How to Grill Perfect Holiday Turkey

Are you having trouble with your holiday turkey on the grill, coming out a little dry, little
tough, maybe even undercooked? Well, today, I’m going to show you how to
do it right on the Cooking Everything Outdoors show.
Announcer: Gary House with the outdoor cook Cooking Everything
Outdoors show, I hope you try this at home. Presenter:
In order to make perfect turkey, we need to make perfect gravy to go with it.
Can’t have it without it, right? So what I want to do first is I have preheated
up my Bull Barbecue 4-Burner Stainless Steel Grill.
And I put in a roast pan that I am preheating. And what we are going to do is we are going
to start making short stock. And it’s going to make the most incredible
flavor you’ve ever had. We are going to be using a Bull Barbecue 4-Burner
Stainless Steel Grill to make and grill our turkey in.
The first thing I did is I preheated it. It’s right at about 400–excuse me–about
380 degrees. Almost 400 degrees.
I put a roasting pan inside. I’m preheating that up because I need a
hot surface because I’m going to be caramelizing about almost 2 pounds of chicken pieces.
And this is basically thighs and some legs and turkey neck that I have chopped into pieces.
I also have my mirepoix which is 1 large carrot, 1 stock of celery–sorry–and then 1 large
onion that I have chopped up. I also have 4 tablespoons of olive oil.
What I’m going to be doing is I’m going to be taking this and I’m going to be caramelizing
it or caramelizing it in the grill. That’s the first step to making phenomenal
gravy. So let’s get this short stock going.
4 tablespoons of olive oil. Almost 2 pounds of cut-up chicken pieces.
And our mirepoix. Let’s get this stirred up really quick.
Going to let this roast for several minutes, depending on the temperature of your barbecue,
you’re going to keep an eye on it but we’re browning all of it, tenderizing those vegetables.
We have been caramelizing our chicken and mirepoix for about 20 minutes now.
Almost 400 degrees is roughly where it’s been.
You’ve got to see this, it’s beautiful. So we are already getting a lot of nice brown
bits on the bottom of our roasting pan. And if you did this in the stainless steel
pan you’d get even more. But this is where we want it.
We don’t want it completely cooked. But we want the chicken brown, so they are
starting to release a lot of these flavors. And we needed to glaze this.
And what I have here is a cup of dry white wine.
And that’s just basically going to help us get a lot of those brown pieces on the
bottom of the roasting pan, called sucks. We are going to get those up.
And that’s going to add even more flavor to our gravy.
Okay. So I want to get my pieces off to the side
here as much as possible. I have a roasting rack that I’m going to
be using for my turkey. I’m going to place that right in the center.
Now, I am going to add 4 cups of stock. This is homemade chicken stock that I made.
You can use the canned stuff that if you’d like, but certainly homemade is very easy
and it taste really, really good. And there we go.
That’s going to stop everything from burning now.
I’m going to add a tremendous amount of flavor to this.
So we are going to leave that in there and heat for a little bit longer and we’re going
to work on the turkey now. Simple.
One of the things that we’re going to be doing with our turkey is we are going to be
adding basically flavored butter to the surface of the turkey.
And it’s going to go under the skin and on top of the skin and it’s going to make
it pulp. So what I have here is 2 sticks of softened
butter. I have about 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme.
A teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. And a little bit of salt, maybe 1/2 a teaspoon.
I’m going to save some of this pepper and see how this looks before I put it all in
there. So it’s softened butter.
And this is what we are going to put under our skin.
And I think that’s just about right. This is going to add a lot of extra flavor.
And it’s going to help keep that breast meat moist.
Okay, it’s time to talk about the turkey. I have here a 15 pound–this is actually a
butterball turkey that I brined overnight. And the brining solution was water, at 6 quarts
of water. 1 and 1/2 cups of kosher salt.
About a bunch of thyme that I chopped up. And a whole onion that I sliced up.
That’s just the basic brining solution. So one of the things that I did with my turkey
is I loosened up the skin on top of the breast. The reason for that is we’re going to get
a little messy right now. And I’m going to start putting some of this
butter, basically about a third to a half of this softened butter.
What you got to do it is going to be stuffed under the skin and that is just going to add
all this incredible flavor to the turkey breast, keep it moist and you’re going to have fun
getting messy. Just get it up in there as much as you can
get up in there. It’s not for the squeamish.
But it’s well worth taking the time to do this.
As for presentation value it’s not going to add a lot on the inside.
But I have seen people put leaves and fancy designs and patterns on top of their turkey.
And that looks pretty cool, if you want to go to that length to do that.
So our butter is under the skin. Going to add that flavor and moisture to the
breast of the turkey. And now we need to actually do the rest of
the seasoning. So tuck your wings underneath, your turkey
breast. Let’s get them out of the way.
We’re going to take a little bit of olive oil–or not olive oil, but vegetable oil.
And I’m going to coat the outside of the turkey.
