How to cook Turkey on the Grill

There are certain times during the year when we indulge our desire to try something different. If you are looking for a different way to cook your turkey this Thanksgiving here’s an idea for you. Beer Can Turkey! Yes you heard me right you can grill your bird this year using the same technique as you would for your chicken.

So let’s get this bird on the grill, here’s how it’s done…

Thaw out your turkey ahead of time according to the directions on the packaging, once thawed remove the inerds (neck and that little bag of organs), save these to boil for stock . If your bird’s legs are tied together untie them now, you’ll figure out why later.

Season your bird with your choice of spices, we recommend using seasoned salt, black pepper, ground sage, paprika and a little cayenne pepper for a little kick. Coat the outside of the turkey with canola oil and then liberally cover with the spices ensuring you coat the whole bird inside and out.

Now you are ready to get this bird cookin’…

here’s what you’ll need for the set-up,

  • A 12 ounce can of beer, opened and remove a couple of tablespoons worth… just take a drink already.
  • Place the opened can of beer in the center of the grill and slide the turkey over the top.
  • Once you have the turkey seated over the can adjust the legs to allow it to stand upright.
  • This next part is going to vary depending on your grill but the general setup is indirect cooking with medium high heat. We have a 4-burner propane grill so I set the two outer burners to the desire heat setting.
  • Cook for 2-3 hours, the time will vary depending on the size of your turkey so keep an eye on it until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast is 170 degrees and the thigh has reach 185 degrees.
  • Remove from the grill…hint, slide a spatula under the can and grasp the top with tongs to transfer to a tray or platter.
  • Let rest for 20 minutes before carving
  • Serve

This cooking technique gives a nicely browned turkey with moist tender meat and as an added bonus it frees up your oven for the other fixin’s for your Thanksgiving meal.

Is there a special way you like to cook your turkey? We would love to hear from you, leave us a comment telling how.

We’ll be sharing some more ways to prepare your bird for Thanksgiving so stay tuned!

Linking to…$5 Dinner ChallengeWhat’s On Your Plate?, Gooseberry Patch


  1. Sounds delicious, thanks for sharing.
  2. What a GREAT idea!! We do 2 turkeys. One I cook inside in a roaster & the other my husband deep fries outside. This is a GREAT alternative to deep frying as it'd save us from having to not only buy the peanut oil, but deal with the mess leftover :) Thanks for sharing!


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