Grill That Bird!
So you've decided to grill a
turkey breast. What now? You can use a smaller
breast for a smaller crowd—or grill a larger one to
feed a bigger group. You can also grill more than
one breast (if your grill size permits). Using an
indirect cooking method results in a moist, juicy
turkey. It's a nice change of pace to enjoy the
company of your guests and to perhaps prepare other
last-minute dishes while the bird roasts.
Varies depending on whether
you're grilling a boneless or bone-in breast
When ordering your turkey breast,
plan on three-quarters of a pound per person. If it
is a boneless breast, allow a half-pound per person.
(For a whole turkey, allow at least one pound per
person, plus a half-pound per person for leftovers).
Make sure to purchase a turkey
breast that fits in your grill—ideally leaving a
minimum of one-inch clearance from the lid.
Set the turkey breast on the
grill (with a drip pan below).
Indirect cooking is similar to
roasting but with the added benefits of a grilled
texture, flavor, and appearance. To cook indirectly,
pile all the coals on one side and place the food on
the side away from the coals. Close the lid to allow
the heat to circulate evenly. If you are using a gas
grill, leave one burner off and place the meat over
that burner; close the lid.
Remember: There's no need to turn
Depending on the bird's weight,
grill a smaller boneless breast (up to 3 pounds)
about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
A larger breast (3 to 9 pounds)
should take about 2 to 3 hours.
These times are approximate
because, regardless of size, the turkey should be
grilled until the internal temperature reaches 170°F
in the thickest part.
Remove turkey from the grill and allow to rest 20
minutes before carving- to redistribute the juices
and make for smoother carving.
Remember that a smoke-cooked
turkey may appear a little pink, even when
thoroughly cooked and though the final temperature
has reached the appropriate level.
Cook your stuffing in the oven
(outside of the bird).
If you're grilling a whole bird
using the same method, you'll need to adjust timing
and take two temperature readings to ensure food
safety. The breast temperature should be 170°F, and
the thigh should reach 180°F. (A 10- to 18-pound
turkey will take between 2 to 3 hours).