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Backyard Turkey

Brining your holiday turkey will create show-stopping, juicy, and delicious meat. The process of brining and cooking the turkey on the grill is easy; follow the directions carefully... and enjoy!


  • Whole Turkey (12-14 lbs.)
  • Cold Water, 2 gal. (or enough to cover turkey completely)
  • Kosher salt, 1½ cups for each gallon of water
  • 8 oz.Clarified Butter
  • 1½ tbsp. Granulated Sugar


  • Food-safe bag or container (look for the food safe symbol – a wine glass and fork)
  • Drip Pan (if you want to catch drippings to make turkey gravy)
  • Wood Chunks (pecan, apple, cherry, alder, etc.) if smokier flavor is desired
  • Turkey Rack (optional, though hot turkeys are easier to remove from the grill on a rack)
  • Thermometer (preferably a digital dual-probe smoking thermometer)
  • Aluminum Foil


The Brine

There is plenty of controversy over whether or not a turkey (or poultry in general) should be brined. We prefer the flavor and juiciness of brined meat, but encourage you to research the topic and come to your own conclusion.

To brine, place the thawed turkey into a food-safe container and completely submerge with water. Add 1½ cups Kosher salt for each gallon of water used. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours, then rinse well and pat completely dry with paper towels.


  • Completely thaw turkey before brining (allow approximately 1 day in refrigerator for every 3 lbs. of meat to be thawed).
  • Remove the bag of giblets included with the turkey before brining. (Look for it in the neck cavity.)
  • Don’t brine a turkey that has already been brined. Over-brining can dry out the meat and cause it to taste very salty.
  • Feel free to add herbs and spices to brine solution. Oregano, sage, bay leaves, and thyme all go well with turkey.
  • We recommend Kosher salt as it dissolves more easily than table salt. If you choose to use table salt, however, cut the salting rate by half.


Place your lava stone in the kamado and heat the grill to 275°F. Place a drip pan underneath the turkey rack if you intend to collect the drippings for gravy, otherwise, the lava stone will keep the drippings from causing flare-ups. Before placing the turkey on the grill, coat it thoroughly with clarified butter.

Clarified butter will give you that classic golden brown turkey and is simple to make at home. Simmer ½ lb. of unsalted butter until most of the water has boiled off (it will stop bubbling after 30-45 minutes), shut off the heat, skim the milk solids from the top, then ladle out the clear butter remaining.

Insert one temperature probe into the thickest part of the turkey breast and set the other to measure the ambient temperature of the grill. Once the breast meat has reached 145°F, add the granulated sugar to the remaining clarified butter and heat up. Brush the sugary butter all over the turkey and let the breast meat reach its final temperature (165°F). Check the thickest part of the leg meat and make sure it’s 175°F. Once final temperatures are met, cover the turkey with foil and let rest for 30-45 minutes. Carve and Enjoy!


  • You’ll likely have to remove the second tier cooking grate to make room for the turkey rack.
  • Make sure that the turkey doesn’t sit in any juices.
  • Periodically dump juices that have collected inside the turkey into the drip pan during the cook.
  • Don’t overcook! If overcooked, the meat will dry out and the brining process will have been for nothing.
  • Don’t use the pop-up thermometer.
  • Don’t use regular butter – it will burn.

Recipe from Vision Grills.

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