Barbeque Spice-Brined Grilled Turkey

The best turkey is grilled turkey, a whole bird only takes about one hour if you're grilling it.




  • 2 tablespoons hot smoked paprika

  • 1 tablespoon dried savory

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ¼ cup (packed) plus 3 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • ½ cup kosher salt

  • 1 12–14-pound turkey, halved (backbone removed, breastbone split)

  • Vegetable oil (for grill)

Special Equipment

  • A disposable foil pan and 1 cup wood chips soaked in water at least 1 hour (optional); oven thermometer




  • Mix paprika, savory, cumin, mustard powder, cayenne, and ¼ cup brown sugar in a small bowl. Transfer 3 Tbsp. spice mixture to a medium bowl; mix in salt and remaining 3 Tbsp. brown sugar. Set remaining mixture aside for the next day. Cover turkey with dry brine, packing on until you’ve used it all. Chill on a rimmed baking sheet uncovered 8–12 hours.

  • Thoroughly rinse turkey to remove brine; pat dry. Rub with reserved spice mixture and let sit 2 hours to bring to room temperature.

  • Prepare grill for medium-high, indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side of grill; for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off) and lightly oil grates. If using wood chips: Scatter over coals, if using a charcoal grill; place in a disposable foil pan and set over lit burner, if using a gas grill.

  • Place turkey, skin side up, over indirect heat, breast halves facing each other, with legs closest to direct heat. Place oven thermometer in center of indirect heat zone; cover. Grill 20 minutes, then rotate halves so neck end is closest to coals. Check temperature inside grill; thermometer should register 325° (open or close vents as needed). Continue to grill turkey, checking for doneness after 20 minutes, then again every 10 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast registers 150°, about 1 hour total.

  • If desired, carefully move turkey over direct heat and turn skin side down. Grill to lightly char skin, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let rest at least 30 minutes before carving.


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