Going to get a little messy again. This is going to help moisturize the skin
and going to add to the browning of the turkey. Make it look really nice.
So once we have done that–that was about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil–we need to
put some aromatics in the turkey. Now, it’s not technically stuffing.
If you want to have stuffing, I highly recommend you do it separately.
But we are going to apply some salt and a pepper to the inside of our turkey and just
sprinkle it around in there. That’s about 1/2 a teaspoon of fresh ground
black pepper and kosher, 1/2 a teaspoon of kosher salt.
So we are going to start stuffing it here. I have a whole onion, quartered.
1 carrot. And on the carrot–actually I peeled it to
get it ready. Now, you can leave the peel on I think because
you’re not going to really be eating what’s in the turkey.
But some people think that the skin of the carrot is a little bitter during the cooking
process. 1/2 a head of whole garlic.
Shove that in there. Have about 6 sprigs of thyme.
And just going to get those in the cavity as well.
And 3 small bay leaves. I’m going to get those in there.
We have our short stock in the bottom of our roasting pan.
I have a roast rack in my roasting pan. My prepared turkey.
Now, you’re probably thinking we’re just going to put this turkey right on the rack
and throw it in there for 4 hours and it’s going to be done.
That’s not the way we’re going to do this. The first thing I’m going to do is I’m
going to put a little bit of aluminum foil in here.
And this is really hot, so be careful. And I am going to puncture couple holes so
that my turkey drippings can get in to the juices.
Now, I’m going to take the turkey, very carefully lift it up.
And I’m going to flip it over. I want it breast side down.
Okay. We’re going to cook it this way for 1 hour.
It’s going to take about 4 hours to cook this turkey.
We got 4 more steps to go, then we get to make the gravy.
So our first hour is up. First hour is where the turkey is upside down.
And what we’re going to do is, very carefully, going to flip it back over because we’re
going to have it for the first hour. Now, this is somewhat of a challenge to do
this. So I’m going to take some towels that I
have. I’m going to get a good grip on the turkey
and carefully flip it over. There’s going to be a lot of fluid under
the skin from the butter and such. So you’re going to make sure you don’t
spill any of that on you. And I don’t think there is any really good
way of doing this, but we just want to get this out and gently flip it over without causing
us physical damage. Okay.
Now, trust me that was the most difficult part of this whole recipe.
So now, what I want to do is I want to put and melt some butter over the top of my turkey
here. This is our flavored butter.
Try to get all of it nicely coated and going to start browning this.
And making it look absolutely beautiful. Like so.
Okay, one more hour, 350 degrees. Hour number 2 is over.
Let’s check it out. Oh, yeah.
Boy, look at that. It’s starting to brown up nicely.
Got a lot of great juices down in there for our stock.
If that, by chance, starts drying out on you, don’t be afraid to add a little bit more
chicken stock or even add some water. You can add some wine to it.
Let’s give this another butter baste. And get all of that flavor and seasoning on
there. Save enough your flavored butter here for
another coating in about an hour. That’s it.
Okay, if it starts getting too dark for you or too brown, then you want to put some foil
over it. And we’re going to let this go another hour,
probably about another 45 minutes. Then I’m going to start doing some temperature
testing to make sure that we’re at the right temp for this thing.
We’re getting close. Okay, we’re about 4 and 1/2 hours into this,
but lost my light. So, big surprise.
So let’s take a look at this. I did foil it up a little ways and do it.
And it just looks absolutely magnificent. I need to get it off the heat or shut this
bad boy down. And we’ll take a look at this.
Okay, completely lost my light. It’s been sitting for about 20 minutes,
it’s really just about ready to give a carb and I know you can’t see for beams here.
So basically the whole concept was brining the turkey and then seasoned it with aromatics
and butter. I cooked it for about 4 and 1/2 hours for
a 15 pound turkey. Waited until the internal temperature was
at least 165 by the thigh meat down there in the drum stick.
And now I have this beautiful roasted turkey that you’re not going to be able to see
and the aromatics have all dripped down into the bottom of this roasting pan.
And that’s what I’m going to use to make gravy which I’ll show you hopefully in the
next video. I don’t know if we can get a shot of this,
but let’s try cutting a piece of this turkey breast off and see how we did here.
Look at that juice. Look at how juicy that is.
I just love that. Just fantastic!
Couple of a little bit of the bone there. Okay.
Oh, my God. That is moist and it’s tender.
Flavorful. It’s really good.
Okay, give this a try. I want to take a second to thank my sponsors,
Camp Chef at, Island Grillstone.
You can find me in the show just about everywhere. I’m on iTunes, on YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest,
Twitter, I always forget all of them, but I’m there.
And also, I want to let everybody know that I’m part of the Tastemade Network on YouTube
now which is very, very exciting. And if you get a chance, subscribe or leave
a comment to this video. I’d really appreciate to hear your thoughts
and comments. Anyway, this is Gary House Cooking Everything
Outdoors. And I’m done for the night.


