Grilled Herb-Buttered Turkey: A Perfect Bird for Beginners

Are you ready to take your holiday meals to the next level or simply want to surprise your family with an unforgettable dinner? Look no further than our Grilled Herb-Buttered Turkey recipe, designed especially for beginners. Grilling a turkey might sound like a daunting task, but we've broken it down into simple steps that anyone can follow. The result is a perfectly cooked turkey with tender, flavorful meat and a crispy, golden skin.

One of the key secrets to this delicious dish is the herb butter spread under the turkey's skin. It infuses the meat with a delectable blend of rosemary, thyme, and garlic, turning your turkey into a mouthwatering masterpiece. Whether you're preparing for a special occasion or a cozy family dinner, this recipe is the perfect way to impress your loved ones.

Follow our easy-to-understand instructions, and in no time, your family of five will be savoring the unbeatable taste of a grilled turkey. Get ready to create lasting culinary memories with this fantastic recipe!


Grilled Turkey Recipe for Beginners (Serving a Family of 5)


- 1 whole turkey (approximately 12-14 pounds)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 1 onion, cut into quarters
- Cooking twine
- Charcoal or gas grill
- Wood chips for smoking (optional)
- Aluminum foil


1. Thaw the Turkey:
- Ensure your turkey is fully thawed according to the package instructions. This may take a few days in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat the Grill:
- Prepare your grill for indirect heat cooking. If you have a gas grill, turn on only one side to medium-high heat. If you're using charcoal, prepare a charcoal chimney with briquettes and light them. Once they're covered in white ash, spread them to one side of the grill.

3. Prepare the Turkey:
- Remove the giblets and neck from inside the turkey, and pat it dry with paper towels.
- In a small bowl, mix the softened butter, minced garlic, chopped rosemary, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Carefully lift the turkey's skin away from the meat and spread the herb butter mixture evenly under the skin. Massage it over the turkey's meat as well.

4. Season the Inside:
- Season the turkey's cavity with salt and pepper.
- Stuff the turkey with the halved lemon and quartered onion.

5. Truss the Turkey:
- To help the turkey cook evenly and maintain its shape, use cooking twine to tie the legs together.

6. Add Smoke (Optional):
- If you want to add a smoky flavor to your turkey, soak wood chips in water for about 30 minutes, then place them directly on the charcoal if using a charcoal grill or in a smoker box on a gas grill.

7. Grill the Turkey:
- Place the turkey on the grill grates on the side opposite the heat source (indirect cooking). Close the grill lid.
- Maintain a grill temperature of around 325-350°F (163-177°C). You may need to adjust the heat as necessary to maintain this temperature.
- Grill the turkey for about 12-15 minutes per pound. A 12-14 pound turkey will take approximately 2.5 to 3.5 hours.
- Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The turkey is done when the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F (74°C). The breast meat should be around 160°F (71°C).
- If the skin starts to brown too quickly, you can cover it with aluminum foil.

8. Rest and Carve:
- Once the turkey reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the grill and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute and keeps the meat tender.

9. Carve and Serve:
- Carve the turkey and serve it with your favorite sides, such as stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

Enjoy your delicious grilled turkey, and don't forget to save the bones for making turkey stock or soup later on!

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