A firestarter chimney or second smaller grill is essential to barbecuing turkey. For best results, use natural hardwood charcoal.

Martha Stewart Living, November 1999


Recipe Summary



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Rinse cavity of turkey, and pat dry with paper towel. Place turkey, breast-side down, in a deep bowl or roasting pan. Combine barbecue sauce, vinegar, pepper, and sugar; pour over turkey. Let marinate, refrigerated, at least 8 hours or overnight.

  • Light a charcoal fire, and let it burn until the coals have become a white ash. Alternatively, heat half of a gas grill set on medium-high.

  • Brush the entire turkey with the marinade. Place the turkey on the grill, breast-side up, near but not directly over the coals, or on the side of the gas grill that is not turned on. Close the grill lid, and cook turkey 4 to 4 1/2 hours, until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the leg and breast is 160 degrees. Baste with the marinade every 30 to 45 minutes, rotating the turkey a quarter turn each time. Add coals heated in a firestarter chimney as needed to maintain an even temperature.

  • When the turkey is fully cooked, remove from the grill, and let sit for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with tomato-herb gravy if desired, or additional barbecue sauce.