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Is it ok to slow cook a turkey

BuzzBuzz Posts: 6
edited 3:16PM in EggHead Forum
Many moons ago when I had no idea what I was doing, I bought a regular smoker off of my friend and tried smoking a turkey. I don't remember what temperature I cooked it at but I know it was low and I cooked the bird for about 12 hours (18 pounder or so). I had injected it with a Garlic/Rosemary marinade.

It came out wonderful but I will say that I never did it again because I could not stand waking up every 2 hours to add charcoal.

Now I am a more experienced smoker and I have a BGE.

When I bought it, I knew that someday I would cook a turkey in it. That time has come. Everywhere I look though, the recipes call for only a few hours of cook time at a 350 degree temp.

Is it not wise to slow cook a turkey in the BGE like I did so long ago in a standard smoker?


  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,769
    You can lo and slow a turkey. Just don't stuff it.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 17,990
    ive cooked plenty, 250/275 and you want a water pan with liquid in it. like celtic said, nothing in the cavity and leave it open. go light on the smoke, i use pecan pellets in the foil canoes, you dont want a lot of smoke on such a long cook. the texture is different than a roasted bird, some like it others dont
  • BuzzBuzz Posts: 6
    So would I use the indirect method?

    Where do I place a water pan?
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,769
    Yes you want indirect. The water pan should be raised on whatever barrier you have between the bird and the heat
  • Low & slow is awesome. I also do turkey for the nonsmokers in my convection oven at 240 degrees for the juiciest turkey you can serve! Low & slow on the egg will produce the same with that nice smoky flavor. Apple & cherry wood chunks recommended.
    Save your drippings for awesome gravy!!!
  • Buzz wrote:
    So would I use the indirect method?

    Where do I place a water pan?

    Indirect with no water pan needed just a roasting pan. I use my platesetter upside down and then the pizza stone on top of the grill with the roasting pan set on that.
  • BuzzBuzz Posts: 6
    Ok, I have all those tools so I will try it that way.

    Question: Why bother with the pizza stone? Can't you just out the turkey in the roasting pan on top of the grill?

    How much apply or cherry wood? And do you soak yours?

    You don't keep adding wood chips throughout the duration of cooking it do you?
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,769
    Don't use chips. Use chunks. Add them when you light up the egg. Contrary to popular belief they will still add smoke flavor till they turn to ash.

    You don't need a pizza stone. You can put it on your cooking grate if you want. However, you want to make sure the drip pan is raised off the plate setter so you don't burn the drippings.
  • BuzzBuzz Posts: 6
    Ok, so if I put the turkey directly in a roasting pan which is sitting on the grill, then that will catch the drippings and I so I won't need a drip pan.

    If I put the turkey directly on the grill without a roasting pan then I will need a drip pan underneath the grill sitting on the place setter but the pan will need to be raised off the place setter.

    I can do both but what is the desired effect of each? Is one better or are they just two ways of getting the same thing?
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,769
    No no no. You don't want that bird sitting directly in the roaster. Put it on a rack of some kind so it's not sitting in it's own grease.

    If the bird is in a roaster then you don't need a drip pan.

    Both Max and I use a similar technique for cooking a bird.

    Plate Setter (or spider with Pizza Stone). On the Plater Setter the little ceramic feet (copper elbows, balled up foil), Roaster, rack Turkey.

    If you have an Adjustable Rig. Place the roaster on the lower rack bars.

    If you want to use the grate. Eliminate the Rack the turkey will sit on.
  • BuzzBuzz Posts: 6
    Ok I think I got it.

    I do have a V rack that I can put the turkey on if I decide to put it in a roaster on top of the grill.

    I think I might just put the turkey directly on the grill and have the place setter and drip pan under the grill. I can raise the drip pan with those little ceramic feet.

    So 250 to 270 is the ideal temp and I will use apple chunks (soak them right?)
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,769
    No do not soak the chunks. Water boils at 212 waste of water and time.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 17,990
    i keep this real simple, i put the pan on the regular grill, fill pan with water, put second grill on pan, put turkey on second grill, smoke turkey. add water as needed. same as a verticle smoker with a water pan. now you can start with lower temps and increase them toward the end to get the bird cooked. the pan is an inderect setup and the water keeps things from burning bad tasting smoke all over your bird.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 17,990
    i should add that i dont make gravy with this setup, i use the drippings from simmering giblets neck and fat stove top for the gravey
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