5 Ways to Add Flavor to a Grilled Turkey

If you’re looking for an easier way to cook up a holiday meal and avoid having your oven blazing for hours, try preparing your Thanksgiving turkey on the grill. It frees up space in the oven, cooks better and gives your bird a tastier, crispier outer layer.

Cooking a whole turkey on the grill is easy – just 2-3 hours on medium high – but seasoning it still requires some finesse. How do you make sure your holiday bird isn’t bland? The team at BBQ Island has come up with some of their favorite ways to add flavor to grilled turkey.


One of the most common ways to flavor a turkey is to baste it with savory juices. You can baste your turkey every hour with the juices that have collected in the pan, or by whipping up your own flavorful concoction.

Season Under the Skin

For a simple yet effective method of flavoring your bird, rub herb butter and seasoning beneath the skin. Working from the neck end, slide fingers under skin until you reach the rear of the bird. Be careful not to tear the skin!


For a quick and delicious maple glaze, combine 1 cup of 100% maple syrup, ¼ cup of butter, seasoning salt, and pepper in a pan on the burner or stove and slowly heat until melted. Cool to room temperature. Once your turkey reaches an internal temperature of 150-155 degrees (deep in the turkey breast), baste the glaze on. Keep your turkey on the grill until it reaches 165 degrees.

Beer-Stuffed Bird

Ready to have some fun grilling and flavoring your turkey at the same time? If you’ve never heard of a beer-can turkey stand before, you may want to consider it next time you grill up. Here’s an easy recipe to follow. Bonus: It requires you to remove a few tablespoons of beer from the can before grilling (however you choose to empty it, we won’t judge).

Inject with Flavor

One of our favorite ways to flavor a bird is to inject it with a homemade marinade. By injecting ingredients such as vinegar, butter and seasonings, your grilled turkey will turn out extra moist and flavorful.

Is your mouth watering yet? Keep in mind Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. Make sure you’re well equipped for the holidays by browsing our wide selection of grills, smokers, and outdoor kitchen supplies. Feel free to stop by any of BBQ Island’s four locations to look at the products in person and speak with our grilling professionals.

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