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Fresh Turkey for Thanksgiving

I ordered a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving today from Fresh Market.  Tried a frozen one and it came out ok-wanted to try a fresh one to see if there was a difference on the BGE.  Any of you veterans have any input?
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Comments

  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 4,713
    Thinkin about doing the same. Will be following to see others thoughts on fresh vs frozen.

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    Large BGE. Small BGE Henderson, Ky.
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  • dihtndihtn Posts: 177
    Will probably do an injection and of course a rub.  Think I will try icing down the breasts 30 minutes before putting in on the Egg.  Was wondering if it was a good idea to stuff the bird with stuffing?
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  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 11,298
    I've only ever done fresh. They turn out awesome wether I smoke the turkey or cook it the traditional way.

    The 2 basic advantages are:
    1) It frees up the oven for other stuff which is always an issue when cooking inside.
    2) The Egg is a tightly controlled environment in terms of heat and moisture. This acts as a "crutch" for the turkey itself by keeping the bird moist without the need the typical tools used for that(like basting).
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  • DMWDMW Posts: 6,817
    Watching this as wondering the same thing. Want to do a trial run this weekend so I can make changes and do another trial before T-Day if needed. Was looking at the frozen birds at the store today and they all seemed to have some sort of solution added. If that is the case with all frozen turkeys I'll be looking for fresh as I want to be the one adding seasonings, not someone else.
    My Facebook Place where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - Hasty Bake Legacy - Black Stone Pizza Oven - Gasser - 30" Firepit w/SS Cooking Grid
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  • calikingcaliking Posts: 6,972
    Fresh turkeys taste much better IMO. Typically, supermarket turkeys are injected with solutions of different concentrations depending on what brand you buy.  

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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  • MickeyMickey Posts: 16,420
    dihtn said:
    Will probably do an injection and of course a rub.  Think I will try icing down the breasts 30 minutes before putting in on the Egg.  Was wondering if it was a good idea to stuff the bird with stuffing?
    IMO it is NEVER a good idea to stuff the bird with stuffing. That is what they make pans for.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, just added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

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  • Mickey said:
    dihtn said:
    Will probably do an injection and of course a rub.  Think I will try icing down the breasts 30 minutes before putting in on the Egg.  Was wondering if it was a good idea to stuff the bird with stuffing?
    IMO it is NEVER a good idea to stuff the bird with stuffing. That is what they make pans for.
    Will you be grilling or smoking it?

    I've heard that low and slow is not a good thing for stuffing - something about not killing off all the bacteria in the cavity of the bird quickly enough before it gets into the stuffing..

    See "Smokin Oldie's guide to Turkey" on the Cookshack forum for more..tons of great info about smokng a Turkey.

    Grilling..no idea on the stuffing.
    Mini BGE, KJ Classic - Black, Cookshack SM025, Weber Gasser (mostly for Kamado storage!)
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  • TonyATonyA Posts: 566
    Mickey said:
    dihtn said:
    Will probably do an injection and of course a rub.  Think I will try icing down the breasts 30 minutes before putting in on the Egg.  Was wondering if it was a good idea to stuff the bird with stuffing?
    IMO it is NEVER a good idea to stuff the bird with stuffing. That is what they make pans for.
    Agreed.  Put a raised drip pan below your turkey if you want to add turkey drippings to your stuffing - you will get the flavor you are after in the stuffing, a better bird, and more crust on the stuffing - who doesn't love that??
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  • The stuffing is going to end up in the oven at some point but I like to start with it in the bird.  I use a remote thermometer with probes in the thigh and the stuffing.  I take the stuffing out when the dark meat is almost done put it in the oven.  Put the probe from the stuffing into the breast and cook till it hits 163.  I then wrap the pan with aluminum foil after taking the drippings off and let it rest for 30-45 minutes before slicing.  

    The stuffing is my in-laws recipe and they always fight for the pan of it that has cooked inside the bird.  They love the flavor it has from all the turkey grease it soaks up.  Now that I think about it, that's probably why I even tried cooking it with the stuffing inside in the first place :)
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  • MickeyMickey Posts: 16,420
    @SmokyBear my 11/12 lb turkey is done in less than 90 mins. I like the smaller birds better.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, just added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

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  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 17,128
    if i cant find fresh, i buy a frozen kosher bird, those are salted only, no solution added. i still stuff oven birds
    :D if its cooked in a pan its not a stuffing, its a pan dressing
    :))
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  • henapplehenapple Posts: 14,429
    I just ordered my 15 lb bird from my butcher. Free range and never frozen. Btw... In the south we have dressing, not stuffing. My wife's dressing is unbelievable.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
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  • AquacopAquacop Posts: 468
    @henapple - wanna share that dressing recipe with a fellow southern boy?
    LBGE 2013 Located in Savannah, Georgia
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  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 4,713
    And a KY hillbilly ??

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    Large BGE. Small BGE Henderson, Ky.
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  • dihtndihtn Posts: 177
    SmokyBear said:
    Mickey said:
    dihtn said:
    Will probably do an injection and of course a rub.  Think I will try icing down the breasts 30 minutes before putting in on the Egg.  Was wondering if it was a good idea to stuff the bird with stuffing?
    IMO it is NEVER a good idea to stuff the bird with stuffing. That is what they make pans for.
    Will you be grilling or smoking it?

    I've heard that low and slow is not a good thing for stuffing - something about not killing off all the bacteria in the cavity of the bird quickly enough before it gets into the stuffing..

    See "Smokin Oldie's guide to Turkey" on the Cookshack forum for more..tons of great info about smokng a Turkey.

    Grilling..no idea on the stuffing.

    Plan on grilling at 325-350 w/Maverick ET732 to monitor temps.

    Thank you all for your input.

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  • jlsmjlsm Posts: 848
    Fresh is much, much better. I use a modified version of Amazing Ribs' recipe, and it is absolutely fantastic. Even if we don't have guests this year, I'll still do a 14-pound bird for two people. 

    This calls for three quarts of stock in a drip pan under the bird. You will not believe how great this comes out. It is fantastic for soup. 


    *******
    Owner of a large and a beloved mini in Philadelphia
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  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 17,128
    @henapple bug your wife for the recipe,  i started cooking 2 birds years ago because my sister wouldnt eat smoked turkey meat, well she has come around but the family still wants the stuffing.
    :)) anyways, always trying new dressing recipes, be nice to just be able to cook one bird at a time again
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