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Thread: Grilling a Thanksgiving Turkey on gas grill?

  1. #1

    Grilling a Thanksgiving Turkey on gas grill?

    Has anyone here ever grilled a whole turkey on a gas grill. I'm toying with the idea for this year but wanted some reassurance. I am planning to brine the bird first, so it shouldn't be too dry. We usually have a 16-18 lb turkey, if that matters. Our grill has three separate heating elements, so I should have no problem getting indirect heat.

    I found this recipe for Apple-grilled Turkey with Cider Gravy that seemed like it might be good.
    "This better be important! Is the frickin' meadow on fire?" -- Charlie the Unicorn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    I've had really good results with turkey on the grill since I got a "Turkey Cannon" . It's like a metal rack with a tube that goes up the centre of the turkey. My last medium sized turkey was done in an hour and a half at 350. And was nice and juicy inside.

  3. #3
    I grill whole turkeys on my charcoal grill laced with hickory chips and just love it. I haven't brined any because I don't have refrigerator room for that process.

  4. #4
    My mom has done one on a weber gas grill for more years then I can remember-she does m-o-m as in medium-off-medium for the burners. She sets it on a roasting rack that is kind of a v shape.

    Sheila in MD

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Minneapolis, MN USA
    I've cooked a turkey on a gas grill a few times. Make sure you set up the grill ahead of time with one of those disposable aluminum pans below the grate to collect the drippings. The drippings won't really be usable, but if you don't collect them it could cause flames.

    Also make sure you have enough gas in the tank. One year I ran out... but luckily the turkey had finished cooking (when I checked the turkey the last time, the grill had already cooled down!).

    We stuffed our turkey with sauerkraut (it wasn't Thanksgiving). I don't even like sauerkraut, but it brines the turkey from the inside out while it cooks, and it tastes wonderful and juicy. The sauerkraut is discarded.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Oakland County
    I have never grilled a turkey however I saw the following recipe over the weekend and it peaked my interest. It look fairly easy and sounds delicious.

    Apple-Sage Glazed Grilled Whole Turkey with Grilled Apples Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay
    Show: Boy Meets Grill
    Episode: Thanksgiving on the Grill

    1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for brushing on the turkey
    1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
    1 serrano chile, coarsely chopped
    3 cups apple cider vinegar
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped, plus 2 peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    1 whole (20 pound) turkey

    Preheat the grill to medium-high. Heat oil in a medium saucepan on the grates of the grill or on a burner. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the serrano chile and cook for 1 minute. Add the vinegar and sugar and cook until the sugar has melted. Stir in the chopped apples and cook until the apples are soft and the mixture is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Place the apple mixture in a food processor and add the sage. Pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let cool to room temperature.
    Have a large drip pan filled with a little water positioned under where the turkey will be placed on the grill. Brush the entire turkey with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the turkey on all sides until golden brown. Reduce the heat of the grill to medium to maintain a constant temperature of 350 degrees F. Cook turkey until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 170 to 175 degrees F. Begin brushing the entire turkey with the apple glaze during the last 15 minutes of cooking. Remove from the grill and brush with more of the glaze. Let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Grill the sliced apples for 2 to 3 minutes on each side and serve with the turkey.

  7. #7
    I've cooked a turkey on a gas grill a few times. Make sure you set up the grill ahead of time with one of those disposable aluminum pans below the grate to collect the drippings. The drippings won't really be usable, but if you don't collect them it could cause flames.
    I forgot about this until you posted! We too put the pan below the grate but we do get usable drippings although it is rather tedious to do so! We go out ever few minutes and suck them out with a turkey baster! It involves, moving the turkey to one side and picking up half the grate-usually a two person job and one that you may very well not wish to take on! This works on a weber since the grate is in two pieces-I would not try this if your grate is all one piece!

    Sheila in MD

  8. #8
    We have a rotisserie on our gas grill so I was thinking of doing the turkey this way. Has anyone had experience with this? I did a google search but did not come up with much information.
    All That's Left Are The Crumbs

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    I have grilled turkeys using hickory chips for smoke and it has been wonderful. I use a simple method of putting on the rack in a disposable pan, with the wood chips (soaked) wrapped in foil and burning below it. This method cooks a large, unstuffed bird in about 2 hours - much quicker than an oven.

    As for rotisseries: It is easy to over-weight one, and then burn out your motor. I would check the max weight recommended by your manual.

    There's always a reason to bake.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Duluth, MN
    I've also grilled a T-day bird on my weber grill using the m-o-m method with good results. Bonus is that I can use the oven for cooking everything else without having to move the darn bird around.

    One tiny difference - I put the turkey directly in a large disposable aluminum cooking pan, but set it on a small cooling rack to keep it slightly elevated out of the juices. If I want to use the juices then I'm not futzing with moving grates.

    Nobody's mentioned the size of bird they are cooking - mine's between 12 and 15lbs, but never larger than that.
    Blogging it! A healthy serving of books, a dash of food, a splash of knitting, all topped off with the occasional trip. Serving recipe reviews on Mondays, book reviews on Thursdays.

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