Grilled Beer Can Turkey

Grilled Beer Can Turkey

  Serves 8

Inspired by one of my all time favorite grilling recipes, beer can chicken, beer can turkey might be my favorite way to cook a turkey. It’s quick, allows you plenty of oven space, and keeps the turkey super juicy. You also get to enjoy some beer along the way, so I’m certainly not complaining…


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp or softened in the microwave
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, picked and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 10-12 pound turkey, giblets and any plastic pieces removed
  • 1 24 ounce can of your favorite beer


Preheat your gas grill by turning the burners on one side of your grill to medium-high heat to about 400-425 degrees.

In a bowl, mix the butter with salt, pepper, parsley thyme, garlic and lemon zest. Place the turkey on a large baking sheet. Using your hands, loosen under the skin of the turkey and rub the butter mixture under the skin, covering all parts of the turkey. Use the remaining butter mixture to rub on the outside of the turkey skin.

Pour out ¾ cup of beer (I won’t tell anyone if you drink it :). Place the beer can in the center of the side of the grill without the burners on. Carefully place the turkey, cavity down, over the beer can. Push the legs toward you as you do so, allowing the turkey to stand up on its own. If the turkey taps the top of the grill when you close the lid, place a piece of foil on top of the turkey. Let it cook for 40 minutes. Then, carefully turn the turkey so that the side that was closer to the heat is now away from the heat. Close the lid again and let the turkey grill until the temperature in the thigh reads 160 degrees, about 40 more minutes.

Once the turkey is cooked, turn the grill off and leave the lid open. Let the turkey rest on the grill for about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the turkey from the grill, trying to leave the beer can on the grill, and place the turkey onto a carving board Be cautious, the beer can and remaining beer will be very hot.

Let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes before you carve it.


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