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A grilled turkey breast on a plate.

Grilled Turkey Breast

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Thanksgiving
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: American


Grilled Turkey Breast – a simple, delicious turkey breast recipe that is perfect for a small gathering!


  • 1 turkey breast (we used a 8 pound turkey breast)
  • 1/2 cup butter or ghee, softened, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • stuffing (optional): cut up white onion, orange, garlic and fresh rosemary


  1. Preheat Grill: Preheat your grill to 400 degrees F.
  2. Thaw: Ensure turkey breast is completely thawed and at room temperature.
  3. Aluminum Tray: Place turkey breast in an aluminum tray.
  4. Dry: Pat down with a clean paper towel and get the turkey as dry as possible.
  5. Butter: Take 1/4 cup butter and rub all over, getting into every nook and cranny, including the cavity.
  6. Season: Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.
  7. Stuffing: you can stuff the cavity of the turkey breast if you want (optional).
  8. Grill: Place on top of grill grates, centered as much as possible.
  9. Close Grill: Close grill and let cook for a total of approximately 14-15 minutes per pound or until the turkey reaches an internal temp of 165 at the thickest part of the bird and juices run clear.
  10. Temp: As soon as you close the lid, drop the grill temp to 325. Note, grill temp will drop substantially after opening the grill to put the bird inside.
  11. Basting: Only open the grill once or twice to baste during cooking time. You can baste using the other 1/4 cup of melted butter or by taking the juices that have gathered in the bottom of your pan (or both).
  12. Final Temp + Rest: Use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature.  Once turkey reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees at the thickest part of the thigh and juices run clear, remove from grill.  Baste first with the juices in the bottom of the pan and then let rest 30 minutes while covered with foil.
  13. Carve: Carve and serve immediately and use leftover pan drippings to make homemade turkey gravy


  • Thawing a Turkey: Questions on thawing – here is a great post answering all your thawing questions!
  • Brining: You can definitely brine your turkey beforehand! Here is a great Brining Turkey 101 post.
  • Preheating Grill: We are preheating the grill a little high (higher than we are grilling it at) to account for the fact that there will be a significant drop in temp as a result of opening the grill to put the turkey inside. Once the turkey is inside the temp needs to be at 325 – it should be close to that temp anyway after opening the grill.
  • Cooking Temp: 14-15 minutes per pound is approximate, so use that as a base.  Check the time with a meat thermometer when you baste to keep an eye on it. Especially with grilling, using the internal temp as your guide is the best!
  • Aluminum Tray: We used two heavy duty aluminum trays to hold the turkey in for grilling – highly recommend doubling for support! This will also catch your drippings so you can make gravy!
  • Dry: Make sure you turkey is as dry as possible before the butter.  This helps it brown up nicely on the grill!
  • Butter: You can use butter or ghee (softened) – apply generously as this will help brown the turkey and also add the the juices that will gather in the bottom of the pan, which can then be used to make gravy later!
  • Seasoning: Use as much salt and pepper as necessary to lightly coat the turkey -the amount will depend on how big your bird is, but don’t be afraid to apply liberally.
  • Stuffing: We stuffed the bird with with orange, onion and garlic, but feel free to use whatever you wish! If you stuff with actual stuffing, you will want to increase the cook time appropriately.
  • Opening Grill/Basting: Treat the grill like an oven – don’t open often or your temp will drop and it will effect the cooking time. I would recommend opening it only 1-2 times to baste, especially towards the end to of the cooking time (you will need to check internal temp towards the end anyway). Baste with additional melted butter or just with the juices in the bottom of the pan.
  • Internal Meat Thermometer: Make sure you have a reliable internal meat thermometer to check the internal temp – I like this one.  Your turkey should reach 165 degrees at the thickest part of the bird and the juices should run clear.