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Playing Sunny Anderson's Beer Can Turkey

If you're in search for the next great recipe for Thanksgiving, we've got three words for you: Beer Can Turkey.

This incredible recipe -- which was pulled together by our good pal Sunny Anderson -- is worth testing out this holiday season for two main reasons.

One, it's super-easy to make.  Once you've loosened the skin of the turkey and rubbed your butter mixture underneath, simply place the turkey cavity (legs side down) on top of your beer can. Make sure the beer can has been emptied about halfway first to leave room for your herbs and zest. Then, you're pretty much ready to grill.

Second, at a time when everyone seems to be making the same ol' turkey, this recipe allows you the chance to think a little outside the box and truly impress your guests.

"Our oven is stacked full of sides and desserts," Sunny says. "You can take [this recipe] outdoors. Plus, it cooks faster, because [of the] air circulation."

Rachael also recommends this recipe because it allows the turkey's glaze to cook evenly.


  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, stripped and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, stripped and chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 12- to 15-pound turkey
  • 2/3 of a “tall boy” beer, the top third poured out (or drank)


Serves: 1 12- to 15-pound turkey


Turn on a burner on one side of the grill. Keep the lid down and allow the grill to preheat while you prepare the turkey.

In a small bowl, mix together the butter, fresh herbs and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper. Loosen the skin of the turkey and rub the butter mixture under the skin.

On the opposite side of the grill from the burner that is on, place the beer can. Carefully place the turkey cavity (legs side down) on top of the beer can. Make sure the turkey is upright and standing on its own.

Close the lid of the grill and do not open. Cook for 45 minutes, open the grill, rotate the turkey and close the grill again. Allow to cook for another 35-45 minutes, or until desired doneness (I pulled mine at 160°F).

Let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes, carve and serve.

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