This grill recipe uses a technique called "indirect cooking" or "indirect grilling." This simply means that the food is not set directly over the coals or burners as it cooks in a covered grill. Essentially, this is grill roasting-heat rises and reflects off the lid and sides of the grill, circulating the heat. Indirect grilling is used for long, slow cooking; it is the best method for barbecuing whole chickens, roasts, ribs, and turkeys.


  • 1 Turkey (12 to 16 pounds)
  • Olive oil for brushing turkey (about 1/2 cup)
  • 8 cups hickory chips
  • Kitchen twine
  • Sturdy, V-shaped roasting rack
  • Heavy-gauge, disposable foil roasting pan (large enough to hold the roasting rack)
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil or a disposable aluminum pie plate
  • Giblet Gravy:
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Turkey giblets (neck, tail, gizzard, liver, and heart)
  • small yellow onion (do not peel), quartered
  • medium carrot (do not peel), cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


One hour before you are ready to grill, place the hickory chips in a large bowl, cover with cold water, and soak. In the meantime, secure the legs of the turkey with a 1-foot length of kitchen twine by bringing the legs together, wrapping the string around the ends (knobs) of the legs, and then tying the string with a knot. Trim any extra length of string. Rub or lightly brush the turkey with olive oil. Place the bird, breast-side down, on the roasting rack, and set it inside the disposable roasting pan.

Drain the soaking hickory chips. Make 3 aluminum foil pouches or use the disposable foil pie plate. (Skip this step if your gas grill has a smoker box, and follow the manufacturer's instructions for using wood chips.) To make the pouches, cut three 16-inch-long pieces of heavy-duty foil. Fold each in half to make a pouch about 8 inches long, and fill with one-third of the wood chips. Crimp the edges together to seat, and then poke holes in the top of the pouch. If using a small disposable foil pie plate, fill it with one-third of the chips. (The pie plate will be refilled twice as the chips burn down.)


Forty-five minutes prior to grilling, prepare a hardwood charcoal or charcoal briquette fire. When the coals are covered with a gray ash, mound them on one side of the grill. Place 1 pouch or the pie plate of wood chips directly on the coals. Place the roasting pan on the cooking grate near, but not over, the coals. Close the grill lid.


Twenty minutes prior to grilling, preheat the grill with all burners on high. Turn off the burner directly below where the turkey will rest, and adjust the other burner(s) to medium-high. Place the drained wood chips in the smoker box, or place 1 pouch or the pie plate of wood chips directly on the heat source. Place the roasting pan on the cooking grate on the side of the gas grill that has been turned off. Close the grill lid.

Grill-roast the turkey for 1 hour. Open the grill lid. Add more wood chips if needed. With a wad of paper towels in each hand, turn the turkey, breast-side up, and arrange it so the leg and wing that were facing the fire are now facing away from it. Continue cooking, with the lid closed, for another 45 minutes. While the turkey is grill-roasting, begin the optional Giblet Gravy by making the stock.

Check the wood chips and add more, if needed. Turn the turkey once again so that the leg and wing that were facing the fire are now facing away from it. Continue cooking, with the lid closed, for another 45 minutes. Using an instant-read thermometer, check the internal temperature of the turkey by placing the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. Check both thighs. When the thermometer registers 165'F, the turkey is done.

Transfer the turkey to a carving board or serving platter, and cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. Allow the turkey to rest for 15 to 30 minutes before carving to let the juices set. While the turkey rests, finish making the Giblet Gravy.

Serve, accompanied by the sauceboat of gravy or barbecue sauce.


Begin the gravy by first making a stock out of the giblets. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the giblets until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the liver and cool for 10 minutes; then cover and refrigerate. Add the onion, carrot, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, and 6 cups of cold water to the pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then turn the heat to low. Skim any brown foam that rises to the top. Simmer the stock, until it reduces by half, about 1 hour. Pour the stock through a fine-mesh strainer set over a small bowl or 4-cup glass measure. Set aside the neck, gizzard, and heart until cool enough to handle. Discard the rest of the solids. Set the stock aside, and when the fat rises to the top, skim it. Shred the meat from the neck and add to the stock. Finely dice the gizzard, heart, and reserved liver, and add to the stock. Transfer to a small saucepan and set aside.

Bring the stock and chopped giblets to a simmer over medium heat. Place the flour in a 1-cup measure, add a small amount of simmering liquid, and blend until smooth. Slowly pour this into the gravy and whisk until thickened, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a small bowl or sauceboat when ready to serve.

Makes about 3 cups

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Submitted 11/19/05.
Source: Adapted from The Thanksgiving Table
Submitted By: brandon smith

Barbecued Turkey with Giblet Gravy