Roast Turkey on the Grill

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Last year at this time, we did Boneless, Stuffed Turkey on the Rotisserie to save some room in the oven and it was a big success.  A lot of you wrote to me saying that you loved the recipe but didn’t have a rotisserie so this year we did it on the grill in a roasting pan and I’ve got to tell you – it was great, too!  I love the fact that we save so much room in the oven for other dishes and there is no clock watching and juggling of the other dishes.

Roast Turkey on the Grill | simply fresh dinners

Most importantly – you’re going to cook this on indirect heat.  This is basically allowing you to slow roast your turkey. If you have a two burner grill, turn one on and place your roasting pan over the one that is off.  If you have a larger three burner (like this one), place the pan on the far burner and turn it off and leave on the other two.  This allows the heat to move around while the lid is closed and will not burn the bottom of your roasting pan.  Detailed temperatures are in the recipe below.

We put carrots, celery and onions in the pan before placing the turkey on a rack above.  I saw this on The NY Melrose Family’s blog and it made for some truly delicious gravy.  You’ll want to be sure to use your baster to keep the bird moist – about every 40 minutes or so.  Do this quickly though, because you don’t want all the heat escaping from your grill.  A consistent temperature is important for even cooking.  You can see below how the steam is rising as the liquid hits the turkey.

Roast Turkey on the Grill | simply fresh dinners

I didn’t get nearly enough pictures because that day there were just too many cooks in the kitchen!  No one has the patience to let me snap away while they’re wanting to get going on the carving.  Can you imagine the uproar if I tried to set up my tripod?!

Roast Turkey on the Grill | simply fresh dinners

For the first time, we did the dressing separately rather than stuff the bird.  Click here to see the recipe.  After many different tries, I think I’ve got this down to a science and I’ll be sticking with this recipe for years to come.

Be sure to let your turkey rest a good amount of time – 45 minutes minimum but the longer the better.  We let it rest for an hour and it was SO tender.

Roast Turkey on the Grill | simply fresh dinners


I chuckle every time I look at this final picture because it reminds me of a football! But I suppose that’s appropriate given that the game has become synonymous with Thanksgiving.

I picked up this turkey from Nicholyn Farms and below you’ll find some suggestions for delicious sides made with produce from Nicholyn and Barrie Hill Farms.

If you find that your oven is too busy during the holidays, I hope you’ll give this a try.  Cheers!

I am linking up with these fun bloggers this week.

Roast Turkey on the Grill
Author: Robyn
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • One 13- to 15-pound turkey
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 onions, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 8 celery sticks, cut into halves
  • 6 carrots, peeled
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper.
  1. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold water and pat it thoroughly dry with paper towels. Season the cavity with 1/2 tablespoon of the salt, then season the outside with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt. Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting.
  2. Place vegetables in bottom of roasting pan, pour chicken broth over them to coat, salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat the grill to 425°. Rub the turkey all over with the olive oil, season with salt and the pepper and transfer to rack fitted into the large roasting pan. Roast for about 1 hour, until lightly golden. Reduce the temperature to 375° and roast for 2 to 2 1/4 hours longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in an inner thigh registers 165°; cover the breast with foil if it browns too quickly. Transfer the turkey to a carving board and let rest for at least 45 minutes before carving and serving.

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  • Reply
    November 16, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Hmmm maybe I could get the hubby to do the turkey if it were done on a BBQ?! Checking out your dressing link now! Thanks for all the great Holiday help 🙂
    Mindy recently posted…Three Word Wednesday: I get toMy Profile

    • Reply
      November 16, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      Think of all the work you could save yourself if you could pass on that job to hubby, Mindy! lol. We all know how they love to man the grill! Thanks for visiting. Hope you’re having a great weekend.
      Robyn recently posted…Roast Turkey on the GrillMy Profile

  • Reply
    Debbie Harris
    November 16, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Well if this isn’t a great idea!
    I’m not real good with the barbeque though. I will have to give this some thought???
    Your turkey made my mouth water.
    Enjoy your week coming up.

    • Reply
      November 16, 2014 at 10:00 pm

      This one is easy, Debbie. I know what you mean about the barbeque. Why are so many of us women afraid of it? lol. So glad you enjoyed the post. Hoping you had a restful weekend, friend!
      Robyn recently posted…Roast Turkey on the GrillMy Profile

  • Reply
    Bam's Kitchen
    November 17, 2014 at 3:35 am

    Perfectly roasted grilled Turkey with lovely browned crispy skin and a tender interior. Oh my goodness, never,ever try to take the tripod out with a huge group of hungry and inpatient family in friends waiting with their forks in one hand and knives in the other. That might not go over too well. Happy belated Canadian Thanksgiving to you! Just shared! Take Care, BAM
    Bam’s Kitchen recently posted…Satay Kabocha CurryMy Profile

    • Reply
      November 17, 2014 at 8:26 am

      LOL, Bobbi, I have a feeling you’ve tried to do that with your teenager around – now THAT would be dangerous!
      We had a great Thanksgiving :). And we love celebrating the American Thanksgiving with our cousins in Michigan. They always roll out the red carpet for us!
      Hope your Monday was fabulous!
      Robyn recently posted…Roast Turkey on the GrillMy Profile

  • Reply
    Anita Rivera
    November 17, 2014 at 6:36 am

    HAPPY MONDAY my friend! I was away from the computer yesterday and did not see this until now! First of all, I need to find a turkey since our day is next week, but we used to buy this wonderful boneless and skinless turkey breast that is no longer available. That was the easiest for us since it’s just the two of us. How delicious this looks!!!!! I can’t believe it’s Thanksgiving already!

