Jan 25, 2008

Brined and Barbecued Turkey with Pan GravyRecipe from Webers Charcoal Grilling™ by Jamie Purviance

Rating: 5 stars

7 Reviews

Serves: 10 to 12 // Prep time: 30 minutes | Brining time: 18 to 24 hours | Grilling time: 2½ to 3½ hours | Special equipment: large ice chest, sturdy plastic bag, 3 large disposable foil pans, 4 small apple wood chunks or 4 small handfuls apple wood chips, instant-read thermometer, large gravy separator

Grocery List

Fresh Produce

  • 2 carrots
  • 2 ribs celery
  • .25 oz fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 yellow onions

Meat / Poultry / Seafood

  • 1 whole turkeys, each 10 to 12 lb

Oil and Spices

  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp dried sage
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1.25 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup kosher salt


  • .75 cups unsalted butter

Wine / Beer / Spirits

  • 3 fl oz dry white wine


  • .25 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 qts apple juice
  • 2 qts low-sodium chicken stock (or broth)

Special Equipment

  • apple wood chunks or chips
  • instant-read thermometer
  • 3 large disposable foil pans
  • large ice chest
  • 1 sturdy plastic bags



  • 2 quarts apple juice
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

  • 3 quarts cold water

  • 1 whole turkey, 10 to 12 pounds, fresh or defrosted
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped


  • Reserved pan liquid plus enough chicken stock to make 4 cups of liquid
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 equal pieces
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large pot combine the brine ingredients. Stir vigorously until the salt is dissolved. 

  2. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey and reserve in the refrigerator for the gravy. Cut off and reserve the wing tips for the gravy, too. If your turkey has a trussing clamp, leave it in place. Do not truss the turkey. Rinse the turkey inside and outside with cold water.

  3. Partially fill a cooler with ice. Open a large, sturdy plastic bag in the cooler. Place the turkey, breast side down, in the bag. Carefully pour the brine over the turkey and then add the 3 quarts of cold water. The turkey should be almost completely submerged. If some the back is exposed above the brine, that’s okay. Press the air out of the bag, seal the bag tightly, close the lid of the cooler, and set aside for 18 to 24 hours.

  4. If using wood chips, soak in water for at least 30 minutes (no need to soak wood chunks).

  5. Fill a chimney starter to the rim with charcoal and burn the coals until they are lightly covered with ash. Spread the coals in a half circle or crescent-shaped fire on one side of the charcoal grate. Carefully place a large, disposable drip pan in the center of the charcoal grate and fill it about halfway with warm water. This will help to maintain the temperature of the fire. Put the cooking grate in place, close the lid, and let the coals burn down to low heat (250° to 350°F). Keep all the vents open. 

  6. Remove the turkey from the bag and rinse it, inside and outside, with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brine. Lightly coat the turkey with some of the melted butter. Season with the pepper.

  7. Place one foil pan inside the other and pour the chicken stock into the top pan. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Add the reserved turkey neck, giblets, and wing tips. Place the turkey, breast side down, in the foil pan.

  8. Add two wood chunks or drain and add two handfuls of wood chips to the charcoal, and close the lid. When the wood begins to smoke, place the pan in the center of the cooking grate. Position the pan so the turkey legs face the charcoal. Cook the turkey over indirect low heat, with the lid closed, for 1 hour.

  9. After 1 hour, to maintain the heat, add 10 to 12 unlit charcoal briquettes to the lit charcoal, using long-handled tongs to tuck the unlit charcoal between the lit charcoal. Leave the lid off for about 5 minutes to help the new briquettes light. Add the remaining two wood chunks or drain and add the remaining two handfuls of wood chips to the charcoal. Carefully turn the turkey over in the pan so the breast faces up. Continue to cook the turkey over indirect low heat, with the lid closed, for a second hour. 

  10. At the end of the second hour, baste the turkey all over with the remaining butter. If any parts are getting too dark, wrap them tightly with aluminum foil. Once again, add 10 to 12 unlit charcoal briquettes to the lit charcoal to maintain the heat. Continue to cook the turkey over indirect low heat. The total cooking time will be 2-½ to 3-½ hours. The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 160° to 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone).

