Grilling Turkey in a Weber Kettle

Have you ever tried grilling turkey in a Weber kettle grill? Weber grills are perfect for grilling whole turkey breasts, or even smaller whole turkeys.

To cook a great tasting, lightly smoked turkey breast in your Weber kettle grill, just follow a few simple steps. The larger 22 inch kettle is better suited for indirect grilling larger pieces of meat and poultry, but any size will work.

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Smoking Turkey Weber Kettle Smoked Breast

In smaller grills, use just a single pile of hot coals pushed to one side of the charcoal grate. With larger grills, you can use position a pile of hot coals on each side, and the heat will be far enough from the food so as not to burn it.

Lighting Charcoal in the Chimney

Smoking Turkey WSM Charcoal Chimney

Start by lighting the charcoal. If you are using charcoal baskets, fill your charcoal chimney and then dump the briquettes into the the baskets so you know what it will take to fill 'em up.

Refill the chimney with the right amount of charcoal, stuff paper into the bottom and fire it up. In 15 minutes or so you'll have hot coals.

How to Indirect Grill in a Weber Kettle

Smoking Turkey Weber Kettle Indirect Grilling

Position a pair of charcoal baskets on opposite sides of the charcoal grate. The benefit of using baskets is that the coals get better airflow and burn hotter.

If you don't have baskets, place a pair of bricks about 4 inches from opposite sides of the kettle, directly on the charcoal grate. These'll hold the coals in place, and also provide an elevated surface for the drip pan.

Place the drip pan between the two charcoal baskets. I use a cookie sheet, but could just as easily use a disposable aluminum pan of some sort.

Place a single layer of unlit briquettes in the bottom of each basket. Put some smoking wood on top if you want a little smoke flavor on your turkey. But I've found that by using just one piece about 8"x1"x1" on each side provides plenty of smoke for one turkey breast.

Smoking Turkey Weber Kettle Indirect Hot

Now that the charcoal in the chimney is ready, fill the two baskets with coals, placing an even amount in each. Pour the coals right on top of the smoker wood.

No baskets? Just pour the charcoal between the bricks and kettle sides. Use the same method of adding smoke wood here...on top of a single layer of briquettes, before adding hot coals.

Grilling Turkey in a Weber Kettle

Smoking Turkey Weber Kettle Turkey Breast

Put the food grate in place, and put a previously seasoned turkey breast in the center, between the charcoal baskets, sides of the breast facing the heat. The turkey can be brined, marinated, injected with flavor, or seasoned with a good turkey dry rub. There are turkey recipes elsewhere on this website.

Use a remote thermometer to monitor the interior temperature of the turkey breast. Be sure the probe doesn't touch bone, and is centered in one side of the breast meat. Route the probe wire as far from the charcoal as possible.

Place the lid on your Weber kettle grill, with the lid vent also directly centered (on one end) between the piles of charcoal.

My grill has the one touch airflow adjustment. I left it open about 1/4 of the way at first. After 10 minutes, I checked the temperature through the top vent and it was over 400 degrees, so I closed the bottom vent so it was open just a crack. The top vent was left half open the entire time. Be gentle with the probe wire when setting the lid down.

Grill the whole turkey breast in your Weber kettle until its internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Remove it from the grill and let it rest for 15 minutes. The internal temperature will continue to rise to the safe temperature of about 170 degrees. The juices will also become locked into the meat fibers, so they don't run out when sliced.

Grilling whole turkey breasts in a Weber kettle is the way to go if you are craving turkey, but don't want to go through the hassle of cooking a whole one. Great if you prefer white meat, too!

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