Barbecued Turkey Recipe

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I don't remember where my sister found this recipe, but it quickly became a family favorite. From the zesty, flavorful sauce and crispy skin to the juicy and tender meat, it's the best Thanksgiving turkey I've ever tried. —Valerie Delano, Cascade, Montana
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 70 min. Grill: 2 hours + standing
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 70 min. Grill: 2 hours + standing
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 teaspoons pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 turkey (12 to 14 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Nutritional Facts

8 ounces cooked turkey with 2 tablespoons sauce : 709 calories, 32g fat (8g saturated fat), 245mg cholesterol, 1451mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (24g sugars, 1g fiber), 73g protein.


  1. In a large saucepan, saute onions and garlic in 1/4 cup oil until tender. Stir in the ketchup, water, syrup, vinegar, molasses, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, celery seed, pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon pepper and ginger. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until slightly thickened. Set aside 1-1/2 cups for serving.
  2. Remove giblets from turkey (discard or save for another use). Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Prepare grill for indirect heat, using a drip pan. Skewer turkey openings; tie drumsticks together. Rub remaining oil over skin of turkey. Sprinkle salt and remaining pepper over turkey and inside cavity.
  3. Place turkey over drip pan; grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 1 hour. Brush with some of the sauce mixture. Grill 1-1/2 to 2 hours longer or until a meat thermometer reads 180°, basting frequently with remaining sauce. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes before carving. Serve with reserved sauce. Yield: 12 servings (1-1/2 cups sauce).
Originally published as Barbecued Turkey in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2012, p122

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