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Madmax Turkey

BostonButterflyBostonButterfly Posts: 39
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Hi all.....
I've had my large Egg for about a month now, and am loving it! I have found myself nominated to cook this year's Thanksgiving turkey on the Egg. :) I'm happy about it, but definitely want a good two turkey cooks under my belt before the actual day arrives. So, this weekend is it! My sister is visiting from out of state, so what better reason than to cook a turkey in 90 degree weather!?!?!?!?

Here's my plan: plate setter legs up, BGE feet on the plate setter, roasting pan on feet, v-rack in pan, turkey in v-rack. I'll be following the Madmax instructions. 20 lb turkey. 325* dome temp.

So..... I have a few questions:

1. I've read to fill the lump up to 1 inch below the platesetter. Really? Is that true? I would think lump so close to the pan would burn the bottom of the turkey. Can someone confirm that I need to put that much lump in?

2. I have not done any cooks that require many hours. Should I light the lump only in one spot? Or should I light like I have been up to now: BGE starter cube pieces at 12,3,6,9 and center?

3. I have not used smoking woods yet. I understand turkey will pick up a lot of smoke and that I need to go easy. All I have is apple wood chips. (Bought them before I learned what I want is chunks...) How much of the chips should I use? How and when should I place them?

4. My biggest concern is stabilizing the temps. Will I burn through too much lump if I stabilize at 325*, then put the platesetter in and wait for it to return to 325*? I'm not confident on where the vents should be at 325*, and fear that if I put the platesetter in right out of the gate, I'm going to lose control of the temp once the plate setter has reached temp.

Any thoughts or advice is appreciated!
Kim

Comments

  • jbennyjbenny Posts: 147
    If you follow the madmax instructions you will be good. The turkey won't burn because of the plate setter and make sure you put some space between the drip pan and platesetter so your drippings won't burn.

    I only light in one place and never have any issues. The key is to stabilize at 325 on the way up.

    A hand full of chips will be all you need and you shouldn't burn through the lump.

    Just be prepared for a delicious turkey and get ready to pull once the breast reaches 160 (Don't forget to ice the breast for 20 minutes!)
  • jbenny gives good advice, and follow madmax method.
    i do not put any smoking wood in because my family is happy with the taste as it comes out of the egg without the smoking wood.
    I put the plate setter in after I have the charcoal started and leave stabalize on the way up. Cook by temp not time. That being said a rough estimate is 20 min per pound cooking time and if you brine the bird 15 min a pound. If it gets done sooner than you want, foil it, wrap in towels and put in a cooler.
  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006
    you can always email mad max directly through the forum....he's been known to get on the phone to give advice...

    You can scatter the chips over and into the top 1/3 of your lump. For 325 I usually light 3 small areas, 12, 4, 8 O'clock...I use a map gas, not sure how you light, but if the paper towel trick I'd do 2, or starter cubes I'd probably break in 1/2 and light in 2 places.

    Do a test fit of your setup first and make sure everything fits. make sure your dome thermometer does not hit the bird. you can put the clip on the outside of the dome, giving you more space. You can always take out the fire ring if needed, you will have enough lump filling up the firebox (at least on a large I do) to last the time needed at 325.
  • Thanks for the feedback everyone. Much appreciated.

    Chris - I'm a hop skip and a jump from you. I'm in Braintree. Small world.
  • kim,

    i tried to email you back, but it kept getting kicked back at me ....here is the body of my email to you:

    I've had my large Egg for about a month now, and am loving it! I have found myself nominated to cook this year's Thanksgiving turkey on the Egg. I'm happy about it, but definitely want a good two turkey cooks under my belt before the actual day arrives. So, this weekend is it! My sister is visiting from out of state, so what better reason than to cook a turkey in 90 degree weather!?!?!?!?

    Here's my plan: plate setter legs up, BGE feet on the plate setter, roasting pan on feet, v-rack in pan, turkey in v-rack. I'll be following the Madmax instructions. 20 lb turkey. 325* dome temp.

    Just make sure you do a cold test run, either with the cold turkey, or a basketball, to make sure it all fits nicely!!

    So..... I have a few questions:

    1. I've read to fill the lump up to 1 inch below the platesetter. Really? Is that true? I would think lump so close to the pan would burn the bottom of the turkey. Can someone confirm that I need to put that much lump in?

    YES, I put in lump to within an inch of the bottom of the plate setter. ...the reason you have the plate setter is to deflect heat, and by raising the roasting pan on the green feet, you allow just enough air flow between plate setter and bottom of pan to keep things from burning. ....should your droppings start to burn or scorch, simply add some additional liquid to the pan....stock/apple juice/more wine...or any combination of the three (no set measurements here, just enough to maintain some liquid ....

    2. I have not done any cooks that require many hours. Should I light the lump only in one spot? Or should I light like I have been up to now: BGE starter cube pieces at 12,3,6,9 and center?

    I don't know who came up with that 12/3/6/9 crap. ...totally unnecessary!!!!....i've owned my eggs for 10 years now and never done that!!! . ..simply light the lump in one spot....i usually light at around 12 o'clock (near the back of the egg), and then set one of the legs directly over that hot spot to deflect the heat....the fire will work its way around the entire load over the course of the cook.....i do let the egg come up to temps for about a good 45 minutes, with the plate setter in so that the temps stabilize nicely and the lump is burning nice and clean! . ..when you put that 20 pounds of cold mass in the egg, the temps will go down some.....don't overcompensate by opening up your vents more or you will be over 400 degrees before you know it....just be patient and let the egg come back up to temp on its own....you may need to open the vents a little bit more to maintain 325 simply because of all the mass in the egg, but don't go crazy...

