Summertime marks the end of the schoolyear and the beginning of adventures that await in the warming days ahead. From graduation celebrations, holidays and every day in between, nothing captures all that summer has to offer quite like backyard grilling.  

smoked turkey on the grill

Turkey’s versatility as a protein makes it a great choice for cooking methods outside of traditional roasting. Whether you prefer your turkey smoky, seasoned or smothered in sauce, turkey can be enjoyed on the grill by anyone, anywhere!  

Take it from us, you don’t need to be an experienced pitmaster to grill delicious turkey…you just need to know where to start.  

In the spirit of the season, we’re helping you Graduate to the Grill with this two-part series featuring the Barbecue Hall of Fame’s Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe. Learn from an expert about the basics of firing up the grill and what it really takes to get turkey cooking over the coals.  

Let’s start from the beginning… 

Before you get grilling, you’ll need the right set of tools. Dr. BBQ recommends finding the perfect grill to suit your needs. Much like picking out a car, selecting a grill depends on preference of size, shape and function. According to Dr. BBQ, you really can’t go wrong as long as it works for you!  

Having the proper grilling utensils is also key. Dr. BBQ’s top three must-haves are: a digital meat thermometer, a tool to flip your meat (tongs or a BBQ pig tail) and a tool to clean your grill, such as a wooden grill scraper. These items will have you covered from the start to finish in the grilling process! 

Last, but certainly not least, grilling is all about having the right attitude. According to Dr. BBQ, cooking outdoors is not an exact science and can even be a “magical” experience. The way we see it, all you need to get grilling is an interest and a big appetite!  

Check out all of Dr. BBQ’s tips to get started in the above video, and stay tuned for more on grilling turkey in Graduate to the Grill: Part II