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The Turkey Experience

JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 1,464
edited April 2013 in EggHead Forum
I've cooked 4 turkeys so far. In order: Bone-in turkey breast, brined and cooked low, indirect Whole bird, on the small side, Cajun injection, 300 indirect Whole bird, 16 lbs, herb injection, 325 indirect, Thanksgiving dinner Bone-in turkey breast, 7 lbs, herb injection, 350 indirect, Easter dinner Sorry I don't remember the temp on the first one. I just wanted to do something slow because I had the naive idea it would come out super moist. But here's the thing: by far the best one was the most recent: super moist. The brined turkey was easily the driest one I've cooked. I cranked up the heat on the Easter one because I was pressed for time. It was only on the Egg for 2.5 hrs - I pulled it at 160, like all the rest. Everyone was amazed at how moist it was. The Cajun one was also pretty moist but was too buttery for my tastes. I definitely prefer the Italian herb injection. So it seems like for me at least, the faster cooks with Turkey have worked better. I'm sure there's a limit where at some point you nuke the thing. But how does this square with you folks? Sound about right? Should I give the brining another shot?
If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots.

Currently in Okinawa, Japan

Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,692
    Brining works, especially on turkeys.  If it was dry, it wasn't because of the brining unless you did something weird like soak it for a week in 10% saline.   Don't brine if the turkey is already "enhanced" with a solution of brine.
    ______________________________________________
    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 

  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 1,464
    No, soaked it overnight. I don't think it was enhanced, it was my first bird so I just wanted something to experiment on. I think it was a garden variety butterball.
    If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots.

    Currently in Okinawa, Japan
  • I have only brined my turkeys, they are all moist,  even had one sit for 4 hrs, and still moist? Did you check if they were enhanced like nola asked?
  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 1,464
    I have only brined my turkeys, they are all moist,  even had one sit for 4 hrs, and still moist? Did you check if they were enhanced like nola asked?

    I really don't think it was enhanced. I think I would have noticed that. I'll give brining another shot, but we've been so happy with the injected birds it will take a lot for us to change.
    If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots.

    Currently in Okinawa, Japan
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,692
    Injecting is like brining from the inside.
    ______________________________________________
    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 

  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 1,464
    Injecting is like brining from the inside.
    Both add liquid to the bird. With the brine nominally you'd get better absorption throughout the bird. With the injection you probably get the liquid a little more deeply, but it doesn't have the same time to diffuse (I put it on the egg shortly after injecting). That trapped liquid probably impacts how the bird cooks as well.
    If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots.

    Currently in Okinawa, Japan
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,692
    Yeah you right, if you cook right after injecting, it's not the same.
    ______________________________________________
    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 

  • Well just chalk it up for finding the best way for you to cook it, if It works for you, and is good,  heck everything is good,  I think it's part of the fun. I may not cook everything to my taste or someone elses liking, but thats the way you find out what works. I cant cook a sreak to save my life, there not bad but not great, I just keep pluging away with different ways, one has to work, I just hope when I find it I remember  :-O
  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 1,464
    Well just chalk it up for finding the best way for you to cook it, if It works for you, and is good,  heck everything is good,  I think it's part of the fun. I may not cook everything to my taste or someone elses liking, but thats the way you find out what works. I cant cook a sreak to save my life, there not bad but not great, I just keep pluging away with different ways, one has to work, I just hope when I find it I remember  :-O

    For the most part, I agree. I'm just an engineer and like to understand how things work.
    If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots.

    Currently in Okinawa, Japan
  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 1,464
    That's cool, I love trains.

    :)) I have a mechanical engineering degree. My mom still wonders why I can't fix her car.
    If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots.

    Currently in Okinawa, Japan
  • So im guessing no taking me to the north pole on christmas eve on the polar express? :((
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,432
    If it was a regular Butterball, then chances are it was enhanced with some kind of solution.

    Last Thanksgiving, I smoked a fresh (non-enhanced) 12# turkey, brined overnight, @325°F until the breast hit 160-165°F and it came out great. Didn't have an egg at the time, so it was done on a drum smoker. My sister said it was the best turkey I've made yet. I've fried them, oven roasted with and without brine, but that was the first brined,smoked turkey. Maybe the brined one was on the dry side because it was a breast? Did it have skin on? No skin probably results in a more dry bird (speculating here).   

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,692
    Not all Butterballs are enhanced.  It'll say it if it is.  I've brined a few and they came out delicious.  I'm only doing turkey one way now - brine, sous vide, then sear.
    ______________________________________________
    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 

  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 890
    I used to do an injected bird both at 225 and 350 degrees and they came out quite moist. Then about 5 years ago I did my first brined turkey. For me I will never do it any other way.

    Jim
    BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

    Middlesex County, MA
    Three Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 14,916
    edited April 2013
    I cook at least 4 spatchcocked turkeys (plus a lot of legs) a year. I never inject or brine. Always cook direct / raised at 375/400 and cook to temp. Never had a dry bird or legs. Now I buy only 13 lb. birds. I use coffee rub on most and always use Bad Byrons Butt Rub on the legs (when cooking legs only).
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, just added a Mini Max 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015 http://saladoeggheadgathering.blogspot.com

  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 1,464
    Mickey said:
    I cook at least 4 spatchcocked turkeys (plus a lot of legs) a year. I never inject or brine. Always cook direct / raised at 375/400 and cook to temp. Never had a dry bird or legs. Now I buy only 13 lb. birds. I use coffee rub on most and always use Bad Byrons Butt Rub on the legs (when cooking legs only).

    Did you ever try one that was injected or brined?
    If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots.

    Currently in Okinawa, Japan
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 5,043
    FWIW, the best turkey I have done was a "pre-brined" fresh bird from Trader Joes, cooked spatchcocked indirect at about 350 dome.  


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg wing. 
    2014 Wing King's Apprentice
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