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Thanksgiving Turkey - Cooking Time and Temp??

Folks, I could use some guidance.  I am a BGE newbie.  I will be cooking a 14.5 pound turkey on the large BGE tomorrow.  I am already brining it.  I have seen on here that it should be cooked until the internal temp is 160-165 in the breast, maybe 180 in the legs.  No problem there.  I plan on using the plate setter for indirect heat, and a sittin turkey to keep it upright, as well as create some internal steam from a mix of naranja agria (sour orange), onions and garlic.  Here is my question:

WHAT SHOULD BE MY TARGET COOKING TEMPERATURE, AND WHAT IS THE ESTIMATED COOKING TIME UNTIL READY?

Your comments are appreciated and urgently needed.  Thanks!

Comments

  • After reading through some of the posts, 300-350 degrees seems to be the consensus for temperature, and 12-15 mins per pound for time, which puts me at 3.0 to 3.5 hours of cooking time.  Do you all agree with that?

     

  • I'm doing a 14.5# as well, and the consensus seems to be 350 dome temp for about 15 minutes per pound. So your bird should be done around 3.5 hrs. 
    LBGE, Weber OTG w/ Rotisserie, Weber Genesis S-330, Chargriller Duo, AR-15, AK-47
  • Also, I'm not sure how long you'll be brining, but I brined mine yesterday overnight, and today I am letting it sit in the fridge fully seasoned to let the skin dry out for a crispier skin and deep rub penetration. Leaving the turkey or chicken in the fridge uncovered overnight helps crisp up the skin when cooking it on BGE
    LBGE, Weber OTG w/ Rotisserie, Weber Genesis S-330, Chargriller Duo, AR-15, AK-47
  • Agree with 12-15 minutes per pound. I have a 16 lb bird, and I'm assuming 3 hours, 15 minutes. You want 160 in the breast, 180 for thigh.

    Do you have a thermapen to check temp?
  • Friends, I wanted to leave a note letting you all know how it went.  In a word...AMAZING!

    First, I brined the 14.5 pound turkey for about 36 hours in a mixture of water, kosher salt and brown sugar.  Used about 1.5 gallons of water, 2/3 cup of kosher salt, and 1/3 cup of brown sugar.  Boiled it first to ensure it all dissolved well.  Let the brine cool to room temp, then put the fresh (not frozen) turkey in a large ziploc, and then in a new plastic bucket.  Put the brine in the ziploc, closed it, and covered it with ice to the edge of the bucket.  Left in the back fridge for 36 hours.

    Next, took the turkey out and rinsed it well in cool water.  Then I dried it well, and covered it by hand with olive oil and Badia (the brand) Sazon Completa (Complete Seasoning).  Its a cuban dry spice.  If you are not in Miami, look for it in the ethnic food section of your grocery.  It has a green top.

    Next, I put the turkey on a Sittin Turkey, which I filled with Naranja Agria (sour orange juice), and chopped fresh onions and garlic.  I put a peeled onion in the neck hole to keep the steam in.

    Lastly, once the BGE was at 350 degrees, I put the turkey in a tin pan, and sat it directly on the plate setter.  Used some apple wood chunks with the BGE lump charcoal.

    It was ready in 2.5 hours, with the breast at 165 temp and the legs at 180 temp.  The skin was crisp, and juices were just oozing out of the turkey.  It was that moist.

    It was by far the best of the 4 turkeys we had at out rather large family gathering.  Thanks for the help and info.  Regards, JJRod305.

  • So glad to hear it worked out for you!
  • That is great. I to cooked my first turkey. Needless to day it will not be my last.
  • I am trying my first turkey tomorrow and really appreciate your feedback.  I have it in a brine (BGE holiday recipe) in my fridge - which I have never done before and I have cooked a lot of turkeys in the oven.  I would have gone with the 15 min a pound and am glad that you posted that your 14.5 pound turkey was actually done in 2.5 hours.  I would have been over cooking my turkey for sure.  Love this site for all the feedback and tips and avoided disasters :)   
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,859
    Wendy, the time is just an estimate.  Brining makes the turkey less likely to dry out if it's overcooked, but you want to pull it off when the breast is 160 and the dark meat is around 180 F.

    Orient the turkey with the legs in back  - the back of the egg (by the hinge) is the hottest part and you want the dark meat to cook faster than the breast.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • NoLa....that's good advice - orienting the turkey with the legs in back - that I'd not heard before (or, more likely, just missed!)

    Thanks!!
  • Thanks for all the help!  The turkey turned out great. I did use the recipe on the BGE.com site which did include brining the turkey (never done that before) and just stuffing it with some veg, fruit and herbs.  I did have to cook it for longer (3.5 hrs for 16 lb) and I ended up kind of messing it up.  I had just used a poultry button (have to bring in some thermapens!) and had placed it in what I thought was the deepest part of turkey.  The button read as "done" at about 2.75 hrs so I pulled it out, waited a few to let it breathe and then started to slice the breast off the bone.  However it was still a bit quite pink.  We put it back on the egg and cooked it longer.   We did have a really nice fellow come in to the store who has had his egg for quite some time.  He told us that what appears to be "light pink" meat is okay. 
  • Thanks for all the help!  The turkey turned out great. I did use the recipe on the BGE.com site which did include brining the turkey (never done that before) and just stuffing it with some veg, fruit and herbs.  I did have to cook it for longer (3.5 hrs for 16 lb) and I ended up kind of messing it up.  I had just used a poultry button (have to bring in some thermapens!) and had placed it in what I thought was the deepest part of turkey.  The button read as "done" at about 2.75 hrs so I pulled it out, waited a few to let it breathe and then started to slice the breast off the bone.  However it was still a bit quite pink.  We put it back on the egg and cooked it longer.   We did have a really nice fellow come in to the store who has had his egg for quite some time.  He told us that what appears to be "light pink" meat is okay. 
    I tried to attach a picture but it just kept saying it was "uploading"... and never did.  Maybe later
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,859
    If you want to save $60, you can get this cheaper instant read, also made by Thermoworks (maker of the Thermapen). 

    http://www.amazon.com/RT600C-Super-fast-Water-resistant-Digital-Thermometer/dp/B002GE2XF8/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1354755192&sr=8-7&keywords=instant+read+thermometer
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

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