    3. I have not used smoking woods yet. I understand turkey will pick up a lot of smoke and that I need to go easy. All I have is apple wood chips. (Bought them before I learned what I want is chunks...) How much of the chips should I use? How and when should I place them?

    Apple is a great choice for turkey!! if you don't have chunks, just take a handful of chips and scatter them around the egg....your understanding is correct, you don't want a lot of smoke....just a hint, so a single fistful of chips is fine. .

    4. My biggest concern is stabilizing the temps. Will I burn through too much lump if I stabilize at 325*, then put the platesetter in and wait for it to return to 325*? I'm not confident on where the vents should be at 325*, and fear that if I put the platesetter in right out of the gate, I'm going to lose control of the temp once the plate setter has reached temp.

    See my note above about maintaining good temps.....and if you fill up the lump like i recommend you won't run out before the turkey is done. ...at 350 degrees a full load will last about 8 hours ....
  • Mad Max - thanks for your response! Much appreciated.
    I'm very much looking forward to giving this turkey a whirl!

    I'll post my results, whether I'm successful or not!

    Kim
  • Mad Max - thanks for your response! Much appreciated.
    I'm very much looking forward to giving this turkey a whirl!

    I'll post my results, whether I'm successful or not!

    Kim
  • no problem...make sure to make gravy!!
  • glc203glc203 Posts: 39
    Max is right. The gravy is a game changer.

    The less wood chips/chunks, the better. Your lump charcoal imparts plenty of flavor for turkey.
  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006
    Nice...I see eggdome slowly expanding down here...

    Let me know if you need anything. Where did you get your egg?
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,425
    I might be wrong but I remember 15 minutes a pound. I think fishlessman took a poll one thanksgiving and the average was coming out to about 12 1/2 minutes. Although, I am old and the memory is not good :laugh:

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Chris -
    Got the Egg last month at the NH Egg festival. I'm glad I did!

    Max - I plan on making the gravy!
  • i usually figure 13 - 15 per pound. . .some things that take it longer are how many times you open the egg to baste, thereby letting out heat....
  • i usually figure 13 - 15 per pound. . .some things that take it longer are how many times you open the egg to baste, thereby letting out heat....
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,121
    just uner 15 per pound was the average of everyones cook i believe. what you use as a pan seems to make a big difference, when i set the turkey down into my short roasing pan it comes in around 15, when i rest the bird on a rack over a drip pound its more like 12, if i stuff the bird, its more like 20 per pound
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,121
    a small handful of pecan pellets tossed in at the beginning, and another at the half way point seems just right with a whole turkey. only time i use pellets is with this cook, they burn out fast enough that it doesnt get overpowering, especially with the gravey, smokey gravy just aint right and its all about the gravy anyways
  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006
    didn't make the fest. Was out hiking in Yosemite, couldn't pass it up.

    When making the gravy make sure you cook off the wine unless you really want it. I personally use the stock and drippings but don't add any more wine, just my gravy preference....

    As Fishless mentions pecan is great with turkey, but the apple you have goes nicely as well.

    If you have any shagbark hickory trees in your area the bark is excellent for smoking other meats, just peel it off in strip (if its on your neighbors property just don't let them see you :laugh: )
  • i always try to tell people, the wine in the gravy is totally optional, you can go straight to adding the drippings and stock if you like after making the roux. .. we like ours a little winey, some don't at all....fishlessman has been known to add red wine (turns the gravy a little purple, but he likes that flavor).....its all good!!

    and yes, pecan is also an excellent wood for turkey and really adds a nice color to the finished bird as well!!
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,121
    the purple gravey experiment of 2003, was reminded of that just the other day :laugh: :laugh: who cares what they say, it was still good ;) the frozen duck grease under the skin trick really makes the best gravy, will definitely keep that in the arsenal although adding herbs to it before putting it under the skin makes the turkey slightly green, i guess i cant win :laugh: serving up some green turkey and purple gravy
  • LOL. ..yeah, the duck fat takes it right over the top and then makes the gravy that much better (particularly if you add the duck carcas to the stock pot for richer broth!!).....
  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006
    yes...stock with duck is the best.....

    I'll have to try it with the fat under the skin....
    The gravy from a turducken is unmatched...reason enough to debone the birds yourself rather than buying the premade one from a butcher....large pot of stock.

    I wonder if my mother would eat purple gravy! Probably not, picky irish eater (makes gravy with cornstarch blah....)....Grew up with bland food when she cooked...Dad always cooked the big meals, thank god....
  • oh yeah, the drippings from a turduckhen are the best of all worlds....and the turkey/duck carcas makes for the best gravy ever...if youv'e never seen it, go find my turduckhen "lasagna"....its fantastic...and better and easier than making a standard turduckhen...
  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006
    Thanks. I had seen that before...thinking of doing it for a holiday party instead of the turducken, but we'll see....i think the guests like the novelty of the birds and I'm being hounded to bring it back after skipping it last year....
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