How to Grill a Turkey!
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Are you getting ready for Thanksgiving and wondering how to grill a turkey? It’s real easy to do and it frees up your oven for delicious pies, too! Today I’m sharing an easy turkey recipe that anyone can make and showing you how easy it is to grill a turkey on the BBQ grill!
What are the three essentials to a successful Thanksgiving? Right, turkey, pie and wine! Grab yourself a Butterball Whole Turkey, Marie Callender’s Pies and Marie Callender’s Loaf Cakes, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Red Blend, and a bottle of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Chardonnay. These are the essentials, and after that you can choose your side dishes. From mashed potatoes to green beans — whatever your preference!
Let’s talk turkey! Better yet, let’s talk about how to grill a turkey!
What you’ll need
- Grill – we’re using our gas grill this year.
- Butterball Whole Turkey
- Handful of fresh Thyme, Rosemary and Sage
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Roasting pan
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Preparing your Turkey
Like I said, it’s real easy to do. Grab your Butterball Whole Turkey, if it’s fresh there’s no need to thaw it, if it’s frozen you’ll need to follow the instructions to thaw it. PS: Don’t think you’re going to thaw and cook it on the same day. The best way to thaw your turkey is in the fridge, but that will take several days! Read the package for thawing instructions.
When you’re ready to cook your turkey, fire up the grill on high heat for about 15 minutes.
While the grill is heating, open your Butterball Whole Turkey with the easy open pull tabs, no need for knife or scissors to get into this one! Remove the neck and giblet sack.
Slide your fingers under the breast skin to pull it away from the meat slightly. Place about 1/4 of your thyme, rosemary and sage under the skin in an even layer.
Place the remaining thyme, rosemary and sage into the turkey’s cavity.
Pat the turkey dry with a paper towel and then brush it with extra virgin olive oil.
Place the Butterball Whole Turkey in the roasting pan breast side up, tuck the wings under the bird so the tips of the wings are not sticking straight up.
Tip: Wait! Don’t I need to brine the turkey? Nope! Not a Butterball Whole Turkey, they are already pre-brined to ensure a tender and juicy turkey – making it easier for cooks!
Grilling the Turkey
Now that your grill is preheated, it should be roughly 450-500 degrees F. Turn OFF the burner(s) directly below where you’re placing the turkey. Reduce the remaining burners to medium-low, to achieve and maintain 350 degrees F. You’ll want to maintain this temperature for the duration of the cook.
Tip: You may get some temperature swings due to wind etc.. As long as your grill stays between 325 degrees F. and 400 degrees F. you’ll be fine.
Place turkey on the grill and get cooking!
If you have an oven/grill safe temperature probe (I suggest getting one, they’re awesome!), now is the time to insert the probe. Insert it into the thigh meat, making sure not to touch the bone, OR you can place the probe into the thickest part of the breast meat.
Remember, try not to peek – you want the top of the bird to cook evenly and get a nice crispy skin. There’s also no need for basting or anything like that! The Butterball Whole Turkey is the number one brand in America, with a Turkey Talk-line to answer your questions if you need help, too. You can call 1-800-BUTTERBALL (1-800-288-8372), text or chat live if you need any assistance at all!
Tip: Depending on your grill burner configuration, you may need to rotate the turkey 180 degrees halfway through for even cooking. We have 4 burners, so I placed the turkey in the middle and turned off the two center burners and turned the two outside burners down to medium-low, no need to spin the turkey.
We are grilling a 10 pound Butterball Whole Turkey for our family and the cook time turned out to be about 12 minutes per pound and the turkey was done at 2 hours almost on the dot. When grilling your turkey, just like in the oven, it’ll be done when it reaches cooked temperature, not necessarily a specific time. For a 10 to 16 pound Butterball Whole Turkey, it should take 2 to 3 hours on the grill at 350 degrees F.
Cooked Turkey Internal Temperatures:
- Thigh meat: 180 degrees F.
- Breast meat: 165 degrees F.
The key to grilling a turkey is to not overthink it. When the internal temperatures of the thigh and breast meat read 180 and 165 degrees F. respectively, it’s done.
Since we’re using a pre-brined Butterball Whole Turkey, it’ll come out perfectly tender and juicy regardless of your cooking method. PS: While you grill your turkey, the oven is available for delicious Marie Callender’s Pies and Marie Callender’s Loaf Cakes!
Still not sure about grilling your turkey? That’s okay, the Butterball Whole Turkey comes with instructions to cook it in the oven, too.
Don’t forget to serve up glasses of everyone’s favorite wine, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Red Blend. The wine offers amazing, toasty aromas and flavors, including jammy blackberry, vanilla, and baking spices. It’s full and rich with a long, flavorful finish. This wine pairs well with holiday favorites like turkey, mashed potatoes, and apple pie.
As much as we all love turkey on turkey day, we know dessert is a must have! After the bird has been destroyed, nothing left but a few bones on the platter, it’s time for dessert! This year we’re going to be serving up the new Marie Callender’s Pound Cake which is made from scratch with no preservatives or artificial colors.
And of course, Katie’s favorite, the Marie Callender’s Dutch Apple Pie. Serve your friends and family a warm, delicious dessert that’s easy to make so you can give thanks for homemade taste.
How will you celebrate Thanksgiving this year?
- Preheat grill on high for 15 minutes
- Place 1/4 handful of the rosemary, thyme and sages under turkey skin
- Place remaining rosemary, thyme and sage into cavity
- Brush entire bird with EVOO
- Place in roasting pan
- Place on grill
- Turn burner(s) off under turkey; reducing heat on remaining burners to achieve and maintain 350 degrees F.
- Cook until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F. in thigh meat and 165 degrees F. in breast meat
- Cook time: 10-16 pound turkey about 2 to 3 hours.