Barbecue for Thanksgiving? Barbecue Turkey Recipes


With the warm summer breezes giving way to cooler autumn winds, now is the time to do your last barbecues of the year. Thanksgiving is on the way, and with that, thoughts of turkey abound. For years, the average family has made the standard oven roasted bird. I’m tired of the same old turkey and for those of you that feel the same I have some great recipes that combine turkey and America’s love affair with barbecue.

Our first recipe is reminiscent to oven barbecued chicken:

What you’ll need:

  • 2 turkey breasts, preferably skin on
  • ½ cup melted fat and additional for basting (i.e. butter, margarine, etc…)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon onion salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Dash of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste


  • Split each turkey breast down the middle to make 4 equal sized parts.
  • Using a basting brush, baste pieces on both sides with melted fat and place on a heated broiling rack skin side down.
  • Place rack about 5 inches from heat and broil about 15 minutes.
  • Flip breasts over, rebaste, and broil on other side.
  • Use a kitchen thermometer to determine when inside of breast has reached a safe temperature.
  • Combine remaining ingredients to make a “barbecue” sauce and baste turkey while broiling.

Serves 4.

Another great idea is a boneless barbecue turkey roast that is fairly labor intensive, but is worth it.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 whole fresh or defrosted turkey
  • A sharp knife


  1. Remove skin of turkey in one whole piece. Cut skin around the small end of the drumstick and remove the wings at the second joint. Slit the skin from the neck to vent, cutting down the center of breast and along keel bone. Remove the skin by pulling away from the flesh, loosening with the knife as needed.
  2. Remove the legs by disjointing at the hip, in the usual way.
  3. Loosen flesh at the end of the breast bone and pull away from the bones, pulling in the direction of the neck. Once again, loosen with a knife if needed. Remove rest of the meat by pulling and cutting away with knife.
  4. Spread out the skin flat and shape into a square or rectangle on a flat surface. Place the meat over the skin, alternating white and dark meat to form a fairly even layer. As an alternative you can lay down all the white meat first then the dark to make separate and distinct layers. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Roll up turkey in the skin like a jelly roll, making sure roll is tight and tie roll tight with kitchen twine that has been soaking in water. Wrap roll in tinfoil loosely and place on grill. Grill until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees. Baste with own dripping to keep moist. Remove from foil and place on grill to get nice grill marks on skin.
  6. Place on serving platter and allow turkey to rest for juices to redistribute. Remove strings and baste in favorite barbecue sauce. Slice hot or cold.

Note: As a time saving tip, you may ask your local butcher to cut the turkey for you. Save the carcass for soup.

With these recipes you’ll not only have a thanksgiving to remember, but you’ll also get to enjoy that taste you can only get from barbecue. Experiment with your own variations and have a great time with your bird. You’ll never have to settle for dry roasted turkey ever again.

Be sure to checkout our Ultimate Guide to the Best Turkey Fryers and other reviews!

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