  1. I have to try cooking a turkey on a grill.

  2. Looks amazing cant wait to try it in two days!

  3. I have GOT to do this … going to get me another turkey to do this with ..

  4. You will loe it! I just pulled another one off the grill – soooo good!


  6. It all there – just ran out of light. If that's what you mean?


  8. A better way to flip or turn the turkey over is to use one or 2 carving forks.
    Not sure why he needed the breast side down for the first hour (he doesn't say why). Looks good other wise, and will be my guide for the 2013 Xmas Turkey here in Australia (where it is hot on 25 Dec, but long, long days… 😉

  9. what temp was the turkey cooked at?

  10. I'm curious why breast side down for an hour? Is that so the bottom gets some brown on it? I love the butter thing. I've been doing that for years and it was my little secret. Thanks for letting the secret out. I usually do mine on a lil tex traeger but I'm gonna try it on a charbroil h20 BBQ/ smoker this year. Any tips? It's not electric it's straight charcoal and wood

  11. Do you still need to brine the bird if it was already enhenced …?

  12. Gary – loved your video – thanks for posting it.

    I have heard adding a bunch of ice to the brine – is that just to keep it cool for safety or does it prevent the meat from getting mushy?

    I am about to try this on my new super duper Broil King. I don't have a proper roasting pan so I was going to use a disposable aluminum pan about the same size, and place it under the grill and on top of the flavourizer bars. I will turn the middle two burners off so not to burn the crap out of the contents of the pan and the outside two will be probably on medium to keep it at 375 – we will see. The pan will catch all the drippings of the turkey. It will be a bit awkward as I won't have immediate access to the pan, and the grills will be hot so it is difficult to lift them – but i think it will be worth it. Your thoughts?

    I will cheat on the stock (store bought) and I won't use more than just the neck for the short stock. But I really love the concept. Maybe a bit of beer or wine – for the pan too.

    Even take the two breast off upon completion and carve across the grain? Martha does it that way and it is really awesome.


