2000s Recipes + Menus

Grilled Whole Turkey

Serves8 to 10
  • Active Time:20 min
  • Start to Finish:3 hr
November 2005
This is best done on a large gas grill fitted with a thermometer—it's more labor-intensive to keep a charcoal grill at a constant high heat. You'll need a disposable roasting pan large enough to fit the turkey on a V-rack.
  • 1 (14- to 16-lb) turkey, neck and giblets (excluding liver) reserved for turkey giblet stock
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt (2 teaspoons if using a kosher bird)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • Special equipment:

    pliers (preferably needlenose); a small metal skewer (optional); kitchen string; a flat metal rack; an instant-read thermometer
  • Remove any feathers and quills with pliers (kosher turkeys tend to require this more than others).
  • Rinse turkey inside and out and pat dry. Mix salt and pepper in a small bowl and sprinkle it evenly in turkey cavities and all over skin. Fold neck skin under body and, if desired, secure with metal skewer, then tuck wing tips under breast and tie drumsticks together with kitchen string.
  • Preheat burners on high, covered, 10 minutes, then turn off 1 burner (middle one if there are 3). Put turkey on oiled rack in roasting pan and add 2 cups water to pan. Set pan over turned-off burner and close lid immediately (temperature drops quickly when lid is lifted). Grill, adjusting burner or burners to maintain 450F and rotating pan 180 degrees halfway through grilling, until thermometer inserted in fleshy part of each thigh registers 170F, 1 3/4 to 2 1/2 hours. Time could be longer in cold weather. Avoid opening lid often because of rapid heat loss.
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