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5 Reasons to Charcoal Grill Your Next Turkey 1

How to Roast a Turkey in a Charcoal Grill

How to charcoal grill a turkey that cooks faster than in a conventional oven and turns out juicier with a slightly smoky flavor your family will love.

Author Sarah Pope




  1. Remove the giblets. Dry brine the turkey with salt and pepper the night before. Do not use additional seasonings as this would compete with the smoky flavor from the charcoal grill.

  2. A couple of hours before you plan to start cooking, prepare the coals per the instructions for your grill. Make sure they are nice and red which indicates that they're burning all the way through.

  3. When the coals are ready, place the stuffed turkey in the roasting pan. Add 2-4 cups of filtered water depending on the size of the bird and set on the top rack inside the grill.

  4. Put on the lid and leave the vents open for smoke to escape.

  5. After two hours, remove the lid and baste the turkey with the juices that accumulated in the pan. Repeat this once or twice more until the turkey is done.

  6. A charcoal grilled turkey will cook about 45 minutes to an hour faster on average than an oven roasted turkey. Check for doneness by piercing the turkey with a knife and pressing on the skin next to the hole. If any blood comes out, leave for another half hour and then check again on another part of the turkey.

  7. Once no more blood emerges, remove the turkey from the grill immediately to keep the meat from getting dry and take inside the house. Place the turkey on a platter to "rest" and proceed to make gravy with the drippings.

  8. When the gravy is done, carve and serve the turkey with the rest of your holiday meal!

Recipe Notes

This recipe on how to make sprouted stuffing may prove helpful as you plan your holiday meal.

If you are grain free, this recipe for keto stuffing using almond flour makes a satisfying stand-in.

This recipe on preparing turkey giblets might be of benefit as well.