Buttermilk & Herb-Grilled Turkey

I know, I know, this sounds way too easy. I’m telling you though, if you’ve never tried marinating turkey in old-fashioned Buttermilk Ranch Dressing and grilling it, you don’t know what you’re missing. The buttermilk has an enzyme that helps to tenderize the bird. The flavors that result from the dressing and the smoke from the drippings are amazing. The key to the flavor is surface area. By separating the turkey into breasts, drums, wings, thighs, etc., marinating them in pieces and then cooking them separately, it allows for more contact with the marinade and more contact with the grill, yielding way more flavor than if cooked whole. It’s quicker to cook this way too, and will have you eating in no time. Serves 6-8.


  • 1 young Turkey, 12-14 lb., cut into individual parts
  • 2 cups Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, prepared
  • 1/4 cup Parsley, fresh, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Chives, fresh, minced


Mix your dressing, preferably using the dry, Hidden Valley “packet type” variety that you can buy at the grocery store. Follow the recipe on the package. Combine the dressing with herbs and whisk well. In a large, non-reactive container, toss turkey with dressing, cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least for 4 hours). Prepare a wood, charcoal or gas grill. Rub the hot, clean grates of the grill with a little neutral oil just before grilling. Remove the meat from the marinade and wipe off any excess liquid. Place the turkey pieces directly over a medium flame and mark the turkey, turning as needed to create the crisscross marks, ensuring better flavor as a result. Once the turkey is well marked, move the pieces off to the side, away from direct heat and cover the grill. Cook covered until the turkey’s internal temperature is at least 165 degrees F. Remove the turkey from the grill and place on a warm platter. Loosely cover the pieces with foil and allow the turkey to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.  This will allow for flavors to re-distribute and yield juicier meat.

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