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Eric Spillman's Beer Can BBQ Turkey

Eric Spillman's Beer Can BBQ Turkey

Eric Spillman's favorite Thanksgiving recipe is a beer can bbq turkey, and it is one he has been following for years.

The beer makes the turkey more moist while it is cooking on a barbecue because it evaporates during the cooking process.

Eric said that if he can make this turkey recipe, anyone can, it's that easy. The best part is that the chef can have some of the beer used to make this dish!

"Is that a gorgeous turkey or what?" Eric said about his final product.

This segment aired on California Cooking With Jessica Holmes Episode 48.


Eric Spillman's Beer Can BBQ Turkey


  • 1 14 to16 pound turkey, thawed
  • Weber's Beer Can Chicken Seasoning
  • BBQ sauce
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 onion cut into quarters
  • 1 liter can of Foster's Lager

Necessary tools

  • Aluminum roaster pan
  • Aluminum foil
  • 4 cups of smoked wood chips


  1. Soak mesquite chips in enough beer to cover the chips for at least an hour.
  2. Wash turkey, pat it dry with a paper towel and take giblets out.
  3. Place turkey in aluminum roaster pan.
  4. Brush the outside of the turkey with butter.
  5. Sprinkle Weber's Beer Can Chicken Seasoning on outside and inside of the turkey.
  6. Open beer can and pour half a can into a glass.
  7. Use a church key-style can opener to pierce 4 to 6 more holes into the top of the beer can.
  8. Hold the turkey upright and position the can of beer so it fits into the body cavity of the turkey.
  9. Move the legs of turkey forward to stabilize the turkey and make it stand up.
  10. Use onion quarters to help stand the turkey upright.
  11. Put your last quarter of onion in the top of the turkey.
  12. Take grills off barbecue.
  13. Turn heat to 400 degrees on the left and right burner. Keep middle burner off.
  14. Take aluminum foil and create four 4X4 trays so you can put the soaked wood chips in them and place each tray in each of the corners of the grill.
  15. Cover the turkey with aluminum foil, place it in the middle of the barbecue and cook it for 2 hours.
  16. After 1 hour, pour a little beer on top of each of the 4 wood chip trays.
  17. After 2 hours, uncover turkey, brush it with BBQ sauce and cook it for another 20 minutes uncovered until temperature of turkey reads 165 degrees and it is golden brown.
  18. Let rest for 30 minutes before serving.
  19. Carefully lift the turkey off the beer can so it doesn't spill.
  20. Serve and enjoy!


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