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1st Mad Max Turkey (Pic Heavy)

GoodyGoody Posts: 102
edited 12:56PM in EggHead Forum
Well 1st Thanksgiving with and Egg so it is my first Mad Max Turkey. I will say the turkey process was extremely easy with the detailed direction Max provides on The Naked Whiz's site. The gravy was another story for me. While it is simple (with practice I am sure) I found it a little challenging my first time through. It is a decent number of steps when trying to read through the directions. I though my gravy for the 1st time was horrible. It was very dark and had a very strong taste that was bitter.

The turkey looked good and smelled eggsellent while cooking. The only thing is that it cooked faster than I anticipated. I had a 20 lb bird and running the egg at 325 it coked in 4.5 hrs. I think it had to do with using my Digi Q to help with temp cntrol and tenting after the 1st hour or 2. I think when I tented it loosely to keep from browning too quickly it affected the dome temp above the foil. As a result the temp reading at the temp probe was lower than under the foil at the bird. This caused the fan to run hard after each basting to get the dome temp back to 325. I believe this caused much higher temps on the turkey below the foil. I was surprised when I went out at the 4:20 basting to find the temp plug in the breast popped out. I thought it might be off so I got my Thermapen and double checked. Yep it was done. Had a reading of 190 in the thigh and 170+ in the breasts and it was only 2:45. Dinner was not supposed to be til 5:00. Oh well, I just improvised and coolered the bird in foil and went to make the gravy. I don't know what I did wrong there, but I messed it up somehow. Will try to do better next time. Here are the pics.

The Setup - Got the roasting pan from Sam's. All fit but had to turn the feet upside down and hang the top bump over the edge of platesetter. Actually worked great.




The Prep




The Cook

After 1st Hour


2nd Hour


3rd Hour


4th Hour - Ooops, its done!


Ready to Carve


Overall I think it turned out decent. The breasts were not as juicy as I anticipated, but I did overcook them. That says more about me as the cook than the recipe and the process. I thought it has incredible potential and I plan to do an improvement run before I try again at Christmas. It will only get better.

Any suggestions or advice welcome.

Thanks and hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!


  • That is a great looking bird; you did a wonderful cook!!

    Happy Thanksgiving!
  • Your bird looks mightyfine

    I think you hit the nail on the head on the basting. I had a similar experience. Wouldn't normally use a digi Q for a relatively short cook but had to leave for a couple hours after putting the bird on so I hooked it up. When I opened to baste, I noticed the blower working overtime driving the temp up.

    Three remedies:

    First: Don't baste - Butterball website says basting is like pouring water on a raincoat. I do it anyways :)

    Second: Unhook the power to digi Q before opening to baste and plug it back in when the dome temp approximates the desired temp. That is what I did.

    Third: Don't use the digi Q or after you get the fire stabilized with the digi Q for an hour or so, remove it and finish without it.

    Still think you bird looks mightyfine
  • pattikakepattikake Posts: 1,175
    great job way to go.

  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    That's a great first bird. Tim ;)
  • I haven't had much luck with the gravy either. I ended up using some of the stock from the giblets and adding a little of the pan drippings instead. This year's gravy turned out fantastic!

    I was getting a really dark, bitter, burnt tasting gravy out of the other stuff, and decided not to try again. I ended up using a back up jar of gravy the two or three times I made it. (The time the Pyrex exploded while I was making the gravy doesn't really count, since I was never able to taste it.)

    We had an 18 pounder and it was finished in five hours. (No fancy DigiQ here)
  • Looks awesome! I would be proud to present that at thanksgiving dinner!
  • looks like a great bird!!! ..

    as for your gravy, if your drippings in the pan are too scorched DON'T USE THEM ...and don't make the gravy in that pan either.. .what you can do is pour out the drippings in the pan, leaving the burnt stuff behind .. .and then simply start your roux and make your gravy in a separate clean can then add your 'clean' drippings as you make your gravy but leave the burnt stuff behnd. didn't get the bitter flavor from the stock thats for sure .. .


  • LDDLDD Posts: 1,225
    bird looks great! great pics. any plated pics?
    context is important :)
  • This may help. If the drippings get too scorched scrape them out of the roasting pan and push them through a strainer and leave the black scraps out of your gravy. Make the gravy in a skillet not the roasting pan. It will be fine. My guests were fighting over mine. I had Mad Max gravy and I made some regular gravy, too.
  • GoodyGoody Posts: 102
    Thanks and thanks for the suggestions!
  • I also found the directions to be challenging to read while making the gravy at the same time. It turned out great, however. The second year, I turned the gravy making over to my son, his girlfriend, and 4 other of his friends. One of the kids read the directions over and over while 2 others did the stirring and adding of ingredients. Until one gets it all committed to memory, I think having a helper read the directions really helps out.

    This year we went elsewhere for dinner so, alas, did not get a MM turkey and gravy. If we go back next year, I'm asking to be in charge of the gravy!
  • GoodyGoody Posts: 102
    Thanks for the compliment as it means a lot coming from the innovative egg mind of the creator!

    Thanks for the help on the gravy. I will definitely follow your suggestions. I think it has great potential. The stock did smell wonderful all day and even with the bitter burnt taste you could definitely tell there was good flavor in there I just have ti figure out the right way to bring it out!

    I will fear not and make another run at Christmas!

    Thanks again Max.
  • GoodyGoody Posts: 102
    Thanks. No plated pics as I was too frustrated over the aweful attempt at doing justice to the gravy! :laugh:
  • GoodyGoody Posts: 102
    Yeah after the fact that is what I thought I should have done, but I was trying to stick to the recipe. You are probably right and that is what I will do next time if I don't like the looks of the drippings.

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