This is a first for us. I called this the summer of grilling and we are going all in. In cleaning out our freezer this month we still had a turkey that we bought on sale at Thanksgiving (really cheap – we buy 3 or 4 to use during the year). So, we decided to try and grill a whole turkey.
I have to say at first we thought we were insane. We would either end up with a raw turkey or a dry blob. I was so wrong! We will NEVER go back to roasting a turkey in the oven after this. The turkey was gorgeous!
Verdict: When your kids are telling you this is the only way to cook a turkey from now on you have a hit. The skin was crispy and dunking the meat in the juices was delicious! It took 2 1/2 hours to cook about a 16 lb. whole turkey. We did not cover it but did set an alarm to baste it every 30 minutes.
We have a double oven stove and the biggest part, where we cook the turkey is on the bottom. There is quite a bit of bending down to pull the racks out, baste the turkey, and then pick it up when it was done? Always a disaster. The grill was so simple. It was at the perfect height for basting you open the grill for just a minute or less to baste and close it right back up to stay hot – sustain the temperature between 425 and 450 as much as possible. When it is done slide a baking pan under the roasting pan to carry it in the house or to the picnic table. Let it rest for 15 minutes or so before carving. It was amazing!
Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
Before grilling, make sure your propane tank is full so it won’t run out while your turkey is cooking. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, about 425-450 degrees. I preheat all burners.
Place the turkey, breast side up, in two disposable foil roasting pans stacked one on top of the other. This gives the pan stability when moving and cooking.
Dry the turkey with paper towels inside and out before beginning. Fill the cavity with 1/2 onion, 1/2 lemon and tie the legs loosely together.
Rub the turkey all over with the softened butter. Sprinkle it well with the salt and the pepper.
Pour 1 to 2 cups chicken stock in the bottom of the roasted pan. Add the other lemon wedges and onions.
Place the roasting pan on the grill and turn the center burner to medium-low. Close the grill. Ideally, you want the temperature to be about 425 to 450 degrees during cook time, so adjust according to your grill.
Grill the turkey for 2.5 to 3 hours, checking the bird every 30 minutes or so. You want to be sure you don’t run out of propane and that the grill is holding it’s temperature. You can baste it with the juices in the bottom of the pan, but only keep the grill open for a minute or so at a time. If pan seems dry add extra stock to the pan.
After 2.5 hours, check the turkey – you want to cook it until the the temperature reaches 165 degrees. Use a reliable meat thermometer so make sure you don’t overcook the turkey.
Once the turkey is finished, let it rest for 30 to 60 minutes before slicing.