How to Grill a Turkey

Did You Know You Can Grill a Turkey?

Looking for an excuse to spend a couple hours outside on your beautiful deck utilizing your amazing Burton Pools outdoor kitchen? Well then, grilling the Thanksgiving turkey this year might be exactly what you need.

It really is a pretty simple process and just takes a little preparation and patience to do right. If you want to use wood chips, you’ll need to soak them for a couple of hours beforehand to get that great smokey flavor you can only get from grilling.


To prepare the turkey, you’ll go through basically the same steps as if you were going to cook it in the oven. However, you’ll want to let it sit out for about an hour to get close to room temperature before placing it on the grill.

  • Remove the leg truss
  • Remove the giblet bag from inside
  • Remove the neck from inside the turkey
  • Rinse the turkey and pat
  • Add seasonings of your choice (an herb butter will promote browning)

Note: Keep the legs untied to allow hot air to circulate inside the bird.

You’ll want to prepare the grill with a drip pan on the burners underneath where the turkey will go. Then turn all the burners to high and heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until the grill reaches 350 degrees.


The turkey needs to be cooked with indirect heat. So after preheating, turn off only the burners that will be directly underneath the turkey. Then place the turkey on the grill over the drip pan.

It will take about two to three hours to get a 12 to 16 lb. turkey done and at the right temperature of 165 degrees. Right at the beginning of cooking you can place an electronic thermometer in the thickest part of the bird or use an instant read thermometer to track process.

When the turkey is done, let it rest for about 20 to 30 minutes before carving into that big, beautiful, delicious bird.

And of course, now you have a drip pan full of delicious drippings to use for gravy.

So why not try grilling the turkey this year? It frees up the oven for other favorite dishes and gives you an excuse to spend an unseasonably warm Thanksgiving Day in the backyard with your great grill or outdoor kitchen from Burton Pools. Just give yourself about 4 to 5 hours to get the whole process done and you should be ready to present your grilled turkey to a grateful crowd.

About Burton Pools & Spa

For 37 years, Burton Pools & Spas has been the premier provider of swimming pools, hot tubs, and outdoor recreation equipment in Western Arkansas, Eastern Oklahoma, Southwest Missouri and just about everywhere in between. Burton Pools creates beautiful backyard environment that brings friends and families together for outdoor fun and memories that will last a lifetime.

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