Scrumptious BBQ Turkey Recipe

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Let’s change your turkey game this Thanksgiving season by making this BBQ turkey recipe that is a winner all the way. No matter how many delicious sides you add, a Thanksgiving dinner is incomplete without a good fat turkey. So, get ready to prepare the best BBQ turkey using this recipe.

BBQ Turkey Recipe

BBQ turkey tastes incredible. Firstly, it is moist and loaded with incredible flavors. Secondly, you don’t have to smoke the turkey separately as it comes with a smoky flavor. This BBQ turkey recipe takes 3 hours to cook. 

To make a BBQ turkey recipe, we first begin by bringing the turkey. After which, we prepare a BBQ sauce and bring everything together. Brining the turkey happens a day before BBQ, so your work is divided over two days. But the end result is absolutely delicious.

In the sections below, I will take you through the whole procedure of making BBQ Turkey step-by-step. The process might look elaborate, but it’s not so when you come down to doing it.

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What Equipment Will You Need To Make BBQ Turkey?

  • Stockpot – You will need a stockpot to prepare the turkey brine.
  • Saucepan – You will need a saucepan to prepare the BBQ sauce.
  • Outdoor Grill – Using an outdoor grill, you will cook the turkey.
  • Drip Pan – A drip pan will be required to collect all the juices flowing from the turkey.
  • Instant Thermometer – An instant thermometer will help you check the temperature of the turkey and tell you if the turkey is done.
  • Cutting Board – A cutting board will be used to carve the turkey.

How Much Time Will You Need To Make BBQ Turkey?

Preparation TimeResting TimeCooking TimeTotal Time
3 Hours8 Hours3 Hours8 Hours

What Ingredients Will You Need To Make BBQ Turkey?

For Brine

  • Turkey – To make BBQ turkey, we will need a turkey of 16-18 pounds.
  • Fresh Ginger – To flavor the brine, we will need two inches of sliced fresh ginger.
  • Brown Sugar – To add some sweetness to the brine, we will add ¾ cup brown sugar.
  • Coriander Seeds – We will also add one-fourth cup of coriander seeds.
  • Bay Leaf – Two bay leaves will infuse an almost minty flavor to the brine.
  • Salt – To balance the savory flavors, we will add one and a half cups of salt.
  • Water– six quarts of water will be needed to make the brine.

For BBQ Sauce

  • Granulated Sugar – To add some sweetness to the BBQ sauce we will use three fourth cups of granulated sugar.
  • Ketchup – To add a tangy flavor, we will need one-third cup of ketchup.
  • Honey – To add a fruity and floral flavor to the BBQ sauce, we will add one-fourth cup of honey.
  • Cider Vinegar – For sharp and fruit flavors, we will also add three cups of cider vinegar.
  • Red Pepper – To add some heat to the sauce, we will add two tablespoons of red pepper. 
  • Black Pepper – One and a half teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper will add a punch of peppery notes.
  • Salt – We will need one teaspoon or more of salt as per your taste.

For Turkey

  • Celery – To add herby flavors to turkey, we will need two stalks of celery.
  • Lemon – A quarter of lemon will add citrus flavor to the turkey.
  • Onion – One onion will add a mild onion flavor.
  • Parsley – Three or four sprigs of parsley will add an earthy flavor to the turkey.
  • Salt – Add salt to taste.
  •  Wood Chips – You will also need four cups of wood chips, such as hickory or mesquite, soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained. These will help to smoke the turkey.
BBQ Turkey Recipe

Steps To Make BBQ Turkey

1. Prepare The Brine

In a large stockpot, bring to boil 6 quarts water, salt, coriander, ginger, brown sugar, and bay leaves. Reduce the heat and simmer the brine for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure the salt and sugar are dissolved completely.

Set the brine aside to cool, and add the turkey. Place a heavy object like a lid on top of the turkey to keep it submerged in the liquid. Let the turkey sit in the brine for 8 hours in the refrigerator.

2. Make BBQ sauce

To prepare the BBQ sauce, heat vinegar, and granulated sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Switch off the heat and add ketchup, honey, salt, red pepper, and black pepper. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of prepared sauce to use while serving.

3. Cook Turkey

Prepare an outdoor grill with coal on a medium-high fire. Place a drip pan under the grate on the grill. Stuff the cavity of the turkey with salt and stuff with the celery, lemons, onions, and parsley, and tie the legs. Place the turkey breast side up over the drip pan. 

Add one cup of the soaked wood chips onto the coals. Cover the grill by rotating the lid so that the vent holes face directly over the meat. Rotate the turkey about every 45 minutes to prevent the side closest to the coals from overcooking.

