Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.

In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

Well, that was almost a disaster......

The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
edited 11:51AM in EggHead Forum
I may lose my title "prince of poultry" (I just made that up...) if I don't do better than today. Everything went fine until I lit the fire....[p]I decided to try the Alton Brown thing with doing 500 degrees for 30 minutes and then drop the temp to 350 for the remainder of the cook. Well, I don't know about all of you, but when I raise my cooker to high temps, most of the flame is in the rear of the cooker. I assume the air rushes in the bottom vent and comes roaring up the back side. After about 10 minutes, I could tell the bird was going to scorch on the back side if I left it like that much longer. So, I opened up the egg and turned the bird around, thinking I'd brown the other side. Well, that put the polder cable back awfully close to the roaring flames. Even though the cable was wrapped in foil, the probe lasted about 5 seconds before it started reading over 180 and told me the bird was done. 10 minutes. Not bad! I decided after another 10 minutes that I'd better shut the heat down to get the egg down to 350. It took about 40 minutes to get the heat down even with both vents shut tight. I inserted my replacement probe and cooked until done and the bird was surprisingly ok. No one suspected a thing, hee hee! Next year, it's 325 or 350 all the way....[p]The other thing that went a little bit wrong was that in using the fresh load of lump, I opened the the lid after the fire got going to 500 degrees and got a bit of a flash. It was after I was carving the turkey that my wife asked me what I had in my hair. Aw sh*t, most of the hair on the front of my head was crispy. I guess I need to lean back further and get out of the way of the flash if I'm going to open the lid without enough care.[p]Otherwise, it all went well. The 12 hour brine didn't make the 7% solution bird too salty (although the skin was quite salty) and the meat was moist and full of the flavors from everything in the brine and in the bird (the apple, onion, cinammon thing). [p]So, that's it until Christmas (those of use married to Brit's are obliged to do a turkey on Christmas day) when we try again! Happy Thanksgiving and damn those damn Cowboys![p]TNW
The Naked Whiz


  • TNW,
    Your experience is eerily similar to mine, I too followed the Alton Brown method. The brining went well but the 30 minute 500° phase did not. I did not put the temperature probe in during that phase since I knew the cable was at risk at that temperature. However I DID make the mistake of chatting to my neighbor (also a BGE owner) instead of paying attention to the dome temperature. When I returned to the egg the temp had run away to 650° plus the bird was scorched at the back. I removed it (into the sub-freezing early morning air), inserted the temp probe and covered the breast (& wings) with foil. It took a long time to crank the Egg down to down to 350°, despite burping and shutting off the air supply. I ended up letting it jog along at 325-330° for the rest of the cook. It kind of ruined my enjoyment of the cook though because I knew the runaway had consumed a lot of lump and I was worried that the thing would run out of fuel. In the end there was not a whole lot left and I had to open up the vents quite a long way to maintain the temperature. However in the end all went well and the bird tasted superb. The guests were impressed and I felt much better after a couple of glasses of wine.[p]As you say, next time I'll be doing it at 325-330° all the way through and paying much closer attention during the first 1/2 hour. Does anyone have any hints on the quickest way to reduce a runaway dome temperature?[p]Regards to all.

  • Forgot to mention, I'm a Brit (married to an American woman) and we will NOT be eating turkey on Christmas day!

  • Fairalbion,
    I also went for the Alton Brown method. I did the brime for 12 hours and wasn't sure about getting the dome back down from 500 so I set out to do 350 straight through. I say I set out because no battle plan survives contact. When I added three splits for the drip pan to rest on, and the bird in a drip pan, the additional mass kept the temps below 350 for about the first hour or so. Then I got careless and I came out to find the dome at 450. Yikes!
    I closed the vents and burped the egg a couple of times, but when I even cracked the bottom vent the temp started to go right back up. Then I tried something that seemed to do the trick. I added one additional fire brick on edge. This seemed to tame the wild fire and I was able to hold 350 for the rest of the cook.
    The bird looked great, a little dark, probably due to the runaway, but looked great. The skin was rubbery. I think that next time I may do the 500 in the oven and transfer to the egg.

  • Basselope,[p]It just occurred to me that it might work better to stabilize the egg at 500­°, put in the turkey, then IMMEDIATELY reduce the vent openings to start bringing the temperature down to the 350­° level. Given the the heat latency, this would approximate to the 30 minutes @ 500° specified in the Alton Brown recipe. What do you think?
  • davidmdavidm Posts: 64
    Fairalbion,[p]I think it might be better to cook at 350 until you're getting close to done, and then run the temp up to 500 to crisp the skin.[p]I got tired of rubber-skinned poultry caused by low-temp cooking and hit on a last-minute blast to fix it. Seems to work pretty well.

Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.