Sherry Butter Turkey

By Ray Lampe, Dr. BBQ
Culinary Setting
Meal Type
Main Course, Entrée
2 HR 30 MIN

About this Dish

Dr. BBQ says, “This truly is the recipe I used to win my first ever barbecue trophy at the Illinois State Barbecue Championships in 1991. It’s a unique taste and comes out really juicy. I cook it a little hotter than most smoking recipes, but I feel that gives a better texture to the cooked meat.”

Cooking Style
Grill, Smoked
Whole Turkey
Dish Type


1 18 pound whole turkey, fully defrosted

2 c cheap sherry, separated

2 c melted butter, separated

Gallon zip bag, ¾ full of ice

Seasoned salt, such as Lawry’s

1 small onion quartered

1 small apple quartered

1 lemon quartered


An hour and a half before you plan to cook, mix one cup of the sherry with one cup of the melted butter. Inject this with a syringe evenly throughout the turkey. Place the bag of ice directly on top of the breast. Secure with a skewer if necessary. Let rest at room temperature for one hour. Meanwhile, prepare the grill or smoker to cook indirect at 325°F using apple wood for flavor. Sprinkle the turkey liberally with seasoned salt inside and out. Put the onion, apple and lemon in the turkey’s cavity. Tuck the wings underneath and tie the legs together with string if desired. Put the turkey directly on the grate and cook for one hour.

Remove the turkey to a platter. Inject the turkey again with the rest of the sherry mixed with the remaining melted butter. Return the turkey to the grill and continue cooking until the thighs reach an internal temp of 175°F and the breast reaches an internal temp of 165°F. This should take an additional 1-2 hours depending on your cooker and the size of your turkey. Remove the turkey to a platter and tent loosely with foil. Let it rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve.