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How to Perfectly Grill a Turkey

Say what you want about the green bean casserole or the sweet potatoes, the real star of any Thanksgiving table is the golden turkey taking center stage. But finding the sweet spot between golden, crispy skin and juicy, perfectly cooked meat is no easy thing. In your search for the perfect cooking method, you’ve probably experimented a lot. Brine versus dry rub. Low and slow versus a steady roasting at a higher temperature. The roasting bag versus cooking on a rack over the pan. You may have even tried frying it (but all that bubbling oil in your garage or yard is nerve-wracking, so you probably don’t want to try that again). What if we told you that the perfect Thanksgiving turkey is easier to pull off than you think? This year, look no further than your backyard grill! Here’s how to perfectly grill a turkey and WOW your family. 

First, let’s look at what makes it hard to pull off the perfect turkey.

Its size and shape can be a challenge. Because it’s large, the exterior cooks much faster than the interior, so if you just slide it on a roasting pan as is, you may end up with both dry and underdone pieces. Also, white meat cooks faster than dark meat. But with the way most household ovens cook, the white meat (those pieces at the top when it’s sitting in a pan) get more heat than the dark meat. The other thing that can be challenging is that since it is such a large bird, the flavor on the outside doesn’t always penetrate very far into the turkey, leaving you with some bland meat. 

Here are a few ways to cook the turkey on your grill that will address those issues.  

Spatchcock it. 

Sounds cheffy and complicated, but spatchcocking a turkey is pretty simple and any home cook can do it. Spatchcocking just means that you remove the backbone so you can flatten the breast bone and lay the turkey out.

Spatchocked Turkey

The nice thing about grilling your turkey this way is that you can flip it over and season the meat to pack in more flavor where it typically would be bland. Plus, there’s more surface area so the meat cooks more evenly and more quickly. You can plan on cooking your turkey in about half the time. 

Cook it on the rotisserie. 

Do you prefer to leave your turkey whole? We don’t blame you — that will make the most stunning presentation. In that case, this is a great time to pull out your rotisserie attachment. As the turkey rotates on the spit, the juices will distribute throughout the meat, and the white and dark meat will all get equal grill time. The skin will be golden and crispy and the meat will be perfectly cooked. Read this for some rotisserie tips from Lynx® Grills

Keep it turning. 

As we mentioned, for a perfectly cooked turkey, you need to keep the juices flowing and give the dark meat good exposure to the heat. Here’s a simple but effective way to do that: Flip the turkey over while it’s cooking. Traditionally, we cook turkeys breast up. That’s the white meat, so it gets dry, thanks to all that heat exposure and gravity pulling the juices away. That problem is pretty easily fixed by flipping the turkey upside down for part of the cooking process. Weber® recommends cooking your turkey breast side down for the first hour and then turning it over for the remainder of the cooking time. Check out their recipe for brined turkey to learn more. 

Which recipe will you try this year? If it involves your Lynx or Weber grill, it’s sure to be a mouthwatering, show-stopping winner! 

If it’s time to put your old grill out to pasture and upgrade, come check out our selection and we’ll help you create an outdoor grilling space you can’t wait to use.