The Perfect Grilled Compound Butter Turkey
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • For the Compound Butter:
  • Yield: 1 cup
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon sage, minced
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, minced
  • For the Turkey:
  • 16 - 22 pound fresh turkey
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large onion, cleaned and cut into large pieces
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 3 rosemary sprigs, fresh
  • ½ bunch sage
  • 1 cup compound butter
  • Chicken stock for roasting pan
  • Chef’s Note: Use a paper towel to pat down the turkey at the beginning when removing the bag from the cavity and before seasoning. This technique will assure crispy skin with your finished product. If you buy a frozen turkey, make sure to give it plenty of time to defrost properly in your refrigerator ahead of time before the big day comes!
  1. For the Compound Butter: In a small bowl, or in your kitchen-aid using the paddle attachment, combine all the ingredients and mix well.
  2. Arrange the turkey so the cavity and neck are facing toward you.
  3. Using you hands along with a long rubber spatula, slowly loosen the skin by sliding the hand and/or spatula between the breast and skin, repeating on other side of breastbone.
  4. Separate the skin all the way from the cavity, along the front of breast and down into where the wings joint starts. Again, repeat on the other side.
  5. Separate the butter into halves, and reserve a small amount to finish on top of the skin.
  6. Carefully stuff the compound butter under the skin and use your hands to massage the mixture down and towards the front of the bird. Try to spread it as evenly as possible. Complete both sides.
  7. Finally, take the small amount reserved and carefully run it all over the top of the skin/bird.
  8. This can be done ahead of time, by placing foil on top and into fridge the night before until ready to use. Just make sure to pull the bird out and allow to sit room temp for about 40 minutes before grilling.
  9. For the Turkey: Remove the bag which contains the neck, gizzard, heart, liver from inside the turkey.
  10. Tuck the wing tips under the breast to keep them from burning.
  11. Season the inside of the cavity with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  12. Add the onion, lemon, rosemary sprigs, sage and bay leaves to the inside of the turkey’s cavity.
  13. Next, read above and do the compound butter step.
  14. Set the turkey down inside a roasted pan and onto Bulls' Stainless Reversible Roasting/Rib Rack. Truss the legs together with twine, securing them together to close.
  15. Add about 4 cups chicken stock to the roasting pan to keep the “bbq oven” and bird moist.
  16. Carefully cover the entire breast section with foil, to avoid the skin from burning. The foil will be removed the last 45 minutes of cooking to nicely brown.
  17. Set up your Bull BBQ to cook using indirect heat.
  18. Turn on the two outside burners to medium to preheat the oven to 325 degrees, leaving the two center burners off. Roast at 325 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes per pound.
  19. Once ready, open the lid and place the pan holding the rack and turkey covered with foil in the center where the heat is turned off.
  20. Cook the 16 pound turkey for 3.5 to 4.5 hours, using indirect heat at 325 degrees F.
  21. For the last 45 minutes of cooking when the foil is removed, baste the turkey with the liquid from the bottom of the pan. Keep an eye on the skin so it does not burn.
  22. The turkey is fully cooked when the internal temperature reads 165 degrees of the breast and close to 170 degrees on the innermost part of the thigh. Use Bull's Instant Read Flip Tip Digital Thermometer for best results.
  23. Once done, remove the turkey/pan from the grill and allow it to rest for about 25 minutes before carving.
  24. Remove the twine and carve the turkey and place on a beautiful platter and serve. Take a sip of your mulled wine and enjoy the delicious meal!
Recipe by Grilling Outdoor Recipes powered by Bull Outdoor Products at