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Mad Max Turkey questions/problems--follow up

Hustling HareHustling Hare Posts: 105
edited 12:56PM in EggHead Forum
Thought I'd respond in a new thread. Thanks to those who replied. First, let me respond to the suggestions then I'll tell you how the turkey turned out.[p]Mad Max and Jeffersonian: I think for the turkey tomorrow I will try to devise a shield for the overhanging corners. Max, I'll be more liberal with additional fluids (apple juice and/or wine).[p]Jeffersonian: Probe placement is a challenge when there is little onto which to clip the probe. I was putting is along side the edge of the pan. At first it was unprotected from the direct flame and read as much as 375 deg, clearly too hot. I slid it back to where it was protected by the plate setter and the temp read 325. Better than the first location and representative of the indirect environment but, on reflection, still too hot. Max specifies 325 dome and according to the wise folks here, grill temperature or lower is somewhat less, as much as 40 deg, so my indirect environment on up in the dome must have still been more than desirable.[p]Mike in Abita: As outlined above, I believe I need to cook at a lower pan-edge temperature, perhaps as low as 275 or slightly higher. With such a large bird I feel that the dome thermometer was unreliable due to the small space between the breast and the dome wall. Another mistake, putting the breast facing the front of the egg. I'll rotate it tomorrow to provide more space for the dome thermometer probe.[p]Michael B: The idea of less charcoal is intriguing. I guess I was concerned after reading Max' comment about the amount of charcoal he requires for his 21 lb turkeys. I'll look at what is left and adjust tomorrow for the smaller bird I am cooking. It's only about 14 lbs.[p]
Big'un: My set up starts with the plate setter on which I place the three green egg feet for spacing. I put my pan on the feet and it fits quite nicely. It is a 12x18 1/2 stainless steel pan. The only concern with this is the overhang of the corners of the pan above the air space at the three gaps in the plate setter. I put the turkey in the pan on my V-rack to elevate it above the base of the pan. I'm not sure I can agree that I am cooking direct except in the corners of the pan but I will confess to less than stellar temperature control.[p]East Cobb Eggy: Well it's some comfort to know I am not alone in the world with this problem. We will get over this. I do think you really need to devise a way to get some air space between the plate setter and your pan, if only 1/4 inch. At least the turkeys do come out juicy and great tasting even if the gravy is a disaster. I have had the gravy in previous times, although darker than Mad Msx' pictures show, and it is really quite good. I too will cook at a lower temperature as I have described above.[p]Now, how did everything turn out yesterday? The party was great, we had about 55 people here for that turkey, a purchased spiral cut ham, and some of the world's best eggnog (hand made at the party with help from the guests). We had everyone bring sides and deserts to go with the turkey and ham and their contributions were wonderful. The turkey breasts, wings, drums, and outer thighs were cooked just fine and were moist and delicious. The innermost parts of the thigh closest to the hip joint and inside were undercooked. I need to work on probe placement and get a thermopen...Santa, take note, please.[p]Thanks to all at this forum for the education I receive just by lurking (with very occasional contributions) and especially to those of you who have helped when I've had cooking problems over the years.[p]Finally, Happy Holidays to all, and have happy, safe, and prosperous new year.[p]Stewart[p][p]


  • Hustling Hare,
    Sounds like you got it under control. [p]Happy Holidays to you and your family[p]Mike

  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    Hustling Hare,
    We are all learning together on this forum. I'm glad the food went so well. I'm envious of the homemade nog. [p]The thing I was trying to point out, without having any visual pictures to go from, I/we can only make suggestions based on the info we are given. I'm still wondering if your pan is sagging so that it touches the platesetter, thereby conducting the heat towards your pan and bird, and burning off the liquids faster. If not, then it may be advantageous to put some rolled up foil logs under your pan to allow for more offset and less heat transfer from the platesetter(that's what I do). The corners of the pan that are in direct heat can be staved off by splaying some foil a couple inches below the corners so that they act like a heat plate,absorbing most of the heat. Couple this with some additional liquid, and I think things will improve. HTH. Glad to have you cooking with us!

  • Hustling Hare,
    well, it looks like you've done your homework!! LOL[p]as for the probe placement. .. try this. ..take a skewer and and run it from the edge of your pan into the turkey so that the skewer is parallel to bottom or edge of the pan. .. then clip on your temp probe to the skewer. .. that way it is is inside the the edge of the pan, but right at the same level as the pan. . .if you have a regular stick in probe, put a small potato on the skewer and then stick the probe through the spud so that the tip pokes out the end so again, the end of the probe is at the same elevation as the edge of your pan, but still inside the pan. .. .HTH

  • mad max beyond eggdome,[p]Sounds like an intriguing solution. I may not have a potato but I think I can find some type of vege to substitute. A section of zucchini, perhaps? Thanks for the suggestion on probe placement. I'll try it tomorrow.[p]Stewart
  • Big'un,[p]I do have some separation from the plate setter using the bge feet, but they do have a fairly large surface area contacting the pan and do conduct heat. I wonder. I do think I need to fashion some sort of a corner shield as you propose. [p]btw, I've been cooking with you all for several years now, mostly lurking. Contributing occasionally. I even claim at least junior egghead title as I read the forum and have been to an eggfest (Texas, last year).[p]Thanks for helping work this out with me.[p]Stewart

  • Mike in Abita,[p]I certainly hope so. We'll see tomorrow. Maybe I will take the time to take pictures and read the tnw instructions on posting on Wednesday when I next report.[p]Thanks for the help.[p]Stewart[p]
  • Hustling Hare,
    any vegetable should do. .. an apple would work as well. .. .

  • Hustling Hare,[p]Another egghead qualification is that the .net version of the board gives me "senior egger" status. I guess with that and the regular entry fee will get me into another eggfest, LOL.[p]S

  • mad max beyond eggdome,[p]Yep, and I put apples in the pan anyway, as your recipe directs.[p]Stewart

  • Hustling Hare,[p]WOW![p]On the charcoal leve, I wouldn't drop it a lot, maybe a couple inches.
    Good luck.

  • Hustling Hare,[p]Sorry, I just noticed this thread.[p]I hope we were able to give a little guidance. One thing I noticed, in retrospect, was something you didn't say that was a common problem amongst us Thanksgiving Eggers: low dome temperatures. Virtually all of us experienced a significant, prolonged drop in dome temp after putting our turkeys in. I know I did. If you didn't it might be that your fire was indeed cranking out a lot of heat and this manifested itself in the hot spots of your pan.[p]I'm glad your party was a success. I remember making my own nog once....barely.

  • Jeffersonian,[p]Yes, I did experience a little drop. I did admit in my first post to letting it get away as high as 500 dome before shutting it down so it would drop below 300. I put the plate setter in at that point and waited until I had a steady 325 before putting the turkey in. It must have risen a bit on me to have been measuring 325 at pan level. I promise to do a better job of temperature control tomorrow.[p]Making eggnog at our annual party is a big draw. I put guests to work helping make it. There is a really great cookbook, River Road Recipes, from the Baton Rouge Junior league. It's in its millionth printing now, I think, because it's so good. Anyway there is a chapter in the back called How Men Cook and a doctor put the recipe for eggnog in. It calls for a pint each of Bourbon, Rum, and Vodka along with a cup of sherry. I've never had the nerve to make it more than half strength. That recipe is wonderful. I think the doctor must be a cardiologist drumming up business, however in that the recipe calls for eggs, whole milk, and ice cream.
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