The Perfect Roasted Turkey

3.3/5 (210 Reviews)


  • 1 turkey, cleaned thoroughly
  • poultry seasoning
  • 1 whole onion cut in half
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 cups chicken broth, wine or water


Set the EGG up for indirect cooking with the convEGGtor at 325°F/163°C. Use a handful of pecan chips for a light, smoky flavor and to provide a deep brown color to the turkey.

Spread the seasoning generously over the outside of the bird. Load the bird onto a Vertical Poultry Roaster or Rib and Roasting Rack, then place into a drip pan. Add the onion and celery to the drip pan. Fill the pan with chicken broth, wine, or water.

Cook for 12 minutes per pound until the turkey has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F/74°C throughout the product. Reserve the drippings from the drip pan to make gravy.

72 thoughts on “The Perfect Roasted Turkey”

  1. I’ve done a couple of 19+ pound turkey’s on my MEDUIM Green Egg and they came out spectacularly! I would not go any bigger!

  2. I have always had success at 300/350* for 3.5 hrs (16 lb bird). If you stuff the bird, the vegetables may need a little longer to cook (especially whole garlic cloves). I sometimes set up a drip pan with the veg in it and let it cook there (I think it works better). Never use vertical on turkey. I don’t think I’ve ever had to brine one, but I do put rub inside the skin. Pretty simple overall and not much fuss.

    1. I have cooked dual birds (12lb each) vertical (beer butt chicken method) using 24oz tall boy cans. I have an XL. Works just like beer can chicken. I chose to cook lower temp (250 degrees) for more smoke. I used a temp probe to monitor until breasts were 165 degrees.

      I used a drip pan with Eggcessory so it was indirect cooking. Juices made gravy that was incredible. Best gravy ever. Gravy was so good it overshadowed how good the bird was.

      I have a small grove of fruit trees (Cheery, Pear, Apple, Plum and Peach). I cut my yearly trimmings and let them dry so I have kind of a ‘chef’s blend’ of fruit wood I use to smoke everything. If you wanted more ‘bite’ add hickory or misquite. I’ve found my blend isn’t too sweet and works great on poultry. I do add adjuncts for brisket (whatever’s available…)

      I used pre-brined (injected) Butterballs. I rubbed with olive oil and used McCormick’s poultry rub. Egg does all the work. About 5 hours of cooking.

  3. The “official” video says 15 minutes a pound at 350. The “official” text version says 10 minutes a pound at 325. Conclusion: there are variables to consider and your results will almost certainly vary from what others have experienced.

    I’ve been grilling turkeys for 40 years, first on a Weber kettle, then on a New Braunfels cast iron grill that used whole logs, and for the last 8 years or so on my XL BGE. I’ve wet- brined and dry-brined; I prefer the dry method. I stuff the cavity with citrus, apples, and onion. The liquid in the drip pan varies from year to year, depending on what’s handy.

    I vary the rub, also. This year I’m using the excellent applewood spice rub from B’s Rub’s in Othello, Washington, a small family-owned company (operated by husband-and-wife school teachers), which has become my new favorite for pork baby back ribs, after using Dizzy Pig’s Dizzy’s Dust for years.

    Also, I use more wood (apple and hickory) than either recipe suggests because we all love the smoky succulence of these grilled birds. Lately, I’ve followed Harry Soo’s advice about putting the wood chunks in the center/bottom of the lump charcoal pile and the smoke has never been better, velvety smooth and delectable.

    I tried using the pan drippings in gravy once and didn’t like the way it turned out (bitter and too smoky), so we do our stuffing and gravy on the stove without smoke and it provides perfect counterpart to the smoked meat.

    Check the bird from time to time. I try not to exceed 350 and typically use an aluminum heat shield to protect the skin a bit. I grill breast-down so that the juices run into the white meat. After it reaches temp, I take it off the grill and tent it, letting it rest for a few minutes before carving.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Do you place the turkey directly on the grill grate? I love the idea of stuffing it with citrus and onion but then cannot put on vertical roaster so wondering how I place turkey on grill

    2. ROD – really appreciate the benefit of all of your experience! Thanks for sharing. Gonna try it just like you say, including breast side down, which I have never done before.

    3. I have also been cooking Turkey birds for over 20 plus years. The first 18 on a kettle and now on the BGE Xl. I am going to try burying the wood beneath the lump coal. Sounds like a great idea.
      One question: I am going to be cooking two 14pounders thus year. One will be for my daughter since they have to isolate. Someone will come out to pick up. My plan is to pull off at 165 degrees. Wrap in foil and she can carve it once it arrives. Any suggestions.

  4. Just cooked a 17lb butter ball turkey on my large BGE using this recipe. It took about 3hrs and 15minutes and reached an internal temp of 185’F. The Skin was a very nice colour of brown. Only down side was that the meat was too moist. Any suggestions on how to reduce the moisture?
    By the way it tasted great.

  5. I have been having great results with a few tips:

    1. Buy a heritage turkey unless you want ONLY white meat. They cost more, but per pound the cost per person is no more than a McDonalds trip.
    2. Marinate for 24-36 hours or even a little more. I use water salty enough to taste like ocean water, a slightly sweet white wine (the whole 750ml bottle, alcohol will all cook off), and a quart of apple cider. Liquid should cover the turkey – a plastic brining bag can make this easier. This also works for chicken.
    3. Buy an injector and use a lot. Vinagarette dressing with peppers (if any) sifted out is very flavorful.
    4. Use a thermostat you can leave in the turkey (green egg one with the remote is best!). Do cook as recommended to internal temp of 165, but remember the bird internal temp will rise by about 15 degrees after it is taken off, so remove from heat when temp rises over 150.