  11. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board, loosely cover with foil, and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving (the internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees during this time). Save the pan juices, vegetables, neck, giblets, and wing tips to make the gravy.

  12. Strain the pan liquid through a sieve into a large fat separator and discard all the solids. Add enough chicken stock to equal 4 cups of liquid. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and flour. As the butter melts, stir with a wooden spoon and cook until the mixture turns the color of peanut butter, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 4 cups of the reserved pan liquid (but not the fat) plus the wine. Bring the gravy to a boil, whisking frequently to dissolve the lumps. Lower the heat and simmer the gravy for a few minutes or until it reaches the consistency you like. If the gravy gets too thick, add more chicken stock a little at a time and simmer until it reaches the right thickness. Turn off the heat. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Carve the turkey. Serve warm with the gravy.

7 Reviews

Average Rating

Rating: 5 stars

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Rating: 5 stars

Jun 16, 2013

Tom W

Love smoking a turkey!!!!!!!!

I use the Weber baskets and keep the temp at about 250 and turn the turkey every time I replenish the coals and wood chunks. I use apple and oak chunks to keep a mild smoke on the Turkey, hickory is a little too strong. I bought my first Weber back in the early 1970's so I have things down pretty well by now. I am not sure I like the new Gold I just bought as it is harder to control than the older Silver.

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

Rating: 5 stars

Nov 25, 2013

Anthony M

Excellent turkey recipe

I used this recipe for my thanksgiving turkey back in October (Canadian) and the turkey tasted great. I've tried other recipes for the last few years and they haven't really turned out. Don't stuff the turkey with anything, it drastically increases cooking time and doesn't cook the bird all the way through. The turkey in this recipe came out juicy and the subtle taste of smoke and charcoal made this the best thanksgiving ever.

Good luck and have a happy thanksgiving!

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

Rating: 5 stars

Dec 27, 2013

Barbara G

Brined Turkey

I had never brined a turkey before, and this was absolutely delicious.

I differed from the recipe instructions, in that I used a gas grill, which worked wonderfully.

The meat, and I mean every part of it, was so moist and tender, not to mention the wonderful flavour. I will never cook a turkey without brining it. Thank you for the wonder Weber recipe.

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

Rating: 5 stars

Jan 16, 2014

Glen M

Simple, juicy and flavourful

I have cooked our Christmas turkey like this for the last five or so years. Perfect every time.
Watch the Jamie Purviance video.

This is a simple hassle free method and chances are you will have a perfect bird.

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

Rating: 5 stars

Nov 26, 2014

Timothy W

I'll Never Fry A Turkey Again (maybe)

After about 4-5 years of frying turkeys, I made this for Thanksgiving last year and it was amazing. Everyone loved it. Some of the guests were disappointed there wasn't a fried bird but after tasting this all doubts and complaints were crushed. When asking if everyone wanted fried or barbecued for this year, the fried won. I like it also because there isn't all of the mess there is with frying. I don't have to try to dispose of oil and worry about boil-overs. My wife still roasts a turkey every year and when she gets ready to baste hers I go and check the grill and add coals or whatever is needed.

I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

Rating: 5 stars

Nov 26, 2014

Randy G

Gibbs Review

I have used this recipe 4 times and I always get high praise. I give this a 5 star rating.

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

Rating: 5 stars

Nov 26, 2015

Jim T

Great recipe

Been using this for some time and love it. A few observations. Not sure the herbs in the brine do a heck of a lot. Don't go out and buy anything you're missing, just go without. Watch out about letting the Traditional Weber getting down to the target temp since adding a 12lb. cold bird will bring it down 50 degrees. Did that in the past and struggled to get the temp back up. If it is really cold and/or the wind is blowing, make an aluminum foil tent over the bbq. It will keep the temp up - just make sure you keep it loose so you don't put out the coals. Enjoy.

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

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Brined and Barbecued Turkey with Pan Gravy