Poultry (Chicken, Turkey)

Below you will find proper grilling times for various types of poultry. These are general chicken, turkey and Cornish game hen grilling times, always use a meat thermometer to ensure your poultry reaches the proper temperature.

To find the proper chicken, turkey or Cornish game hen grilling time on the chart below, find the cut of poultry you are grilling in the first column and follow the row to your right for various preparations. You will find the grilling times for the following cuts of poultry: Chicken Breast, Chicken Thighs, Chicken Drumsticks, Chicken Broiler-fryer, Cornish Game Hens, Turkey, Turkey Breasts, Turkey Drumsticks, Turkey Hindquarters, Turkey Tenderloin, Turkey Patties, Turkey Tenderloin Steaks.


Grilling Instructions for Boneless Breast, Turkey Patties and Turkey Tenderloin Steaks: Grill over direct medium heat for the time given in chart, turning once halfway through grilling time.

Type of Poultry Thickness or Weight Well (180º)
Chicken breasts, skinned and boned 4-5 oz. ea. 10-12 min.
Turkey patties (ground raw turkey) ¾ in. thick 10-12 min.
Turkey tenderloin steaks 4-6 oz. ea. 10-12 min.

Grilling Instructions for Poultry Pieces (with or without skin): Grill over medium heat for the time given in the chart. During the last 10 minutes of grilling time, brush with sauce, if desired.


Grilling Instructions for Whole Birds: Place whole chicken or turkey, breast side up, in center of the cooking grate. Grill by indirect heat for the time given in the chart or until registers 180°. When checking for doneness with a meat thermometer, insert in the center of the inside thigh muscle, making sure the thermometer probe does not touch the bone.

Type Thickness/Weight Medium (170º) Well (180º)
Broiler-fryer chicken, halves 1½-2 lbs.   1-1¼ hrs.
Broiler-fryer chicken, whole 3-4 lbs. 1¼-1¾ hrs.
Chicken breast halves, thighs, and drumsticks From 3-4 pound bird.
Adjust slightly for larger bird.
  35-45 min.
Cornish game hens, halves ½-¾ lb. ea. 40-50 min.
Cornish game hens, whole 1-1½ lbs. ea.   45-60 min.
Turkey, boneless, whole 2½-3½ lbs. 1¾-2¼ hrs.
Turkey, *unstuffed, whole 6-8 lbs. 1¼-2 hrs.
Turkey breasts, half 3-4 lbs.  1½-2 hrs. 
Turkey breasts, whole 4-6 lbs. 1½-2¼ hrs.
Turkey drumsticks ½-1½ lbs. ea.   ¾-1¼ hrs.
Turkey hindquarters 2-4 lbs. ea. 1-1½ hrs.
Turkey tenderloin, whole 1 in. thick 14-15 min.
Turkey thigh 1-1½ lbs. 50-60 min.

*Be sure to fully defrost turkey before grilling. When defrosting turkey in the refrigerator, allow 24 hours for every 5 lbs.

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