    Hugs to you from a very cold Minnesota!! Anita

    • Reply
      November 17, 2014 at 8:23 am

      Good morning, Anita,

      If you can find a good butcher shop and order your turkey from them, they will do that for you. I love it without the bones, too. I haven’t had it without the skin though.
      I think we’re in for a long, cold winter, my friend!! Enjoy your week )
      Robyn recently posted…Roast Turkey on the GrillMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 17, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Wow! what a beautiful looking bird, we have tried just about every method to cook our turkeys but have never grilled, will have to try this!
    cheri recently posted…Stuffed and Baked Pumpkin with Sausage and Sage RisottoMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 17, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Oh, this sounds amazing! I have never cooked a turkey…ever!! You are going to laugh at me, but I find the whole idea daunting… I don’t know why 🙂 Anway, maybe I will buy a turkey and make – I mean ask – my husband to BBQ it 🙂 And I bet this would work for a whole chicken, don’t you think?

    Thanks for sharing, my friend. Hugs to you!
    Stephanie recently posted…A Little Christmas Giveaway – 4 Days Only!My Profile

  • Reply
    November 18, 2014 at 9:23 am

    That is one gorgeous turkey. Lovely. I’ve learned not to blog on food I prepare for company, or for my husband. ever.
    mimi recently posted…Festive Pork LoinMy Profile

  • Reply
    Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods
    November 18, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    I tried to photograph our turkey last year and it was just not happening. Once it is done it is like a mad dash to get it to the table. Everyone has been waiting all day for this dinner, you’d thnk they could wait a few minutes for pictures 😀
    This looks absolutely delicious! I hadn’t thought to make one on the grill, but it is such a smart way to save that oven space.
    Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods recently posted…10 Healthy Smoothie RecipesMy Profile

    • Reply
      November 21, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      LOL, I don’t think I’ll try it again, Cindy! I’m going to have to cook the turkey in the middle of summer when no one is interested 🙂
      I am just LOVING your smoothie recipes!
      Robyn recently posted…Healthy Cabbage SaladMy Profile

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats
    November 19, 2014 at 12:15 am

    I NEED to convince my dad to GRILL THE TURKEY!!!! YESSS 😀
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Cozy Up With A Bowl of Johnny DeppMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 19, 2014 at 10:58 am

    This looks wonderful Robyn. I love turkey and having it grilled would be such great flavor.
    Unfortunately my hubby hasn’t learned how to grill. I will be roasting our turkey.
    My sons are coming up for Thanksgiving, so I shall be prepping soon. Lot of goodies to bake for them
    I had a lovely visit with all. The little ones are so adorable. Lilly said to me, “I missed you Nana.”
    I hope life is slowing down for you. Lots of hugs and xoxo
    Linda recently posted…Healing Thoughts for My SonMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 23, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    I love the looks of that turkey (okay maybe it does look like a football but it is the right theme). For years now, I’ve had the luxury of not having to host Thanksgiving but in the past few weeks, my daughter has hosted 2 Friendsgivings and I’ve been on the phone with her, talking her through the process. Step #1 of course reminding her to remove the bag of giblets. I wish I had seen this earlier to suggest it to her. Our old grill had a rotisserie and boy do I miss it! I used to put a pork roast on and it was always great.

  • Reply
    November 23, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Oh my! This looks so good. Pinned and tweeted. Lou Lou Girls
    Kimberly recently posted…Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodle CookiesMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 26, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Hi Robyn,
    Yum! Sounds and looks wonderful. I have never roasted a turkey on the grill because we usually put our grill away in September until spring. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted. Have a healthy happy Thanksgiving!
    Marla recently posted…“Eco-Friendly, Organic, Herbal Remedies Gifts From The Garden!”My Profile

  • Reply
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life
    December 2, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Turkey on the grill sounds fabulous! My husband and I want to try smoking one too…we’re going to try out a chicken first and see how it goes. Love this recipe! Thanks for sharing it at Foodie Fridays…hope to see you again this Thursday night. It was nice to have the week off for Thanksgiving, but we’re ready to go again for this week!
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…Holiday Breakfast: Spinach, Roasted Pepper and Havarti QuicheMy Profile

  • Reply
    December 4, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Hi Robyn,
    Just a note to let you know that I have chosen your post as one of features for this weeks Real Food Fridays blog hop that goes live tonight @ 7pm EST. Thanks so much for sharing. Looking forward to all your future posts

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    November 2, 2015 at 8:30 am

    No! Really? On the grill! YOU ROCK! Oven space IS a major challenge for holidays!! You’re the best Robyn!! N x
    Nagi@RecipeTinEats recently posted…Nando’s Portuguese Chicken Burgers (& Super Food Ideas Magazine!)My Profile

    • Reply
      November 3, 2015 at 8:30 am

      I do it on the grill and also have used the rotisserie for a boneless turkey, Nagi. I love freeing up the oven! Thanks for your visit. Now I’ve got to check out you latest post on Nando’s Burgers. I make their piri piri chicken and love it!

  • Reply
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