1 12–14 lb turkey
salt and pepper to taste
1 Food Prep
First, start by brining your turkey to prevent turkey dryness. For a 12 lb. turkey, brine your turkey for 12 hours, using 1½ cups of kosher salt or ¾ cup of table salt per 5 quarts of hot water. Increase or decrease the amount of water and salt you use, relative to the weight of your turkey. Cool the brining solution to a temperature less than 40°F before submerging the turkey.
- Once your turkey has been brined, it’s time to season inside and out. Place chopped aromatics — onions, garlic, even apple or lemon slices — inside the cavity of your turkey.
- Then, put a light coat of olive oil and spices on the outside of your turkey to ramp up flavor and help to form that crispy mahogany skin we all love. Finally, season the outside of your turkey with salt and pepper, fresh or dried herbs (sage and thyme are great) or even a BBQ rub. Remember to go easy on the salt if you’ve already brined your turkey.
2 Grill Prep
- Fuel: We recommend Kingsford® Original Charcoal Briquets. Add about 2 cups of Kingsford® BBQ Smoking Chips (that have been soaked in water for at least 30 minutes) over the coals. Replenish your smoke wood as needed during your cook, but be careful not to oversmoke your turkey.
- Method: Two-Zone Fire: Parallel Configuration
- Temp: 375°F (Medium Heat)
Carefully hold your hand about 5” to 6” above the grate, and refer to the temperature settings below:
• High Heat (450° to 550°F):
2 to 4 seconds
• Medium Heat (350° to 450°F):
5 to 6 seconds
• Low Heat (250° to 350°F):
8 to 10 seconds
Make sure your clothing doesn’t touch the grate, and always move your hand away from the heat before you feel discomfort.
When you’re at temp, put cooking oil on a folded paper towel. Grab the oiled paper towel with long-handled tongs and oil the grate thoroughly.
3 The Cook
- When you’re at temp, put cooking oil on a folded paper towel. Grab the oiled paper towel with long-handled tongs and oil the grate thoroughly.
- Grill your turkey with the lid on at about 350°F, using the vents to regulate temperature.
- Smoke your turkey until your digital meat thermometer reads 165°F inside the thickest part of the breast, or about 175°F in the thigh. It’ll take roughly three hours for your turkey to reach this temperature, depending on its size.
- Once your turkey reaches the target temperature, take it off of the grill and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes to allow juices to redistribute throughout the turkey. For easy carving, remove each side of the breast in one piece, then slice across the grain. Enjoy!
For safe meat preparation, reference the USDA website.
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