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How big a turkey in a large BGE?

JimboJimbo Posts: 44
edited 1:01PM in EggHead Forum
I am smoking a turkey this Thanksgiving in my large BGE. I did a 10# bird last year, unbrined, sitting on the v-rack over a dry drip pan at 350* with no added smoking wood. This year I am going for a bigger bird, brined, on the verticle roaster, no drip pan, at 225* with pecan chunks for smoke.[p]My question is this: If I am using the verticle turkey roaster, what is the largest bird that I can get in the egg and still get good air flow out the top? I am just looking for a ballpark number - I KNOW that I should take my tape measure to Publix, but I aint gonna. [p]So how big in lbs can I do without having to do "Turkey Surgery" to get the big a** bird to fit in my large BGE?[p]Thanks,[p]Jimbo
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Comments

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Jimbo,[p]You run out of room quicly when you make the bird vertical. Often you will need to back out the dome thermometer too so it doesn't touch the bird and skew the temp reading. I am not sure anyone will be able to give you an exact number - too many variables in birds and vertical roaster stands. I did a vertical 12 lb'er last year abd its neck was in the chimney hole. I also had it up on firebricks which added 1" more. I would suggest using the V rack if its a big bird and 350 deg.[p]
    I would certainly avoid both 250 temps and smoke but that's personal taste to some degree. 250 doesn't brown the bird well at all. [p]Tim

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  • bdavidsonbdavidson Posts: 411
    Jimbo,
    I don't own a verticle roaster, but last year I cooked a 30.5 pound bird on a V-rack in a Large BGE. That's about the maximum I'd attempt. It was a tight fit!

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  • JimboJimbo Posts: 44
    Tim M,[p]I did a 14# on the vert. It was WAY up to the top. I just hear about folks doing big birds on the vert and can't figure out how.[p]Why 350*? Is is a time thing or do you not like a smoky tasting turkey or something else?[p]What temperature do you cook them to? I have done 170* in the breast as a matter of habit, but I think it rises to 175*-180* after sitting 10 minutes.[p]Jimbo

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  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    turkey2.jpg
    <p />Jimbo,[p]I use 350 deg indirect for two reasons. Lower temps make the bird sort of a gray color and rubbery in texture and more smokey flavored. I am not big on the smoke and less so with foul. [p]This is the way I normally do turkey - a breast in a V rack indirect at 350 for 3 hrs. I go to 165 in the breast.[p]Tim
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  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    turkey2.jpg
    <p />Jimbo,[p]I use 350 deg indirect for two reasons. Lower temps make the bird sort of a gray color and rubbery in texture and more smokey flavored. I am not big on the smoke and less so with foul. [p]This is the way I normally do turkey - a breast in a V rack indirect at 350 for 3 hrs. I go to 165 in the breast.[p]Tim
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  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    bdavidson,[p]Good golly, I have hunted some wild birds and got a 24lb turkey some 6-7 years ago that was huge. It filled 1/3 of my freezer, as I recall, but a 30 lb bird would be really huge. Are you sure it wasn't a buzzard?? Just kidding, was that a 30lb dressed out bird??[p]Tim
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  • bdavidsonbdavidson Posts: 411
    Tim M,
    Got it right from the company store: Empire Kosher Poultry. I keep on saying that kosher poultry beats Purdue any day of the week! It's delicious.

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  • SloMoSloMo Posts: 21
    Jimbo,
    Last T'day smoked a 22 lb. Turkey. Plate setter with drip pan and v-rack at 200*-220*, at a bird tempature (polder) of 150*+/- I kicked the Egg up to 300* to finish off, total cooking time 30 hours. Be careful of large birds as they tend to be the older and may be tougher. While pleased with the result, this year I will smoke 2 - 12 lb. birds instead.
    SloMo

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  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,913
    Jimbo,
    Last year I did a 17lb on a vert roaster and all I did was back the dome thermometer out a little. Did Mr. Tom at 350* as I recall and followed directions. My only words of caution are when you bring Mr. Tom in to carve make sure you have a bowl or a deep platter under him because the juice, which you WILL use for the best tasting gravy you ever had, will splash out and you don't want to lose it. My family raved about Mr. Tom being the most moist bird we ever had! Used pecan and apple for just a touch of smoke flavor and no one objected...it was mild enough for all[p]C

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  • Tim M,[p]I haven't ordered a large BGE yet because I'm still trying to figure out if a 20lb turkey will fit in it. This discussion seems to suggest that I will be better off fitting the Turkey in flat (i.e. in a pan or something) rather than vertical.[p]But some folks seem to suggest that a turkey in the high 'teens (pounds) will fit, but one in the low 20's might not. What is your take?[p]Thanks.[p]Sam Ginsburg
    Prospective owner.

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