How to Make the Best Thanksgiving Turkey

This past weekend we invited my family over for an early Thanksgiving dinner.  When my husband and I got married, we decided to trade off every other year with our families when it came to Thanksgiving.  This year, being an even year, is the year we spend with his family.  However, I had a turkey in the freezer (and I like having Thanksgiving leftovers!!) so I invited my family over.

The food was delicious.  We had:

  • Beer-Can Turkey
  • Hawaiian Ham
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Brown Sugar Carrots
  • Green Beans
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Stuffing
  • Rolls
  • Angel Food Cake and Fruit

If you’ve never had Beer-Can Turkey, you are really missing out!  Here’s what you need to do:

Thanksgiving Turkey

  1. Remove the (nasty) giblets bag.
  2. Wash the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry.
  3. Rub the turkey with olive oil or vegetable oil and sprinkle your desired seasonings on the turkey, making sure to cover every inch of the turkey (we used Beer-Can chicken seasoning).
  4. Pin the flap at the top closed so you keep all the moisture inside the turkey.  We purchased metal toothpicks for this.
  5. Using a Beer Can Chicken Stand, place a turkey on to a can of beer (we used Fosters).  If you’d on’t have a beer can, carefully place the beer can inside the turkey.
  6. Set the turkey on the grill or in an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees.
  7. Our 14lb turkey took a little over 3 hrs to grill.  Make sure you rotate the turkey a 1/4 turn every 30 mins or so.

And here is what our finished turkey looked like:

Thanksgiving Turkey

What’s nice about this style of cooking your turkey is that the beer can allows all the moisture to stay inside the turkey so you literally have a juicy turkey that tastes delicious.  Not a fan of beer?  That’s OK!  Play around with different flavors and seasonings.  I’ve seen a recipe where you can use apple juice!  The possibilities are endless.

What is your favorite way to cook a turkey?


  1. Great recipie Leah, love this turkey. Have you ever tried brine? Basically super salty water and all the normal spices you like, but the salt allows the cell walls to break down and the spices permeate the bird and keep it super moist. Boil water (we have used apple juice) and stir in the salt until the solution stops absorbing the salt. When the salt just falls through and sits on the bottom you are done, add you spices and then put the turkey in a cooler or water bath with ice over night. Even if 1/2 the bird is covered, you can flip 1/2 way through and the turkey sits in it like a marinade. The cooking method is still up to you, but the brined turkey is the best we have every had, moist and flavorful whether you bake, deep fry or grill. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Add Your Comment


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.