  6. I’m considering trying this with my new BGE for Thanksgiving but I won’t be adding additional wood – my wife isn’t a fan of smoked turkey. Can anyone tell me how smokey it will be using just BGE lump ? thank you

    1. It will have a “hint” of smokiness. Maybe not even perceptible by your bride. But certainly better than oven roasted by a mile!

    2. If you use a wild apple or pecan and just add a small amount, handful at most you won’t get that wood smoke you’d get from the mesquites. Just wet the chips, I am using wild apple chips. Very light and good color.

  7. In this recipe video, I know you save the juice in the drip pan to make the gravy…but can you eat the carrots, onions, and celery from the drip pan? Or does those need to be discarded?

    1. Cooking in those juices for this amount of time the carrots, Celery, whole mushrooms.. whatever you put in there.. all the flavor will have cooked out..similar to making braising sauce.. you could eat them but they will be flavorless or just taste like the turkey drippings.

  8. We’re looking forward to trying this recipe. We smoked the turkey last year and my wife said it was the best she’d ever had. This recipe should be an improvement. However, we’ll also use the Giblet Gravy recipe from the NY Times Best Recipe book, which requires some veggies in the drip pan: chopped onions, carrot, celery, thyme, and some white wine. Will report back on how it worked out.

        1. We do this all the time. Like Sean said, wrap in foil and then thick towels for insulation and then put it in a cooler. That keeps it hot.

    1. Brine the turkey first. I’ve done this for 3 Thanksgivings now. I bought the brine from Costco, it’s a seasonal item. I’m sure the brine ingredients listed in this BGE email will work just as well. Make sure to let the turkey rest prior to cutting and serving. My turkeys turned out tender, juicy and oh, so flavorful. It’s really easy. Oh, and it came out looking like something from a cooking magazine.
      Best of luck.

  9. I don’t have a convEGGtor, can I still roast my turkey on a rack in a roaster pan without damaging the pan or drying out the turkey?

  10. A combination of vegetables and seasoning makes this the perfect roast turkey recipe that is delicious and easy enough for a first timer to make.

  11. This setup worked great, super easy prep and the bird turned out moist and tender. We cooked the stuffing in the turkey. At 14lbs we cooked it 2hr 45min at around 325-350′. Very pleased with the results!

    1. Taking food out of the fridge to “warm to room temp” is a dangerous myth from what I have heard, despite the popularity of the myth. Without refrigeration dangerous bacteria can start to grow, and although they will almost surely be killed by cooking, why allow them to grow in the first place? What’s more by the time the outside is anywhere near room temp the interior of your meat is still cold.

  12. A combination of vegetables and seasoning makes this the perfect roast turkey recipe that is delicious and easy enough for a first timer to make.

  13. I had about five cups of gravy in the roaster pan which I put through a sieve and then added a handful of ice cubes.

  14. I tried this recipe for Thanksgiving with a 20lb. turkey. The turkey cooked in 3 hours and it tasted like it was cooked too fast. I would recommend trying it at 325 so it doesn’t cook too fast

      1. I hear you. Every year I do a 28-30lb Turkey on the Egg… 4 hours and change..And, at temp no higher than 350. Always comes out perfect…Juicy and beautiful mahogany skin.

    1. I have found that if you use the thermometer on the top of the Egg, you are about 50 degrees cooler than the cooking surface. I would set the thermometer towards 275 and let it go from there. I also use a thermometer at the grill surface to let me know where i am at.

      1. Excellent comment Scott – For the folks who “cooked too fast”. I too was going to leave a note about the top dome temp vs grill surface – esp if not using the conveggtot heat dist that also brings the meat up a bit.

    2. Was the bird brined? brined birds cook at 8-9 mins per lb roughly at 325. Also, do you have a therm probe for grill and meat? I have found the gauges on most grills are off so for accuracy buy the probe that measures true on the grill temp and one in the bird (meat) – if you find its cooking faster adjust your air flow.

    3. Same here. Bird was overdone after about 2 hours last year, but still tasted great (just a tad dry). Halving the cook time this year and will see what happens.

    4. Over the last four years I have done a 17, 20, 22 , 24 lb. turkey. Every year it was 3 hours exactly at about 300 degrees. Don’t understand it. I will see today. Happy Thanksgiving!!

    1. Not really a good idea. Stuffing adds to cooking time and may prevent interior from cooking throughly – very dangerous health wise. Or, if u go ahead and cook it throughly, the outside will be overdone.

      1. Not true that stuffing a bird is a bad idea or dangerous. I’ve cooked stuffed birds on Green Eggs, Webers and in ovens for many years. I brine the turkey, cook to internal temp of 158-159, take them out, let them rest and they are perfect.

      1. I wouldn’t recommend it. I very loosely stuff with a mixture of onion, apple slices, lemon or orange peel, celery, and fresh thyme sprigs. I discard once the bird is done. We make our dressing in a crock pot separately. If I put it on the vertical roaster, I insert a couple of fresh thyme sprigs in the cavity and place to mixture in the drip pan.

      2. Huaser, I cook my 16 to 18lb turkey fully stuffed (bread and sausage stuffing) on the BGE and it comes out great. Since you’re using the BGE like an oven, only better, you can follow any oven based recipe and follow the times for a stuffed bird. Best part about doing it on the egg, is the smokey flavor that gets infused in to the dripping / gravy

        1. I agree with Jim. I have never precooked the stuffing. I pull the turkey off when the meat is done. I then take the stuffing out and warm it with the rest of the stuffing til it comes to temperature-165. That way, the smoked stuffing is mixed with the non-smoked and it is cooked to a safe temperature.

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