Barbecued brined turkey



15 min


6 to 8 servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 5 minutes, Barbecuing Time: 120 minutes, Marinating Time: 1440 minutes, Standing Time: 20 minutes


  • 5 to 6 kg turkey
  • 2 cups kosher or coarse salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme , or 4 tbsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 whole garlic head


  • Use a pan large enough to hold turkey when it’s covered with water and that will fit in your refrigerator. We took the bottom shelf out of the refrigerator and used a crisper drawer, setting it right on the bottom of the refrigerator. (Do not hook drawer back on shelf; it may break it.) Remove gizzards from turkey. Rinse out body cavity. For brine, place salt and sugar in a saucepan with 4 cups (1 L) water. Heat, stirring often, until dissolved, about 5 minutes. This can also be done in a microwave.
  • Pour mixture into pan. Add bay leaves and thyme. Separate garlic cloves, peel, then add whole cloves to brine. Pour in about 20 cups (5 L) cold water. Add turkey, breast-side down, then enough cold water to cover turkey. We needed a total of 40 cups (10 L). If bird floats, weigh it down with a plate topped with a heavy can. Refrigerate for 24 hours, turning turkey at least once.
  • Preheat barbecue to medium-high. Place turkey on its side in a large heavy foil pan or shallow roasting pan. Set pan on grill, close lid and barbecue 30 minutes. Turn turkey over to other side and continue barbecuing 30 more minutes. If turkey skin starts to brown, reduce heat to medium. Remove turkey from pan and place, breast-side down, directly on grill. Turn off barbecue burner under bird, but leave other side on and barbecue with lid down for 30 minutes. Turn bird, breast-side up, and continue barbecuing until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reaches 180F (82C), about 30 more minutes. Remove from heat, cover loosely with foil and let stand at least 20 minutes before carving.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 306,
  • Protein
  • 40.6 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 1.3 g,
  • Fat
  • 14 g,
  • Sodium
  • 1600 mg.

Brine a turkey before barbecuing to keep it moist–then finish it perfectly on the grill.