It’s that time of the year, friends! Before you know it, Thanksgiving is coming right up, then it’s Christmas, then it’s New Year’s. Isn’t this the best time of the year in terms of spending lots of time with your family, your friends, and your dog (if you have one)?

If you are the cook in the house like me, you have probably already started planning the feast for Thanksgiving. Or, you have already felt the stress about cooking a turkey. That’s what we are going to talk about today. My goal is to remove as much stress as possible from your holiday meal prep.

Easy Grilled Whole Turkey Recipe that does not require basting, but still amazingly delicious! #turkey #thanksgiving #turkeyrecipes #wholeturkey #glutenfree

Before we dive in, let’s make one thing clear. I am a total Thanksgiving newbie. To be precise, I am a turkey cooking noob. Look what I did for Thanksgiving the first year living in the US – a whole chicken. (Lame!) In 2014, we went to a friend’s house for thanksgiving because I simply had zero confidence to handle a whole bird that weighs more than 10 pounds. So how the heck am I going to help you with Thanksgiving cooking?

This year, I seriously put my feet down on doing a Thanksgiving dinner the legit way. My turkey cooking practice started three months ago, at the end of July, aka in the middle of the summer in Florida! Can you imagine that? That was no fun. However, I put on my crazy pants and cooked two turkeys back to back in order to get things right. Now I get to share the result with you, totally worth it!

Easy Grilled Whole Turkey Recipe. No hassle, no basting, only crispy skin and savory flavor. #turkey #turkeyrecipes #wholeturkey #thanksgiving

This bird is a good news for beginners. It’s a better news for someone who has extensive turkey cooking experience for two reasons:

  1. No basting is required. You get to prepare Thanksgiving sides in peace without taking the bird in and out of the oven for multiple times.
  2. It’s got a crispy skin, tender meat and super savory flavor that everyone will enjoy!

I truly hope that you will enjoy this whole turkey recipe and find it lower your stress level during cooking if you decide to give it a shot for your Thanksgiving. If so, I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment, shot me an email or tag @streetsmartkitchen on Instagram. Whatever you are comfortable with, it will mean a world to me.

Easy Grilled Whole Turkey Recipe that does not require basting. #turkey #wholeturkey #thanksgving #grilledturkey #glutenfree

On a side note, there’s something I have been working on for months, and things are finally get together. It is a slow cooker meal plan that’s designed for busy people who want to eat healthy and delicious homemade food without having to put a lot of time and effort into cooking. If that’s you and you know of someone who will benefit from this meal plan, please check out and share. It would be greatly appreciated, like always.

More Thanksgiving recipes are coming your way soon. Stay tuned!


Easy Grilled Whole Turkey Recipe

Delicious and easy grilled whole turkey recipe that requires no basting, no hassle, and no stress for your Thanksgiving dinner.

  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 (12-15 lbs) whole turkey, thoroughly thawed
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro


  1. Remove and discard giblets and neck from turkey. Trim excess fat and rinse the turkey with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Gently separate skin from the breast and drumsticks by inserting your fingers and slowing pushing between the skin and the meat. Be careful not to break the skin. Place turkey on a big plate.
  3. Combine all spices and herbs in a small bowl. Rub seasoning mixture over the turkey as well as under the skin. Cover turkey loosely with foil; refrigerate overnight.
  4. When ready to cook, preheat grill to 375°F.
  5. Place the marinated turkey directly on the grill and close the cap. Grill for 2.5 hours undisturbed or until meat thermometer registers 180°F. Serve with your favorite stuffing and cranberry sauce.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 30
  • Sugar: 2.4g
  • Sodium: 588mg
  • Fat: 0.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.5g
  • Fiber: 0.7g
  • Protein: 2.9g
  • Cholesterol: 7mg

Keywords: whole turkey recipe


20 thoughts on “Easy Grilled Whole Turkey Recipe”

  1. I have made this 2 years in a row (once with chips and once without—both directly on the grill) and hearing up for a third round. Excellent taste and grilling is definitely a great way to go if you need the oven or ovens for something else. The cleanup is a bit of a mess, but this year I think I’m going to use a pan to catch the drippings.

  2. A lot of recipes place the turkey in a roasting pan on the grill, I assume to catch drippings and prevent flare ups. Did you have an issue with flare ups putting directly on the grill?

    1. Hey Lauren, I didn’t encounter any issues with flare ups with my bird. Maybe it’s because it’s pretty lean? But I think it doesn’t hurt to use a roasting pan to catch drippings.

    2. She mean’s a drip pan UNDER the grill, not putting the Turkey IN the drop pan. It’s not going to be the same IN a pan because the smoke and heat isn’t surrounding the Turkey, only the top of the turkey, therefore you’ll only get color on the top and the sides and bottom will look anemic and boil in it’s own juices.

    3. Oh also, if your using indirect heat, you cannot have a flare up because there’s no heat, flame or coals under your turkey, but use a drip pan under the grill grate anyways.

  3. I have a 22lbs turkey and need the oven space. how long will a turkey this size take? deciding on roasting in a convection oven or grilling it. I want to grill it but nervous

    1. Oh my goodness! A 22-pound turkey is a really big bird. I have personally never dealt with such size, but I did some research. For a 20-24 pounds unstuffed turkey, it’s going to take 4.5-5 hours. If it’s stuffed, add 15 more minutes. When the breast temperature reaches 165 degrees and the thickest part of the thighs reaches between 170 and 175 degrees, your bird is done. Hope that’s helpful.

    2. I tried this recipe on a charcoal smoker grill. 375 degrees for 3hrs. It turned out excellent the breast meat was so tasty and tender you could cut it easily with a fork. Even the wings were tender the bones just literally slid out with no effort.
      Cooked with indirect heat. The whole Turkey, I liked it better than cooked in the oven.

    1. I cooked it on a gas grill in Florida. But I assume that as long as the temperature of your grill is consistent, it should be fine, no?

  4. This looks way too easy which scares me! Love the spice rub…just need to get the courage up to try it. Ooof.

    1. Haha… this is a whole turkey recipe for beginners. I did it on the grill because it’s a bit easier to handle, but you can cook it in the oven if you want. Hope you give it a try. 🙂

  5. I can’t wait to try this recipe for Thanksgiving! Bookmarked and pinned 🙂

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