Grilling a turkey on a gas grill is pretty simple, and the results are amazing. Once you grill a turkey you might not ever cook one in an oven again!
PREPARING THE TURKEY
- Pick out a great turkey and plan ahead. If you buy a frozen turkey, it will take about one day for every five pounds to safely defrost in your refrigerator. Leave the bird in its original package and place a drip pan under the bird so it doesn’t leak onto something else. Never defrost at room temperature. When trying to figure out how much turkey you should have for your guests, we suggest one pound per person. If you have big eaters, or want some leftovers figure a pound and a half per person.
- Make sure the turkey will fit your grill.
- Brining is a great way to add weight and moisture.
- Add extra flavor to your turkey!
- Truss the turkey
- Cover the top of the turkey with a cheesecloth. You will leave this on for the first 2-3 hours.
PREPARING THE GRILL
- To add some great flavor to your turkey, we recommend using wood chips. 2 handfuls of cherry and 1 handful of hickory wood chips provides excellent results. Soak the wood chips in water before you use them for about 30 minutes. You can put the wood chips in a smoker box or in a built in smoker box if your grill has one.
- Put a drip pan on the Flavorizer bars, and fill it with water. Place the pan right under where the turkey will go. If you plan on using the drippings in a gravy then make sure you are not filling the pan with too much water, as the gravy would be excessively runny.
- Set-up the grill for indirect heat, meaning that the turkey will not be directly over a lit burner.
- Preheat your grill for 10-15 minutes before adding your turkey. Get our temperature and timing guide here.
- If you use a Weber iGrill, you can have consistent temperature readings sent straight to your phone during the grilling process, and also have more time with your guests instead of constantly having to monitor your grill and worrying about when the turkey is going to be done.
Check the temperature of the turkey halfway through the cook with your iGrill or meat thermometer, three quarters of the way, and then when you think it is done to make sure that you are on the right track to hit an internal temperature of 165 F. This will help you monitor the turkey and make sure it is not over cooked!
If it is going to be cold where you live, the turkey will take about 3 extra minutes per pound to cook.
The more you open the lid, the longer it will take to cook, so be patient and keep the lid closed.
Halfway through your estimated cook time you will want to flip the turkey.
WHEN IS IT DONE?
Keep in the mind that the turkey could cook a little quicker than you expect so be sure to have checked it halfway, three quarters of the way and then when you think it is done.
If you are grilling a turkey for the first time and getting nervous, don't be afraid to check the turkey a bit more often, but try and keep that lid closed as much as possible. Every time you open the lid you're adding to the overall cooking time of the turkey.
Check the temperature of the turkey on the innermost part of the thigh and the thickest part of the breast to make sure that it is fully cooked at 165 degrees before removing it from the grill.
This step is important! Let it rest for 20-30% of the total cooking time. You can loosely cover the turkey with a piece of aluminum foil while it is resting or you can just leave it uncovered.