Christmas BBQ Turkey

BBQ turkey on a plate with sliced lemon and Christmas decorations in the background

Turkey on a BBQ for Christmas? It may not be something you hear of often, but this unexpected combo is mouthwatering and sure to be a hit with your family and guests. So, get your grill ready and check out this flavourful, delightful BBQ turkey recipe.

BBQ turkey on a plate with sliced lemon and Christmas decorations in the background

The Ultimate BBQ Turkey

Blake Hall
Get ready to become the de facto Turkey chef if you serve this at Christmas!  
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10 people


  • 800 g salt (to brine)
  • 1 whole turkey (around 5kg)
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 80 g Coat of Arms seasoning
  • 200 g softened butter


  • For the best flavour results, brine the turkey the night before you cook it. Place the turkey in a large tub and cover it with a brine solution made from 800g of salt and 10 litres of water. Mix the salt with the water until it is completely dissolved, cover, and store the mixture in the fridge overnight. You can do this for up to 24 hours but be sure to remove the brine 2 hours before you cook the turkey.
  • Drain the liquid out of the tub, refill it with fresh water, and allow the turkey to sit for another hour. Every 15 minutes, replace the tub with fresh water to make sure all the excess salt is removed. Pat the turkey dry and allow it to come to room temperature.  
  • Get your BBQ ready by lining coals around the edges. This technique is known as indirect cooking and is the key to success for this BBQ turkey recipe. You can use a disposable foil tray set in the middle to catch any juices. 
  • Light your coals to get them heating up. In the meantime, cut one of the lemons in half and place it in the turkey cavity along with half of your herb or spice blend and the garlic (cut in half). Rub half of the softened butter all over the turkey skin. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the remaining lemon over the turkey. 
  • When the coals are turning ashen, put your turkey over the drip tray in the middle of the rack. Close the lid and allow the turkey to cook for 2 to 3 hours. Cooking times vary, so be sure to keep an eye on it occasionally. Avoid lifting the lid too often or you’ll increase the cooking time. 
  • Add the remainder of your herb and spice blend to the rest of the melted butter and mix them together to create an amazing herbed butter! Every 45 minutes, baste the turkey with this herb butter. Add extra coals as needed to maintain a consistent temperature of roughly 180 to 200°C.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure the turkey has reached a safe internal temperature of 70°C. Remove the turkey, cover it in foil, leave to rest for 30 to 45 minutes before you carve it. It can stay hot for up to an hour when covered in foil and draped with a towel. 
Keyword Barbeque
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Why I Love This BBQ Turkey Recipe

BBQ turkey is tender, moist, and packed with flavour. Compared to traditional turkey recipes baked in an oven, BBQ turkey can save you time and decrease the risk of ending up with that dreaded, dry, overcooked meat.

Instead, BBQ turkey is tender, juicy, and bursting with flavour. Be prepared for requests for this BBQ turkey recipe if you serve this at your next Christmas gathering!

And the advantages of BBQ turkey don’t end with the tender texture and phenomenal taste. As a bonus, by using a BBQ turkey recipe, you free up space in your oven for all your other Christmas baking. 

Nutritional Info About Turkey

Lean meats such as turkey are an excellent source of protein, along with important vitamins and minerals such as zinc, vitamin B12, iodine, and iron.

According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines, it is recommended for adults to consume 1-3 servings of lean meat and poultry, such as turkey, every day.

What Spices Should You Use on BBQ Turkey?

Turkey has a neutral flavour profile and naturally soaks up any spices used to season it, so feel free to get creative and play around with different blends of herbs and spices.

Classic turkey seasonings include garlic, oregano, rosemary, and brown sugar. You can experiment with your own blends or opt for one of our pre-made turkey seasoning blends.

I highly recommend our Coat of Arms rub and seasoning, one of our best-selling blends that incorporates a range of classic turkey seasonings into one convenient spice blend.

With rosemary, oregano, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and a hint of ground fennel and raw sugar, Coat of Arms Coat offers a unique flavour perfectly suited to bbq turkey.


I hope you enjoy this BBQ turkey recipe. If you try it, be sure to let us know what you think! For more delicious inspiration, browse our collection of recipes for more delicious ways to use our rubs and blends.


Learn to Cook with Spices

Spice up your cooking game with our free Beginner's Guide to Cooking with Spices