Barbecued turkey



25 min


8 to 10 servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 10 minutes, Barbecuing Time: 120 minutes


  • 1/3 cup butter , at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic powder , optional
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 kg turkey , no larger
  • vegetable oil


  • Preheat barbecue to high. In a bowl, stir butter with barbecue sauce, Tabasco and seasonings. Mixture won’t be smooth. Remove neck and bag of giblets from turkey and use for gravy, if you wish, or discard. Rinse turkey inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Coat a foil roasting pan or shallow roasting pan with oil. Place turkey, breast side up, in pan. Loosen a large section of skin on each breast as well as legs. Insert index finger and carefully lift skin off meat, making a pocket, but leaving other edges sealed. Tuck about three-quarters of butter mixture underneath skin. Seal pockets by gently pressing edges of skin and meat together. Press on top of skin to even out mixture. Oil outside of turkey. Tuck legs under skin flap or tie together. Tuck wings under bird.
  • Reduce heat to medium on 1 side of grill. Turn off other side of grill. Set pan on side of grill without heat. Barbecue with lid closed, 1 hour, rotating pan halfway through. Remove turkey from pan (save any pan juices and set aside). Place turkey on its wing side, directly on grill on side without heat. Barbecue with lid closed, 20 minutes. Turn bird other wing side down and continue barbecuing with lid closed, 20 minutes. Then turn breast side up. Brush with remaining butter mixture.
  • Continue barbecuing on side of grill without heat until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reaches 170F (77C), 20 to 40 more minutes. When turkey is done, remove from heat, cover loosely with foil and let stand at least 20 more minutes before carving.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 533,
  • Protein
  • 72.3 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 4.2 g,
  • Fat
  • 22.6 g,
  • Fibre
  • 0.3 g,
  • Sodium
  • 630 mg.

Grill up the big bird on the barbecue. It not only cooks faster using this method, but barbecuing frees up the oven for all those delicious oven-baked side dishes, including the stuffing and Thanksgiving pies.

Turkey Talk

Don’t barbecue a stuffed turkey. The interior of the bird won’t reach the level of heat that’s required to safely destroy bacteria. Cook stuffing separately in the oven.

Great Gravy

Pour saved pan juices from turkey into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Whisking constantly, add 1/4 cup (50 mL) all-purpose flour, a little at a time. Whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in 2 cups (500 mL) chicken broth and 1/3 cup (75 mL) white wine. Simmer, stirring often, until as thick as you like. If gravy is too thick, thin with more broth. Taste and add salt and pepper.