turkey is a crucial step in adding flavor to your grilled masterpiece. You can keep it simple with salt, pepper, and herbs, or experiment with various spice rubs and marinades. Ensure that you season both the outside and inside of the turkey for maximum flavor.

Grilling Process

Now that your turkey is prepped and ready, it’s time to fire up the gas grill and begin the cooking process. Follow these steps to achieve perfectly grilled turkey:

1. Preparing the Gas Grill

Before placing the turkey on the grill, you need to prepare it properly. Clean the grill grates and remove any leftover debris from previous cookouts. Preheat the grill to medium heat, around 350°F (175°C), with all burners on.

2. Setting Up the Indirect Heat Zone

To ensure even cooking, it’s best to create an indirect heat zone on your gas grill. This means only having burner(s) on one side of the grill while leaving the other side off. This setup allows for indirect heat, mimicking the oven-like cooking environment that helps the turkey cook evenly.

3. Placing the Turkey on the Grill

Carefully place the seasoned turkey, breast-side up, on the grill grates over the indirect heat zone. Close the lid and allow the turkey to cook undisturbed for the first couple of hours. This slow cooking method will help the bird retain its moisture while absorbing the smoky flavors from the grill.

4. Monitoring the Temperature

Using a reliable meat thermometer is essential for cooking a turkey to perfection. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey’s thigh, making sure it avoids bone. The turkey is ready to be removed from the grill when the thermometer reads 165°F (74°C). This generally takes around 13-15 minutes per pound, but cooking times may vary.

5. Basting the Turkey

Throughout the cooking process, you can baste the turkey to add extra flavor and moisture. Prepare a basting mixture using your choice of liquids like melted butter, oil, or broth, combined with herbs and spices. Gently brush the mixture on the turkey’s skin every 30-45 minutes.

6. Letting the Turkey Rest

Once the turkey reaches the desired internal temperature, carefully transfer it to a carving board or platter. Cover the turkey loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least 20-30 minutes. This resting time allows the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the meat, resulting in a tender and juicy bird.


The moment has arrived to carve and serve your perfectly grilled turkey. Follow these final steps for an impressive presentation:

1. Carving the Turkey

Using a sharp carving knife and a sturdy fork, begin carving the turkey. Start by removing the legs and wings, followed by slicing the breast meat. Slice against the grain to ensure tender pieces. Remember to save the bones and carcass for making a delicious homemade turkey stock or soup.

2. Garnishing and Plating

Arrange the carved turkey on a serving platter and garnish with fresh herbs, citrus slices, or other decorative elements. This will add a pop of color and make your dish even more appetizing. Serve the turkey alongside your favorite side dishes like mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and vegetables.

3. Enjoying the Feast

Gather your family and friends around the table, and savor the delicious flavors and aromas of your perfectly grilled turkey. With every bite, revel in the satisfaction of your grilling skills and the joy of sharing a memorable meal together.

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of how to cook a turkey on a gas grill, you can confidently take on this culinary adventure. Enjoy the process, experiment with flavors, and create lasting memories with every juicy and flavorful bite. Happy grilling!

How to cook a Turkey on a Gas Grill

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to cook a turkey on a gas grill?

The best way to cook a turkey on a gas grill is to use the indirect grilling method. Preheat your gas grill to medium-high heat on one side. Place a drip pan filled with water or flavored liquid on the other side of the grill. This will create a two-zone cooking area, allowing the turkey to cook slowly and evenly.

How do I prepare the turkey before grilling?

Before grilling, make sure to properly prepare the turkey. Start by removing the giblets and neck from the cavity. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Season the turkey with your preferred rub or marinade for added flavor.

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

The cooking time for a turkey on a gas grill will vary depending on its size and the grill temperature. As a general guideline, you can estimate around 15 minutes of cooking time per pound of turkey. Use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh to ensure the turkey is fully cooked, with an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Should I use a rotisserie attachment for grilling a turkey?

Using a rotisserie attachment for grilling a turkey is a great option. It helps to cook the turkey evenly while allowing it to self-baste. If your gas grill has a rotisserie feature, make sure the turkey is securely fastened to the spit rod and balanced before starting the grill.

How often should I baste the turkey while grilling?

Basting the turkey every 30 minutes while grilling can help keep it moist and add flavor. However, it’s important to minimize the number of times you open the grill lid to prevent heat loss. Use a basting brush or spray bottle to apply the basting liquid quickly without disturbing the cooking process.

Can I use wood chips for a smoky flavor when grilling a turkey?

Absolutely! Soak wood chips in water for about 30 minutes, then drain them before adding them to a smoker box or a foil packet with perforated holes. Place the wood chips over the lit burners on your gas grill, close the lid, and allow the chips to start producing smoke before adding the turkey. The smoky flavor will infuse into the meat as it cooks.

Final Thoughts

To cook a turkey on a gas grill, start by preparing the grill for indirect cooking by preheating it to medium-high heat. Season the turkey with your choice of spices and herbs, then place it on a roasting rack in a disposable aluminum pan. Put the pan on the grill grates away from the heat source, close the lid, and let it cook for a few hours until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Baste the turkey occasionally to keep it moist, and be sure to let it rest before carving. With these simple steps, you can successfully cook a flavorful turkey on your gas grill.

Albert T. Sikes

Albert T. Sikes

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