Grilling turkey on your grill can be some of the best tasting turkey you ever had. So much so that it can change that traditional mental picture you have of taking the holiday turkey out of the oven to one that has you taking that tender juicy turkey off your grill. I wouldn’t want you to cook your next holiday turkey for your inlaws on your grill without having done it once or twice. But, after you have successfully done it and discovered just how easy and delicious it is, you may never go back to that old dry lifeless oven cooked bird again.
You will want to prepare your turkey (about twelve pounds) by rinsing it and patting it dry, Turn the wings back to hold the neck skin in place. Place the legs into the tucked position. With a basting brush, brush your turkey with vegetable or olive oil. Season inside and out with seasonings of your choice such as Italian and salt and pepper and let stand.
Preheat the grill to about 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take a metal pan, to catch the turkey drippings, and place a grate on top of it and put it inside a roasting pan. Pour a half cup of water into the bottom pan inside the roasting pan. Place your turkey, breast side up, on top of the grate. Brush a thin layer of melted butter on the turkey being careful to not wash off the seasoning. (I actually dab more than I brush.)
Place the roasting pan with turkey on the grill and position it for indirect heat, no flames. Close the lid on the grill. Cook for 2-3 hours to an internal thigh temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit (85 degrees C). On the hour mark, check the water level in the drippings pan, and top it off as necessary to insure that the drippings do not scorch. About thirty minutes before the turkey is done, remove the drippings pan and use for gravy. After turkey is cooked, remove from the grill, and let stand fifteen minutes before carving.
Note: Since much of the flavor comes from the smoke and steam produced in the grill, it is recommended to not cover the turkey with the roasting pan top for gas or electric grills. If you are cooking with a charcoal grill, you may want to cover the turkey leaving vents by placing a couple of dinner knives across the ends and resting the roasting pan cover on top. Covering will reduce the overpowering charcoal smoky taste that can come from an uncovered turkey in the charcoal grill.
Just sit back and dream about that great juicy grill taste coming from that turkey you just cooked on your grill.