Cherry-Smoked Turkey on the Grill

Coastal Living
Cherry-Smoked Turkey on the GrillRecipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Lydia Pursell

The time put into the cooking process of this turkey is what garners such a stellar flavor. The smokey char that the exterior gets from the grill gives it a golden color and an even better rustic flavor. This turkey truly shines as an alternative method for Thanksgiving fare. 

Makes 8 to 12 servings


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3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 (12-pound) turkey
2 cups cherry wood chips, divided
Cooking spray


Hands-on: 50 Minutes
Total: 12 Hours, 30 Minutes

1. Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Trim excess fat from turkey. Remove giblets; set aside for another use. Loosen skin from breast by inserting fingers and gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub salt mixture evenly under and over skin. Place turkey on a pan and refrigerate, uncovered, 8 hours or overnight.

2. Soak wood chips in water 1 hour; drain well. Meanwhile, remove turkey from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

3. Light one side of grill, heating to medium heat (350°); leave other side unlit. Place 1 cup wood chips in an aluminum foil packet, and place over charcoal or heating element. Place a disposable aluminum foil pan under grill rack on unlit side. Pour 2 cups water in pan. Coat grill rack with cooking spray, and place turkey on unlit side of grill.

4. Grill turkey, covered with grill lid, 2 hours and 30 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 165°, turning turkey and adding remaining 1 cup wood chips halfway through cooking time. Remove turkey from grill; let stand 30 minutes before slicing.

Created date

September 2015