How to Cook A Turkey On Your Gas Grill

How to Cook A Turkey On Your Gas Grill

Preparing the turkey

Preparing the grill

  • When using a gas grill you will want to use wood chips. I like to use 2 handfuls of cherry and 1 handful of hickory. Soak the wood chips in water or beer before you use them for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. You can put the wood chips in a portable smoker box or in a smoker box if your grill has one.
  • Put a drip pan on the flavorizer bars with 2-3 liters of water under where the turkey will go.  If you plan on using the drippings in a gravy then only use 1 liter of water.
  • Set-up the grill for indirect heat, meaning that the turkey will not be directly over a lit burner. Preheat your grill for 10-15 minutes before adding your turkey.  Get our temperature and pound guide here.
  • If it is going to be cold where you live, like it will be here in the Midwest, then the turkey will take few extra minutes per pound to cook.  

Time

  • Check the temperature of the turkey halfway through the cook,  three quarters of the way and then when you think it is done to make sure that you are on the right track to hit 165. This will help you monitor the turkey and make sure it is not over cooked!
  • The more you open the lid, the longer it will take to cook so be patient, relax and go watch some more football.

When is it done?

  • Keep in the mind that the turkey could cook a little quicker than you expect so be sure to have checked it halfway, three quarters of the way and then when you think it is done.
  • Check the temperature of the turkey on the innermost part of the thigh and the thickest part of the breast to make sure that it is fully cooked at 165 degrees before removing it.
  • This step is important! Let it rest for 20-30% of the total cooking time.  You can loosely cover the turkey with a piece of aluminum foil while it is resting or you can just leave it uncovered.
  • Before you carve into that beautiful bird, share your pictures on social media with us! #BestTurkeyEver

​Looking for more turkey inspiration?  Be sure to check out more tips here

What are your thoughts? (31)

12.23.16

Christine E

Do I need more than one tank of propane to cook a turkey over several hours?

12.23.16

Kevin Kolman

Christine,
You should need about a quarter to a half of tank for cooking your turkey. Usually a tank can give you about an hour per pound when grilling. Hope you had a great holiday and always Grill On!

12.20.16

Jason W

Do you have to use the smoker box or can you cooks turkey without it?

12.20.16

Kevin Kolman

Jason,
You can grill your turkey without one. Either way you cannot go wrong!! Hope this helps and keep the questions coming and always Grill On!!

12.03.16

Dale H

Thanks Kevin, my inside wireless temperature gage was around 340 and the lid was about 65 degrees less, or about 275. Next year I'll cook a little hotter and faster so that the lid gage is at least 300. My cook time for the 14 lb bird was about 3.5 hours which was probably a bit long causing it to be just a tad dry. I will make it right next time. Thanks again for your great advice!

12.02.16

Kevin Kolman

Dale,
Appreciate your kind words and sounds like it was a pretty good turkey. Always room for improvement in my mind. Next year make sure you use a wireless blue tooth thermometer like iGrill to help you keep track of the meat temperature too. I use this in almost everything I grill. Hope this helps, keep us posted on if you need anything else and always Grill On!!

11.25.16

Gilfred C

I used your dry rub on my 15# bird overnight, then rubbed butter all over, whole onion in the cavity, and a bottle chardonnay inside the cavity and all over the bird. In my Genesis E310, at a temp of 325-350 (trying to regulate @ 325 was a chore) the bird was done in 2 1/2 hours when checking at the 1/2 way point; figured 4 1/2 hours using your calculations. Good thing I followed your instructions, else bird would've been overdone. Perfect bird. Thank you. This was a lot easier/cleaner than using my Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker where regulating the heat is always a guessing game.

11.24.16

Kevin Kolman

Gilfred,
Sounds like the plan of cooking a perfect turkey was executed!! This is why I like to check temps half way through. Just in case it cooks quicker or slower then you thought. Glad to hear the bird came out perfect and I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Lets keep this grilling momentum going into the Holiday season and always Grill On!!

11.24.16

Eli R

Hi Kevin

Greetings from the NW!

First time cooking the bird on my Genesis special edition. Cherry wood chips are soaking. Few questions. So outside burners on medium low, middle off. Drip pans with a little water and temp about 300-350? Bird in the middle. One thing I don't have but can get is a cheesecloth. Will this make the difference if I don't have one? Should I get one? Any alternative suggestions? Ready the IPA. Here we go!

Cheers!

11.24.16

Kevin Kolman

Eli,
Sounds like you were on the right track. Cheesecloth is important for smoking because it helps keep the skin looking golden brown and not dark. Hopefully the IPA was good and the turkey was even better. Your set up was perfect. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and also have a great Holiday season. Grill On!!

11.24.16

Dale H

When you say you prefer 300 to 325, are you talking about the temp gage on the door or actual temp inside? The lid gage on my genesis is reading about 275 but the wireless thermometer located on top rack is registering about 335 degrees. Thanks!

11.24.16

Kevin Kolman

Dale,
I am talking the one in the middle of the lid. Now if you have a turkey in the middle it could be taking away some of the temp. If you were at 335 that should have been perfect. Hopefully your turkey came out great and you had an even better Thanksgiving. Grill On!!

11.24.16

Gary K

How long do you let the turkey sit after taking it out of the refrigerator before putting it on the grill?

11.24.16

Kevin Kolman

Gary,
I usually pull it out when I preheat the grill. It then goes directly on the grill. You do not want to take it out too early because of bacteria growth. Hope this helps and I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and also a great Holiday season. Grill On!!!

11.24.16

Mike C

I have a 22lb bird, and new Weber Genesis grill, what is the optimal time and temp I should use?

11.24.16

Kevin Kolman

Mike,
I like cooking mine at 300-325 for 15-18 minutes per pound. Hope his helps and I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and an even better Holiday season!! Grill On!!

11.24.16

David S

I only have two burners on my Genesis. Should I just use one?

11.24.16

Kevin Kolman

David,
You can place your turkey directly in the middle of the grill and keep the burners on low. If you use one burner remember to rotate your turkey half way through the cooking process to make sure it cooks evenly. Hope this helps. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and an even better holiday season and always Grill On!!

11.24.16

Gary A

I am so happy to find this site. Trust Kevin's spot on advice. I could bore you to details about my positive Weber cooking experiences, but I would rather impart these simple reminders for the Holiday. Be Thankful. Enjoy your cooking, your friends, your family. Check that meat got to temperature with a thermometer, and serve with a smile, happy for what you were able to share. What may not be your ultimate goal of perfection, may still bring happiness to others. Most likely better than anything that came purely out of an oven. You can work to better your skills the next time. Remember don't over cook on the grill, and if you need to bring up to temp; more than likely you have an oven to crutch (help)

11.23.16

Kevin Kolman

Gary,
I appreciate all the kind words my friend. I echo exactly what you are saying and could not have said it any better myself. Thanks for being a great BBQ friend and I hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving and an even better holiday season and always, Grill On!!

×

Grill Overview