Cooking Time for Grilling a Turkey Breast

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Cooking a turkey on a chargoal grill.
Cooking a turkey on a chargoal grill.

If you enjoy the taste of turkey and you love the taste of grilled poultry, then there's no reason not to jump at the chance of sampling grilled turkey. The process is very much like grilling a chicken breast, and it just requires a little knowledge to make sure it's done right.

Prepare the turkey breast

Like any poultry, you need to wash the turkey breast off with warm water and pat it dry with a clean paper towel before cooking. If you want flavorful meat, use your fingers to gently lift up the skin of the breast away from the meat. Season the meat under the skin and feel free to even add some orange or lemon slices. Keep the skin in place during grilling by simply pinning it to the meat with toothpicks. You can also marinade your turkey breast by sealing it in a sealed plastic bag for 12 to 24 hours.

Prepare the Grill

You'll want to cook your turkey breast with indirect heat, which does take longer but allows for a moister meat. To prepare a gas grill, remove the grate and ignite just one side of burners at about a medium temperature. For a charcoal grill, remove the grate and make a small stack of the charcoal on one side. Ignite it and allow it to ash over. Spread it over just one half of the grill bottom. Place a drip pan, filled about halfway with water, under where the turkey will sit on the nonheated side of the grill. You'll want to spray the cold grate with non-stick spray and then place it back on the grill.

Grilling the Turkey Breast

Put your turkey breast, bone-side down, on the grate on the side of the grill that is not being directly heated and then close the grill lid. You'll want to let it cook for about an hour and a half to two hours, depending on the size of the turkey breast. During the process, if using a charcoal grill, you'll likely have to lift up the grate and drop three or four charcoal briquettes into the heat to allow it to maintain the temperature. Baste the breast several times with butter or oil to keep it moist throughout the process. The best way to check if a turkey breast is done is to use a meat thermometer. The temperature should be 170 degrees and the juices should be clear. Cover the meat and let it stand for 10 minutes before cutting to allow the natural juices to saturate the meat.

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