Recipe: Greatest Grilled Turkey Recipe

Dinner Recipes, Poultry Recipes


Grilled turkey is going to change your hosting game forever! This Thanksgiving, you must try my easy grilled turkey recipe. By cooking the bird on the grill, you free up your oven for all your sidedishes PLUSE the smoky, charred flavor of a grilled turkey is going to add that extra special something to your family dinner. After you learn how foolproof this grilled whole turkey technique is, I promise you’ll never go back to cooking turkey dinner in the oven again. 

Tips For A Perfect Grilled Whole Turkey

1. The biggest secret to the perfect grilled turkey is this: bubbly water. Yes, TRUST ME. Adding the bubbly water may seem funny, but years ago, I learned that the bubbly ALWAYS keeps the gilled turkey moist! You use any brand of bubbly water, make it yourself in a SodaStream or even use lemon-lime soda. What matters here is the carbonation!

2. Check on your bird every 35 minutes or so. Make sure that your temperature is holding, and if you run low on bubbly water, just refill.

3. Always use a meat thermometer to check your finished turkey temp.  Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the turkey until the white meat is 165 degrees and the dark meat is 175 degrees.

4. If the skin starts getting too crisp toward the end, just cover with foil until the finished temperature is reached.

5. Always use a disposable foil pan for cooking on the grill. This makes cleanup a snap, and you won’t damage your nice roasting pan.

6. Transfer your gilled turkey to a platter and let it rest for 30 minutes. Remember, the internal temperature will rise a few degrees during this time.

How To Grill A Turkey On A Gas Grill

I have used both charcoal and gas grills, and both work well. But for the last ten years – I’ve used just gas. The gas grill gives you a lot of control, and being able to set your temperature and walk away is what I love most about it. 

Set your gas grill to 500 degrees and cook your turkey for 9-11 minutes per pound. Remember, your grilled turkey will cook faster than when you cook it in the oven.

How To Grill A Turkey On A Charcoal Grill

There is something a little extra special when you grill a turkey on a charcoal grill. Maybe it’s the extra smoky flavor; perhaps it’s just the extra love required to cook on charcoal. If you choose this route, I’ll warn you that this method is more labor-intensive, which is the only reason why I don’t love it for Thanksgiving. The charcoal indeed requires your attention, so I recommend assigning someone with the job or saving the charcoal grilled turkey for an extra fun weeknight meal.

That being said, indirect heat is essential, so make two beds of charcoal on opposite sides of the charcoal grate and space open in the middle. Place your pan in the space in between the charcoal.

Every hour add five briquettes to each stack of charcoal to maintain your temperature.

What Seasoning To Use On a Grilled Turkey

Use aromatics when seasoning. I chose onions, lemons, and herbs. You cut these up and place them both in the cavity of the bird, on top of the bird, and in the pan.

Salt and pepper your turkey to taste.

To keep this a healthy grilled turkey recipe, I substitute butter for olive oil. You honestly won’t miss the butter because this grilled turkey is so full of flavor.

My favorite herbs to use are sage, rosemary, and thyme, but you can use whatever you have on hand.

What To Serve With Your Grilled Turkey

Check out all our best healthy thanksgiving side dishes to create a tasty and nutritious meal.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

This healthy swap for Brussels Sprouts is a fresh dairy-free option that everyone at the Thanksgiving Day table can enjoy. These roasted Brussels sprouts are light, clean, and have a nice nutty flavor.

Mashed Cauliflower 

What makes mashed potatoes tasty is the butter and cream that you whip them with! This mashed cauliflower recipe is light, creamy, and delicious without adding all the extra calories. This will be a fresh, gourmet, low-carb approach that will surprise even your biggest skeptic.


Portion control is easy with these little babies. They are made with a yummy traditional stuffing recipe but in adorable portion-sized rolls.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are naturally delicious, rich in beta-carotene, and loaded with vitamins, but typical sweet potato casserole with marshmallow topping is made with canned sweet potatoes in heavy syrup. Try this healthy swap!

Cranberry Sauce

Trust me, making real cranberry sauce is a snap! My son loves molded cranberry jelly, so I wasn’t sure how well my homemade version would go over, but he loved it! This recipe uses less sugar, and the touch of nutmeg makes a huge difference! Cranberries are packed full of antioxidants, so it’s a great choice to go with any holiday meal.

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Dip

This has all the flavor of pumpkin cheesecake, but is more fun to eat and much healthier!  Not to mention, this dip can be made vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free, depending on your preference.

This recipe for grilled turkey is foolproof, easy, and healthy! Cheers! Enjoy! 

Total Time: 175 minutes

Yield: 8 serving(s)


  • A disposable aluminum giant roasting pan
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can of sparkling water
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Aluminum foil
  • Turkey (size dependent on how many you're feeding)
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 2 fresh lemons
  • Fresh Herbs (Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme)


  1. Prepare the turkey (I buy organic free range) by thawing and removing any additional parts such as neck and giblets. Wash well and pat dry.
  2. Place in a disposable giant oval aluminum roaster, breast side up. Pour in a can of bubbly sparkling water.
  3. Rub herbs, salt, peper and oil all over the skin of the bird.
  4. Place cut onion and sliced lemon in bird cavity and on top of the turkey.
  5. Grill on high at 500 degrees around 9-11 minutes a pound. It cooks faster than when you cook it in the oven so keep an eye on it. (Cover with tin foil if it starts to get too brown.)
  6. Using a meat thermometer place in the thickest part of turkey until the white meat is 165 degrees and dark meat is 175 degrees.
  7. Let the turkey rest at least 30 minutes before carving.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Serving Size: 3 ounces white meat without skin

Calories: 158

Protein: 25 gram(s)

Fat: 3 gram(s)

Cholesterol: 60 milligram(s)

Saturated Fat: 1 gram(s)

*Cooking time estimated 11 minutes per pound for a 15 pound turkey.

From the kitchen of:

Rate this Recipe

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (69 votes, average: 3.77 out of 5)


on November 22, 2020 at 4:21 PM Reply

Looks great!

on December 9, 2019 at 5:26 AM Reply

I tried this on the weekend using the lemon lime soda (Sprite) it was delicious.

on November 24, 2019 at 4:32 PM Reply

I have a question: I’m thinking about using this recipe and cooking our turkey on our gass grill for thanksgiving dinner this year. Do you really cook the turkey uncovered the whole time? I’m concerned because we may be getting rain 😳 It seems so simple and easy:) Thanks! Stephanie

    on April 16, 2020 at 2:18 PM Reply

    It IS so simple and easy. I love this recipe! Yes, you can put the lid of the grill down :)

on November 4, 2019 at 12:48 PM Reply

is this done on a gas grill or a charcoal grill? Also do you grill directly on the grill or in a pan - lid covered or not?

    on April 16, 2020 at 2:18 PM Reply

    I have used both charcoal and gas grills and both work well. But for the last 10 years – I’ve used just gas. If you read the directions for this recipe, you'll see that I use a disposable giant oval aluminum roaster. And yes, you can put the lid down!

on November 6, 2016 at 10:46 AM Reply


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