How to Make an Entire Turkey Dinner on the Grill

How to Make an Entire Turkey Dinner on the Grill

Are you bored of cooking your turkey the same way every year? Perhaps you are looking for a reason to get out of your crowded and hot kitchen over the holidays?  If you are hosting a holiday dinner, whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or just for fun, have you ever considered taking it outside? I know what you may be thinking, why would I cook a turkey on the grill? Have you ever run out of cooking space on your stove and oven? Maybe the weather is still pleasant where you live, and you want to take advantage! Perhaps you’re just not ready to say goodbye to your grill for the winter just yet. Grilling your turkey and side dishes is the perfect way to free up some space in the kitchen because we all know that’s where the party happens! This is also a great skill to learn in the event that a kitchen emergency takes place (imagine, a blown oven element on during the holidays!) and you need an alternative solution. 

Join us outside on the grill and we’ll show you how to make the most epic turkey dinner with all the fixings! Are you ready to see how it went down? Check out our video below to see for yourself or keep reading for our tips for grilling your turkey and side dishes on the grill yourself! 

Start up the Grill

We cooked a fifteen-pound bird, and that took about two hours to cook on the grill. The first step in this procedure is to get the grill turned on. We removed the top rack to allow for a little bit more space. We fired up the grill and turned it to a medium setting. The ideal temperature is about 350 degrees F. Close the lid and wait for it to come up to temperature. While you are waiting for the grill to heat up, you can start working on getting your bird prepped.

Season the Turkey

What You’ll Need:

  • Neutral flavored oil (canola oil)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Poultry seasoning

When it comes to seasoning the bird, we kept things simple. Use a neutral-flavored oil like canola, salt, pepper, and just a little bit of poultry seasoning. That’s it. Before you begin, be sure to pat the bird dry with a paper towel. The first thing you’ll need to do is add a little bit of oil and rub it in, making sure you get everywhere. That’s going to allow the skin to crisp up later. But it’s also going to help the other seasonings adhere to the bird. First, add a little salt. Next, add some pepper, being generous. Finally, we’re just going to add a little bit of poultry seasoning. You won’t want to be as generous with this because it can burn. Flip it over and do the same to the bottom side of the bird.

Seasoning the turkey

Prepare the Turkey for the Grill

Now that the bird is seasoned the way you want it, place it into an aluminum roasting pan. Before putting it back on the grill, add the neck back in. That’s going to help create a little bit more flavor. Add a little bit of water to the bottom of the pan. Not much. And that will help with the gravy later as well. The last step before putting this bird on the grill is to insert the temperature probes. Stick one into the breast and one into the thigh. Place it right onto the grill, set the probe aside, and cover it up.

Insert temperature probes into turkey

Prepare the Side Dishes for the Grill

While the turkey is cooking on the grill, it’s time to prepare the sides. We’ve decided on a lovely sweet potato mash with a pecan and brown sugar topping, creamy mashed potatoes, stuffing, and some carrots and green beans.

Prepare the side dishes

The Potatoes

For both the sweet potatoes and regular potatoes, you’ll need to poke a few holes in them, so they don’t explode, and then wrap them in aluminum foil. Now they are ready to toss on the grill once the turkey comes off.

Wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil

The Green Beans and Carrots

The green beans and carrots will go on the grill after the turkey is done as well, but we can get them prepared now. You will place the green beans and carrots in an aluminum pan, add a little bit of water to the bottom of the pan, and cover them up with aluminum foil. Feel free to add any seasoning you desire, garlic, salt, pepper, whatever floats your boat.

Add water to the green beans and carrots

The Stuffing

What You’ll Need:

  • Loaf of day-old bread (cut into chunks)
  • Two medium onions (diced)
  • Three ribs of celery (diced)
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter
  • Chicken broth
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Poultry seasoning (to taste)

For the stuffing, add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix it all up. Place the stuffing mixture into an aluminum pan for the grill. Try to spread it out as evenly as you can. We promise you, this is going to be the best stuffing you’ve ever made!

Turkey stuffing

Sweet Potato Mash Topping

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter

The last thing we want to do for our sides is to prepare the topping for our sweet potato mash. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix it up until it is nicely combined. Set this aside for now.

Sweet potato topping

Let The Turkey Rest

After about two hours on the grill, we’ve hit that ideal temperature of 165 degrees in the breast meat, and the leg and thigh meat is a little bit more than that. At this point, It is an absolutely perfect golden brown crisp skin on the top, just what we were looking for! There should be a lot of juice leftover that you will use to make gravy later. The next thing to do is to get the probes out of the turkey and get it off the grill and get it ready to rest. In the meantime, we covered it up in foil, so we don’t lose much heat.

Finished turkey off the grill

The Gravy

With all the delicious juice that you got from your turkey, you are going to put it to good use and make a beautiful gravy. Take the entire pan and all the juices leftover (and neck) from the turkey, and put it right back on the grill. all the juice, neck, and fond are all going to contribute to that perfect flavor we are looking for. While we let the gravy come to a simmer on the grill, you will want to put the potatoes on the grill, as they are going to take the longest to cook. Once the gravy is heated back up, it’s time to strain it into a pot, and then it will be ready to add the other ingredients to thicken it up.

Straining the gravy

We added a cornstarch and water slurry, equal parts of each. Slowly add that into the gravy. Let this thicken up gradually over time.

Adding cornstarch and water to the gravy

Once the gravy is ready, it is time to finish off our other side dishes. Put the stuffing and the green bean and carrot mixture back onto the grill. At this point, your potatoes should be done.

Sweet Potato Mash

The sweet potatoes have had a bit of time to cool down but are still warm. You will need to cut them in half, and squeeze the meat out of the skin. Mash up all the sweet potatoes and spread them out nice and evenly in an aluminum dish. Take out your pre-prepared topping and crumble it on top evenly, and then cover it in aluminum foil. This is going to go back on the grill for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the topping over the sweet potato mash

Regular Mashed Potatoes

What You’ll Need:

  • Whipped cream
  • Butter

So now that the potatoes are done, we can do this the same way we did the sweet potatoes. We kept the skin on, as it’s good for you and adds some texture, but that is your call. Add a little bit of butter, some whipped cream, and just give this a good mash. We purposely didn’t specify the amount of butter and whipped cream, as the consistency and texture are totally up to you, and you can’t go wrong! That mashed potato mixture can go back on the grill to crisp up a little once it is all combined.

Prepare the regular potato mash

Cut the Turkey and Enjoy!

The turkey has had a good opportunity to rest, and you should be able to carve it by now. Make a cut right down on the thigh and just pull the thigh right off and then do the same on the other side. Carve up the rest of the turkey with a sharp knife, and it should be ready to eat! Place all the sides and turkey on the plate and enjoy!

The finished turkey and sides

We hope you enjoyed the process as much as we did, and you learned something new about cooking your turkey dinner on an outdoor grill. Check out the video and leave a comment, we’d love to hear how yours turned out or if you have any additional tips. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more grilling content!

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