Grilled Turkey with Fresh Herbs

  • Using fresh herbs creates a more interesting turkey
    Using fresh herbs creates a more interesting turkey
  • Cooking turkey on the grill is a great way to add flavor and free up oven space
    Cooking turkey on the grill is a great way to add flavor and free up oven space
  • If you want a juicy turkey, make sure to brine it the night before
    If you want a juicy turkey, make sure to brine it the night before
  • Stuff both ends of the turkey with the diced apple
    Stuff both ends of the turkey with the diced apple

Description

A delicious way to cook a turkey is on the grill with fresh herbs.  The secret to grilled turkey is brining it overnight, adding moisture and flavor, and using indirect heat to cook the turkey evenly.

Brining the turkey overnight helps keep the turkey nice and moist, which is really important for grilled or smoked turkeys.  

The generic grocery store turkeys we eat these days don't have a lot of flavor to them, which is why this grilled turkey recipe uses fresh herbs and garlic to create a rub that brings the herbs' bright, fresh flavors to the turkey.  

The key to adding flavor to a turkey is to get the rub under the skin and inside the cavities, otherwise, the flavors can't get into the meat. 

Stuffing the turkey with a diced apple adds a nice sweetness to the turkey while helping to keep it juicy.

When grilling a turkey, make sure to use indirect heat and rotate the turkey regularly to ensure it cooks evenly.  Also, since grill thermometers are notoriously unreliable, we recommend placing an oven thermometer next to the turkey to get a better idea of the actual cooking temperature.  

We recommend grilling turkeys between 325℉ to 350℉.  According to the USDA, turkeys need to be cooked to at least 165℉.  When you take the turkey off the grill make sure to cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. 

Ingredients

  • 1 10 to 12 lb turkey
  • 1 apple
  • 2 tbsp butter

Herb rub

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp rosemary

Brine

  • 6 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp sage

Details

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10 minutes

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

Instructions

Brine the turkey overnight in a large pot filled with approximately 6 quarts of water, salt, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, sage and a couple of bay leaves. The pot should be covered and stored in the fridge while the turkey is brining. It's ok to use dried herbs for the brine. For the herb rub, use fresh herbs whenever possible. 

Make the herb rub by mincing the garlic, sage, thyme, and rosemary and mixing them with the salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Core and dice the apple.

Take the turkey out of the brine, rinse it off, and pat it dry with paper towels. Start by rubbing a couple of tablespoons of butter on the turkey, making sure to get it under the skin and in the cavities.  Take the herb rub and using your fingers get it under the skin along the breast and where you can around the legs and inside the bird's cavities.

Stuff both ends of the turkey with the diced apple.

Preheat the grill so the area where the turkey will be cooked is 325℉.  Set the turkey on the grill, making sure it's not over direct heat, and that grill cover is closed. Rotate the turkey every hour to make sure it cooks evenly.

The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165℉.  We recommend using a good thermometer and checking the turkey in several places.  The turkey will continue to cook while it is resting, so it's a good idea not to overcook it on the grill.

When the turkey has finished cooking, take it off the grill, cover it with foil, and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

Notes

This recipe works for gas or charcoal grills and can be scaled for larger turkeys.  To learn more about how your grill cooks food read How to Use the White Bread Test to Grill Better Food.

PT3H15M
Grilled Turkey with Fresh Herbs Recipe

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Last Updated

November 22, 2016