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Top 8 Tips For A Successful Thanksgiving Turkey

One of my favorite things about grilling is that there are a lot of different ways to do any one thing.

When I was asked to write about grilling turkey, a million questions went through my head – gas or charcoal? Smoker or grill? On the grates or on a rotisserie? Spatchcock or whole? Wet brine, dry brine or no brine at all? What kind of wood? You get the idea.

Luckily, Weber Nation has you covered. Over the years our team of grilling experts has compiled a comprehensive list of recipes, videos and how-to guides to help make you a backyard hero on the most important food day of the year. Here are a few of our best posts and my Turkey Top 8 Tips List….

My Tips For a Successful Thanksgiving Turkey

  1. Make sure you have plenty of charcoal or propane before you start. There’s nothing worse than running out of fuel before the bird is finished and good luck finding anywhere to buy charcoal or propane on Thanksgiving day.
  2. Prevent cross-contamination. Please, for the love of your guests, make sure you thoroughly wash your hands and anything else that comes into contact with raw meat. You cannot be too careful with this, especially if you’re feeding young children or the elderly.
  3. Make two smaller turkeys instead of one huge one. If you need to feed a large crowd I recommend grilling two smaller birds instead of one large one. Big birds are much harder to cook it all the way through without getting dry.
  4. Maintain a steady temperature of 350-375 degrees for best results. Keep the lid closed as much as possible. Maintaining a steady temperature helps promote even cooking. 
  5. Use foil to protect any parts that are getting too dark. Keep a roll of tin foil handy so you can cover any parts that are cooking quickly and getting too dark.
  6. Use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness. Ever carved into your turkey only to find out the breast is still pink and you’ve got blood all over your countertop? Well, I have and it’s not fun! Don’t leave anything to chance. Get a good instant-read thermometer and make sure the breast meat is at least 165 degrees.
  7. Let the turkey rest before carving. If you start carving the turkey immediately after taking it off the grill, all of those delicious juices will end up on your cutting board and countertop. In addition to a very messy countertop, you’ll be serving a very dry bird.
  8.  Sharp knife for carving. A dull knife is one of the most dangerous items you can have in the kitchen. Get your knives professionally sharpened at your local hardware store. It will make carving that turkey a breeze!

Your turkey resource list:

Smoke a turkey on a charcoal grill

Smoke a turkey on a smoker

Grill a turkey on a charcoal

Setting up a gas or charcoal grill for turkey

Spatchcock a turkey

Rotisserie a turkey

Wet brine a turkey

Dry brine a turkey

When is the turkey done?

How to make gravy

How to carve a turkey