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Marinated Thanksgiving Turkey

My family enjoys this Thanksgiving turkey because it cooks up tender, tasty and golden brown. Build up flavor by marinating the meat, then grill it to add a tempting barbecued flavor. —Ken Churches, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  • Total Time
    Prep: 10 min. + marinating Grill: 2-1/2 hours + standing
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 2 cups water
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 turkey-size oven roasting bags
  • 1 turkey (12 to 14 pounds)


  • Combine the first 7 ingredients; set aside and refrigerate 1 cup for basting. Place 1 oven roasting bag inside the other. Place turkey inside inner bag; pour in remaining marinade. Seal bags, pressing out as much air as possible; turn to coat turkey. Place in a shallow roasting pan. Refrigerate overnight, turning several times.
  • Remove turkey; drain and discard marinade.
  • Prepare grill for indirect medium heat. Tuck wings under turkey and arrange breast side down on grill rack. Grill, covered, for 1 hour.
  • If using a charcoal grill, add 10 briquettes to coals; turn the turkey. Baste with reserved marinade. Cook, covered, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, adding 10 briquettes to maintain heat and brushing with marinade every 30 minutes until thermometer inserted in thigh reads 170°. Remove turkey from grill; tent with foil. Let stand 20 minutes before carving.
  • Conventional roasting method: Follow steps for marinating turkey overnight. Preheat oven to 325°. Place turkey on a rack in a large roaster. Bake, uncovered, 3 to 3-1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted in a thigh reads 170°. Baste frequently with reserved marinade. When turkey begins to brown, cover lightly with a tent of aluminum foil. Remove turkey from oven; tent with foil. Let stand 20 minutes before carving. If desired, skim fat and thicken pan drippings for gravy; serve with turkey.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • If roasting, save the pan drippings to make the best-ever gravy. Learn how.
  • Try to resist the urge to peek inside the oven while the turkey’s roasting. Opening the door cools the oven, adding extra cooking time.
  • Opting to grill? Don't forget to clean your grill thoroughly before you begin. Built-up crud can give your turkey an off-flavor and is the number one culprit of causing food to stick.
  • Let turkey be the star of your Thanksgiving menu, but consider pairing it with these classic thanksgiving sides.
  • Nutrition Facts
    9 ounces cooked turkey (calculated without gravy): 407 calories, 12g fat (4g saturated fat), 171mg cholesterol, 383mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 1g fiber), 67g protein.


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    Average Rating:
    • Mel
      Dec 18, 2017

      Great recipe. We fixed it at Thanksgiving this year & got rave reviews.Planning to do 2 for Christmas.

    • shannondobos
      Oct 16, 2017

      Canadian Thanksgiving had passed when I found this recipe, but I tried it yesterday on a chicken (I scaled the marinade back). Hands down, best roast chicken I've ever made! The gravy from the drippings is also delicious. I can't wait to try it on a turkey, as the recipe intends. The flavor is AMAZING!

    • Carlos
      Nov 22, 2016

      I used this marinade last yr and it was a hit. There was no turkey left. So I'm using the same marinade this yr. The turkey is so juicy and has a different taste but very delicious..The one thing I'm going to do differently is , I'm going to inject the marinade right into the turkey.. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

    • boxer-lover
      Dec 5, 2013

      I let out the ginger and lemon juice

    • cynmap
      Nov 27, 2013

      makes a tasty lovely turkey. good grilled and in conventional oven

    • minauctions
      Nov 18, 2013

      I have been making this brine for over 10's the best!

    • mrsb1218
      Dec 9, 2011

      I made this recipe for our first Thanksgiving at home. Wow. My husband couldn't stop stuffing his face - and he doesn't generally like turkey!

    • rae2010
      Dec 27, 2010

      This was absolutely fantastic. I made a few tweeks to suit our taste - I did not add lemon juice or the ground ginger but otherwise followed the recipe to a "T." I did use the convetional roasting method and wrapped the turkey in tin foil to help the turkey stay moist. The drippings made an excellent gravy as well. Yummy!!!

    • KarenMK
      Nov 23, 2010

      This recipe is wonderful. We have been making it for years. I also passed it on to my sisters and now they have made it their tradition. The turkey comes out with a great flavor on the grill or in the oven.

    • graywulf
      Nov 4, 2010

      yea, I'm going to try this year. Thankyou