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Apple-Grilled Turkey with Cider Gravy

Randy Mayor
Yield 12 servings (serving size: 6 ounces turkey and 1/4 cup gravy)
This method uses charcoal, but the recipe also works well with gas grills. Purchase applewood chips from online purveyors such as Garnish the carved bird with apple slices, parsley, and sage. Brush the apple slices with lemon juice to prevent browning.


  • 2 cups applewood chips, divided
  • 1 (12-pound) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
  • 2 cups chopped onion (about 1 medium)
  • 2 cups chopped Granny Smith apple (about 1)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle hard apple cider
  • 3 cups Make-Ahead Gravy

Nutrition Information

  • calories 394
  • caloriesfromfat 22 %
  • fat 9.5 g
  • satfat 3.3 g
  • monofat 2.7 g
  • polyfat 2.3 g
  • protein 67.4 g
  • carbohydrate 2.9 g
  • fiber 0.1 g
  • cholesterol 228 mg
  • iron 4.6 mg
  • sodium 363 mg
  • calcium 48 mg

How to Make It

  1. Soak wood chips in water 30 minutes. Drain well.

  2. Remove and discard giblets and neck from turkey. Trim excess fat. Combine onion, apple, sage, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Stuff body cavity with onion mixture. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Brush turkey with oil; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cover breast with foil. Place turkey in a disposable aluminum foil pan.

  3. To prepare the turkey for indirect grilling, preheat grill, heating one side to medium and leaving one side with no heat. Maintain temperature at 350°.

  4. Place 1 cup wood chips on hot coals. Place pan on unheated side of grill. Cover and cook 45 minutes. Place remaining 1 cup wood chips on hot coals; cover and cook 45 minutes. Add coals as needed to maintain temperature at 350°. Remove foil from breast; cover and cook 35 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in meaty part of thigh registers 165°. Remove turkey from grill; let stand at least 30 minutes before carving. Discard onion mixture and skin.

  5. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour drippings from pan into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner. Drain drippings into a bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat.

  6. Place cider in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 3/4 cup (about 4 minutes). Add pan drippings and Make-Ahead Gravy; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 3 cups (about 5 minutes).