  13. Here is a short cut method, instead of Butter on the out side I use a apple smoked thick bacon. And as the bacon cooks the juices baste the bird, To use the butter on the inside the bird, try using a cake decorating tube, fill the soft butter in side and just squeeze  out to where ever you want.  By the way the cooked bacon can be used in topping your salad, And you'll need to replace the bacon a cpl times… 

  14. 2 questions…Are you using indirect heat on the grill?  And second, what are your thoughts on adding a smoker box onto the direct flame?

  15. Those Bull grills are like $$ 4 grand on the The Price Is Right and Lets make A Deal,so they claim,…that's crazy!…Is it true? I cant believe you didn't use your rotisserie instead.

  16. Thanks Gary. Was your brine done for 24 hours?

  17. great video! I'll be grilling my first turkey tomorrow! i wonder how much time one standard propane canister will get me? debating if i should fill up my backup even though it's still half full, my other is full…

  18. Hi : )
    I'm going to do this tomorrow. I've already got my 20lb bird in the brine. I'm thinking because it's bigger, and my cookbook says 6 1/2 hrs for mine,… I'll probably put foil over it for most of the time; minus the first hour on its breast and the last 45 minutes or so. Does this sound like it might work? Thanks for your great tips and help : ) ) Guemes Island, Washington.

  19. I've watched some 8 videos trying to get my head around grilling our turkey. But this is the best one with the best details. Thanks Gary! I now feel confident to grill my turkey!

  20. You did a great job, explaining in detail how the process should go! I was scared to mess up my turkey, while everyone is waiting on a great turkey. But now I'm good! I will be trying this tomorrow and can't wait. Thanks, for taking the time to make this great video! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  21. Nice work pal! Two thumbs up!
    My little trick to stick butter under the skin is, slightly soften it, cut the stick in 1/4" cross sections, press salt & pepper and spices into the squares, then it is much easier to push firm squares under the skin. Wait for a while until the butter is soft, then press on skin to spread it.

  22. yes the bird keeps jumping off the grill

  23. I was looking for the best turkey receipe and this is where I stopped looking, absolutely great receipe, cannot wait to get started. Thanks a lot!

  24. you are giving me hope on making my family's turkey this year. we only have a three burner weber grill, so is it possible to have all three burners going at the same time on low? also do you have any recommendations for a roaster that can go on a grill? our circulon roaster is not allowed to go on the grill. thank you

  25. dude great job but why not use cooking gloves on your hands….less messy…jmo

  26. This is like watching the grass grow. SPeed it up.
    Basically you are baking your bird like in an oven. No indirect heat. It is all direct you have the pan and the Turkey/Bird wire holder thingy elevating the bird from the pan,,,So please do tell what is the advantage of this method over an OVEN? If it were a charcoal grill we would not be having this conversation because it would be adding a smokey flavor. Just a few very VALID questions.. I look forward to your astute reply.

  27. i think i missed what at what temperature you cook the turkey?

  28. The brown on the bottom of your pan is called FOND not sucks. And a set of $3 heat cooking glove makes flipping much easier.

  29. Gary, how long do you think a 22lb turkey would take with this method?

  30. Watched 2,786,421 videos on what I wanted to do tomorrow. Yours is the way… can’t wait… I’m stuffing my bird but other than that, I’ve never posted comments but maybe you see these, if so, do you cook it around 400 whole time and I’m allowing myself 30 more minutes than you do… what ya think? Got 15 people coming… first time grilling it.

  31. My third year doing the turkey this way with this recipe. Each year I swear it tastes better! Great way to do the turkey!

  32. "Oh my God! that is. ..'swallows'….it's moist and tender."

  33. I want see how fry fish on charcoal grill

  34. I have followed this recipe and method for the past 4 Christmases. It is the best way ever to cook a turkey, no dryness and so much flavour. I start at 7 am and by 1.30 the turkey is cooked (mine is usually larger than in the video) and gets so many compliments. Thank you Gary Close for such a great recipe.

  35. Looks delicious 👍

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