Smokey-Sweet Grilled Turkey


1 12 to 14 lb WHOLE TURKEY, thawed completely if frozen

1/2 c unsalted butter, melted

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp black pepper

3/4 c ketchup

1/2 c dry red wine

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp garlic powder




Be sure the turkey will fit under the grill lid. There should be 1-inch space between the top of turkey and grill lid.

Remove neck and giblets from both cavities. Rub turkey all over with butter, salt and pepper. Tie legs together to hold shape.

For CHARCOAL COVERED GRILL: remove grill rack and completely open the grill's bottom vents. Place 5 to 6 dozen charcoal briquettes in bottom of grill; ignite and heat until covered in white ash. Use tongs to push white briquettes to either side of grill, clearing a large, shallow, rectangular space in the center. Place a disposable foil pan between the briquettes, in the clearer space, to catch the drippings. Oil the cooking rack and return to position on the grill. Place turkey on oiled cooking rack. Place lid on grill and open vents.

The grill temperature should stay steady at 325 to 350 degrees F. For the charcoal grill, depending on outside temperature, wind conditions and high altitudes, briquettes must be replaced at least, every hour. Heat another 2 to 3 dozen briquettes in a chimney starter until they're covered with white ash.

For GAS COVERED GRILL: Prepare for indirect grilling by preheating (about 10 minutes) grill set on medium-high. Place turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack set inside a large heavy-gauge foil pan. Add 1 cup water to bottom of pan. Place in center of cooking rack. Place lid on grill and reduce heat to medium. (Be sure burners just below turkey are off.)

Grill turkey for 1-1/2 to 2 hours and check internal temperature.

Continue grilling (indirect grill method) about 45 minutes for a 12-pound bird, 1 hour for a 13-pound bird, or 1-1/4 hours for a 14-pound bird.


Whisk together ketchup, dry red wine, brown sugar, and garlic powder for glaze.

Remove lid and brush turkey with glaze. Replace lid and roast 15 to 20 minutes more, or until a meat thermometer, inserted into thickest part of thigh registers, at least, 170 degrees F.

Remove turkey from grill, cover loosely with foil and let stand 20 minutes before carving.