Begin basting the turkey every 20 to 30 minutes after one hour with the remaining 2 1/2 cups of BBQ sauce. Make sure to keep the grill covered between basting. Cook the turkey until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 165 degrees F after 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Transfer the turkey to the cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Nutritional Information

Calories1109 kcal
Fat50 grams
Saturated Fat14 grams
Carbohydrates23 grams
Protein132 grams
Fiber 0.5 gram
Cholesterol503 milligrams
Sodium2009 milligrams

How Will BBQ Turkey Look and Taste Like?

BBQ turkey tastes absolutely delightful. It has crisp skin on the outside and is moist on the inside. The aromatics, like onion, parsley, lemon, and celery, add a wonderful herby flavor to the turkey, whereas the BBQ sauce brings a beautiful smoky flavor to the dish. 

Recipe Card

BBQ Turkey Recipe

BBQ Turkey Recipe

This BBQ turkey recipe is the perfect Thanksgiving item that you can savor this season.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 3 hrs
Cook Time 3 hrs
Resting Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 1109 kcal

Equipment

Stockpot
Saucepan
Outdoor Grill
Drip Pan
Instant Thermometer
Cutting Board
Knife

Ingredients
  

Brine

  • 1 Turkey (16 to 18 pounds)
  • ¼ cup Coriander Seeds
  • 2 inches Ginger, Sliced
  • ¾ cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Bay Leaf
  • cup Kosher salt

BBQ Sauce

  • ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
  • cup Ketchup
  • 3 cup Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 tablespoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Turkey

  • 2 Celery Stalks, Quartered
  • 1 Onion, Quartered
  • 1 Lemon, Quartered
  • 4 Sprigs of Fresh Parsley
  • Kosher Salt (to taste)

Instructions
 

Brine

  • In a large stockpot, bring to boil 6 quarts of water with salt, coriander, ginger, brown sugar, and bay leaves. Reduce the heat and let the brine simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure the salt and sugar are dissolved completely.
  • Set the brine aside to cool, and add the turkey. Place a heavy object like a lid on top of the turkey to keep it submerged in the liquid. Let the turkey sit in the brine for 8 hours in the refrigerator.

BBQ sauce

  • To prepare the BBQ sauce, heat vinegar and granulated sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Switch off the heat and add ketchup, honey, salt, red pepper, and black pepper. Reserve 1 ½ cups of prepared sauce to use it while serving.

Turkey

  • Prepare an outdoor grill with coal on a medium-high fire. Place a drip pan under the grate on the grill.
  • Stuff the cavity of the turkey with salt and stuff with the celery, lemons, onions, and parsley, and tie the legs. Place the turkey breast-side up over the drip pan.
  • Add one cup of the soaked wood chips onto the coals. Cover the grill by rotating the lid so that the vent holes face directly over the meat. Rotate the turkey in about every 45 minutes to prevent the side closest to the coals from overcooking.
  • Begin basting the turkey every 20 to 30 minutes after one hour with the remaining 2 ½ cups of BBQ sauce. Make sure to keep the grill covered between basting.
  • Cook the turkey until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 165 degrees F after 2 ½ to 3 hours.
  • Transfer the turkey to the cutting board and let it rest 15 minutes before carving.

Nutrition

Calories: 1109kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 132g | Fat: 50g | Cholesterol: 503mg | Sodium: 2009mg | Fiber: 0.5g
Keyword BBQ Turkey Recipe, Main Course, Turkey
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you cook a turkey on a BBQ?

Yes, you can use a barbecue to prepare a moist, smokey, and delicious turkey. 

How long should you cook a turkey on a BBQ?

You should cook BBQ turkey for atleast three hours.

What temperature do you BBQ a turkey?

Be it on a grill or oven, the optimal temperature for cooking a turkey should be around 350°F.

How do I keep my turkey moist?

You can keep your turkey moist by bringing and basting it.

What goes best with BBQ turkey?

You can serve mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, baked beans, coleslaw, rosemary roasted potatoes, sweet potato casserole, roasted Brussel sprouts, green beans casserole, or a salad.

Should you turn the turkey upside down?

Turning the turkey in intervals is necessary to cook it evenly and avoid burning a single side.

How often should you baste a turkey?

You should baste your turkey every forty minutes and keep the grill covered.

Should I cook turkey covered or uncovered?

Turkey should be grilled and covered to maintain its temperature.

Should you put water in a turkey roasting pan?

You can add some water to the roasting pan to keep your turkey moist.

How long does it take to BBQ a turkey on a charcoal grill?

It will take you at least 3 hours to cook a turkey on a charcoal grill.

Conclusion

If you haven’t tried a BBQ turkey yet, try it out this Thanksgiving season for the most flavorful turkey dish you’ve ever had. For more such recipes, you can check our website.

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