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Thanksgiving turkey

Hello all. I'm cooking my thanksgiving turkey on the egg this year for the first time. It's a 24lb bird. I plan on brining it for 24 hrs then cook it slow n low. Any suggestions?

Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,176
    edited November 2012
    Ruhlman's brine formula is excellent - I'd brine a bird that big for at least 30 hours.  Let it sit in the fridge afterwards for another 6-24 hours to let the salt distribute. 

    http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1145474/the-herbed-poultry-brine-from-charcuterie-the-craft-of-salting-smoking-and-curing/p1

    Cooking - lots of ways to do it, most traditional would be indirect at around 350F until the breast is 160 and thigh 180.  You can ice the breasts to slow down their cook time if you want.  I'd avoid smoke, it'll taste plenty smokey without adding chips.
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  • After doing a brine on a turkey, are the drippings normally going to be to salty to make gravy with?  Have heard that is one of the downsides to doing a brine...

    Thanks
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,176
    After doing a brine on a turkey, are the drippings normally going to be to salty to make gravy with?  Have heard that is one of the downsides to doing a brine...

    Thanks
    No, not at all.  You rinse the bird off after the brining.  We're talking about a nice salt level left in the turkey.  The juices are a little salty, but you're gonna add water to make gravy, it'll dilute the salt.  I guarantee you'll be adding salt to the gravy.

    Roast the organs and neck in the oven (or egg), then simmer them in a pot of water - add that to the drippings for the gravy.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Nola

    Ok thank you, yes I am planning on making homemade stock from the recipe you are mentioning on Monday or Tuesday. Or are you talking about doing the neck on turkey day? Not sure if I will have space...

    Figure I can make broth at least the day before.

    If I do the roasting of neck, wings and vegetable, is there an easy way to save the drippings for Thursday without ruining them, I am still having nightmare that my drippings are going to burn on the egg and will not be able to use them. And I am setting up an air gap between the AR oval stone and th roasting pan...

    Thanks a lot, I really appreciate your advice, have learned a ton from your comments.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,176
    I appreciate that.

    I would, just for convenience, put the neck, organs, wings, etc. in the oven - broil or bake them to give them the roasted taste you want in gravy, then simmer them like you're making tea in some water.  Add the drippings to it at some point - don't forget to deglaze the drip pan.  Taste the drippings if cooked on the egg before adding to the broth - if it's too acrid or smokey, you don't want to add them.

    Gravy is actually better after a day or more in the fridge, so it's totally fine to make that broth in advance and just reheat on Thanksgiving.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

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