November 21, 2012

Traditional Thanksgiving turkey is good, but bringing the bird to the grill can take your meal to all new heights.  A quick overnight brine of broth, sugar, salt and seasoning helps keep the turkey moist and tasty throughout, while a disposable pan placed directly beneath the cooking grate offsets the direct heat and prevents flare-ups.

Looking for even more Thanksgiving recipes?  Be sure to check out our Candied Bacon with Roasted Tomato Jam appetizer, Smashed Garlic and Rosemary Potatoes, Flame Roasted Cauliflower with Sage Brown Butter Sauce, Grilled Pomegranate and Walnut Salad and the Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza!



One 12-14 pound turkey

1 gallon vegetable broth

3/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

4 tsp lemon pepper seasoning

Sage butter (recipe follows)

Smokin’ turkey rub (recipe follows)

seasoned turkey on grill


Heat broth, salt, sugar and lemon-pepper over medium heat until dissolved and well blended.  Cool completely.  In a large stock pot, place the turkey inside and cover with brine.  Let soak in the fridge overnight, 8-12 hours.

Remove turkey, pat dry thoroughly.  Working gently, insert your fingers between the meat and skin to create pockets in which to spread the sage compound butter evenly beneath the skin.

Rub turkey with Smokin’ Turkey Rub or any of your favorite rubs.   Allow to rest while pre-heating grill for indirect cooking by placing a disposable aluminum half pan filled with water or broth under the grill grate with coals on either side of the pan, creating a barrier between the meat and any direct heat or flare-ups from the coals.

Once grill has heated to approximately 350 degrees, place turkey on the grate directly above the aluminum pan and cook until internal temperature in thickest part of the turkey reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees.  Remove and rest for approximately 30 minutes before carving.

grilled seasoned turkey

Sage Compound Butter


1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tbsp chopped sage

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ tsp ground thyme

1 tsp Kosher salt



Blend all ingredients in a small bowl well and set aside until ready to use.

Smokin’ Turkey Rub


¼ cup salt

2 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tsp guajillo chili powder

1 tbsp ground pepper

1 tbsp garlic powder


Blend all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside until ready to use.

By Clint Cantwell, Guest Editor

Related Topics: Clint Cantwell | Editor's Picks | Grilled Turkey | How To Smoke Turkey | Smoked Turkey | Smoking A Turkey | Thanksgiving | Turkey | Turkey Rub

User Guidelines