Nothing is more iconic than the roasted turkey on Thanksgiving Day. It simply doesn't feel proper without an oven-roasted turkey and all the fixings on the side. An excellent way to avoid dry and flavorless meat is by grilling your bird. Grilling gives it that fresh mesquite taste and smoky flavor, which will set your meal apart from this year's boring old oven roast.

However, grilling a turkey is not always straightforward either. Just like in the oven, many things can go wrong, and if you don't do your research, you might end up with another undercooked or dry bird on the table for Thanksgiving dinner.

How to Grill a Moist and Delicious Turkey for Thanksgiving

A great turkey makes all the difference between a good holiday meal and a fantastic one but grilling it just right takes a few tips and practice. The secret to grilling moist and delicious turkey on Thanksgiving is to ensure it's adequately cooked from start to finish. This article will show you how!

The Benefits of Grilling Turkey

Besides the joy of cooking anything and everything over open flame outdoors, grilling your Thanksgiving Day turkey has several benefits. Here are the top three:


Grilled Turkey is generally healthier because it is not cooking in a pan and roasting in fat. The fat is allowed to render and caramelize on the grill, with the excess dripping and burning away. Using a drip pan under the bird is a great way to catch those yummy drippings for gravy or other sides like the stuffing while also reducing flare-ups in the grill.

Free Up the Indoor Kitchen

A considerable advantage to grilling the turkey is to free up the indoor oven and range for other dishes and recipes. Cooking on Thanksgiving is festive but stressful trying to juggle the space and cooking times, so everything is ready for the big feast. Taking the turkey outside alleviates much of the log jam, and your spouse will love the help!

Mesquite Flavor

The top reason to grill your turkey is the added flavor and character the open flame adds. When you bite into a grilled turkey and taste the smoky, moist flavors, we guarantee that you'll never go back to your oven for roasted turkey.

Top tips for Grilling the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

How to Grill a Moist and Delicious Turkey for Thanksgiving

Many recipes and methods for grilling turkey on gas grills or charcoal grills yield outstanding results. However, all these recipes hot these four tips in some way or another to deliver healthier, moister, and tastier results than traditional methods.

  • Moisture - Whole birds need moisture, so they don't finish dry and tasteless. Whether using your grill, smoker, or oven, adding moisture using a brine or marinade is essential. Just incorporating a brine will vastly improve the taste of your turkey, no matter how it is prepared.
  • Fat - After removing your turkey from its brine bath or marinade and patting it dry, slather it with butter, olive oil, or mayonnaise on the outside and under the skin. This extra layer of fat protects and insulates the turkey meat from hot spots in your grill, which can cause parts of your turkey to cook faster than others.
  • Flip - Begin with the breast of your turkey down, then flip halfway through cooking to ensure that the delicate white meat is cooked through but is protected from the higher heat of the grill for the final half.
  • Rest - The most common mistake is to cut into the golden-brown bird write after removing it from the grill or oven. When it's hot off the grill, resist the urge and smells to cut into your turkey right away. Instead, cover the turkey with foil and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before carving it to ensure all juices are evenly distributed through the turkey rather than leaking out.

How Long Should You Grill Your Turkey

How to Grill a Moist and Delicious Turkey for Thanksgiving

The easy answer is until the breasts reach an internal temperature of 160F and the thighs 170F. Cook times on the grill differ depending on the size and weight of your turkey, so it is essential to use an instant-read thermometer.

It's safe to plan on 10-12 minutes of grilling time per pound for budgeting your time. However, if your turkey is not fully thawed or if the outside temperature is under 50F, these times will vary.

One More Tip for Grilling Turkey

Many make the biggest mistake when grilling larger and thicker cuts of protein by opening the grill too often. The hot air escapes whenever the grill hood is open, elongating the cooking time and causing inconsistent results. Only plan to open the grill occasionally to check the temperature, watch for flare-ups, and flip the turkey halfway through.

Grilling the turkey on Thanksgiving is superior to using the oven with these tips, and we are sure you won't go back after partaking. American Made Grills are ideal for grilling turkey and anything you can think to throw at them. With unmatched power, durability, and features, the results are undeniable. Configure your grill today!

How to Grill a Moist and Delicious Turkey for Thanksgiving
November 15, 2021 — Jason Klein