Grilled Turkey with Fresh Herb Butter – Thanksgiving on the Grill Series

Of all the holidays, Thanksgiving is probably my favorite – a time to celebrate thankfulness for family, friends, and love. Sure, it may have something to do with timeless dishes like roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and brownies, but it’s about sharing and gorging, I mean giving… To help you get ready for this day of thanks, here is our Thanksgiving on the Grill series featuring tasty takes on traditional dishes of the holiday. First off, we have Grilled Turkey with Fresh Herb Butter, a succulent preparation featuring a collection of herbs, spices, and butter.

To begin, the turkey is cleaned and butterflied, allowing for more uniform cooking. The fresh herb butter is a delicious combination of Italian parsley, green onion, sage, thyme, basil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard. The turkey is first grilled directly on the grill to sear and crisp up the skin, then it is roasted in a baking dish for approximately 2½ hours, regularly basting with the herb butter. Using the neck and giblets, a thick and rich gravy is made and served alongside.   When finished, the herb butter awakens a freshness and decadence in the turkey that is perfectly balanced by the crispy skin. So bring this Thanksgiving outside with the Thanksgiving on the Grill Series, and use your grill to create new memories and traditions.

Servings: 10

Grilled Turkey with Fresh Herb Butter Ingredients

  • 1 whole turkey (12 pounds)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Coarse ground black pepper

Fresh Herb Butter

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • ⅓ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • ⅓ cup chopped green onion tops
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1½ teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  • 2 cups turkey stock (as directed)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch

Grilled Turkey with Fresh Herb Butter Directions

  1. Place the whole turkey breast side down on a cutting board. Remove the neck and giblets and set aside to make the turkey stock. With a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen shears, cut the turkey down each side of the backbone, removing it completely. Open the turkey and press it flat on the cutting board. Using a sharp knife, loosen the breastbone from between the turkey breasts and remove it with your fingers. This will enable the turkey to open completely flat. Apply a light coat of olive oil to the turkey skin and liberally season the skin with kosher salt and black pepper.
  2. Preheat grill for medium-high to high heat (approximately 450 to 500 degrees F).
  3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the remaining fresh herb butter ingredients, mix well, and keep warm until needed.
  4. To make turkey stock, add 3½ cups water, 1 ¾ teaspoons salt, turkey neck and giblets to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1½ hours.
  5. Place the butterflied turkey directly over the burners, skin side down, and baste with the fresh herb butter. Grill the turkey for 5 to 7 minutes or until the skin starts to turn golden brown and begins to crisp. Transfer the turkey to a 10”x10” baking dish skin side up, place it back on the grill, and baste with fresh herb butter. Reduce the cooking temperature to 350 degrees F. Cook for 2½ hours basting every hour with the remaining fresh herb butter. The internal temperature of turkey thigh should reach 175 to 180 degrees F while the breast meat should reach 160 to 165 degrees F. Remove the turkey from the grill, cover it with foil, and let it rest for 15 minutes prior to carving.
  6. To make the gravy, scrape all of the drippings and liquid from the bottom of the roasting pan into a small bowl. Skim the grease from the top of the liquid. Pour the seasoned liquid, about ¾ cup, into a small saucepan. In a small bowl, whisk the two tablespoons water with the cornstarch until smooth. Add the cornstarch slurry and two cups of the pre-made turkey broth to the saucepan and heat. Serve drizzled over the turkey or on the side as table gravy.

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