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Alternative Turkey

civil eggineercivil eggineer Posts: 1,547
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
With all due respect for the Mad Max, turkey cooking on the egg can be very simple. I salt & pepper the bird, no brining, ice the breasts (although I question if it helps much) and cook at 350 dome until the thigh hits 180. The birds come out juicy, skin nice and crispy, and overall superior results compared to an oven baked bird.

The egg provides the magic by cooking in a near sauna condition. I don't open the lid until it is done. As there are many methods to cook anything, keeping it simple produces an excellent moist bird. Someday I will try the Mad Max method but I really question if there is that big of a difference in the actual taste of the bird.

Forgive me but I think many new eggers can be over intimidated when there is absolutely no reason.

Comments

  • Lawn RangerLawn Ranger Posts: 5,466
    CE:
    Thanks for this post. I know that a lot of new Eggers are breathing easier. I've got 2 newbies at work who are doing turkeys for the first time, and I'm trying not to overwhelm them with information or recipes. Neither one of them is what you'd consider a die-hard Egger, and both are a long way from drinking the Kool-Aid like most of us do. This will be the first extended cook for both of them, and I want it to go smoothly.

    BTW, do you put your bird in a pan or right on the grid?

    Happy TDay!

    Mike
  • I place it right on the grill above the drip pan sitting on the platesetter.
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 15,243
    You did not say if you did it direct or not.
    Doing mine spatchcocked - direct - high in the dome at 350 to 400.
    KISS :P
    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

  • I used the Mad Max recipie last year and will use it again this year. I don't know if the turkey tastes any different than your method but the gravy is fantastic.
  • I cook it indirect. I don't see any advantage to trying direct and more chance of drying out the meat. Like I previously stated, the skin is nice and crisp with a beautiful golden color.
  • Rolling EggRolling Egg Posts: 1,995
    I will be doing one today indirect on the grid with pecan for smoke. I will post the results.
  • Did you use all the wine he recommends for the gravy, or cut it back some?
    Trying to decide as some say the wine taste is too strong. THX
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,226
    i think alot of folks just get intimidated with a tday cook, you hear about all the hard work in prep, i see people taking off work wednesday, even tuesday to prepare for this one meal. i remember my mother just freaking come the holidays. i do the cook now, i get up late, drink coffee, light the egg, take a shower, wash up the bird and place it and onto the egg. maxs method really isnt much more. cut an onion, some fruit toss in some herbs, butter it, pour some wine. some little things noone thinks of that makes the bird better. the gravey stock from a madmax bird makes great gravey, i tweak how he does it to make my family happier but its a great base to work with. for me, i could just eat the potatoes and gravy an skip the turkey meat. we used to cook up 20 or so turkeys back in college for a family day in the fraternity, it really is as simple as salt pepper roast, and we cooked them breast up, breast down, stuffed, not stuffed etc and if a couple college guys can pull of a big cook like that then turkey is just a real simple cook. trick is to not over cook it just like any other cook. maxs method is really worth it for that gravey ;)
  • i keep trying to tell you, the wine is optional . . use some or none....
  • you are absolutely right tim. ...the whole basis/point of the mad max turkey diatrab is to make it simple for eveyone....while it may be long winded, it really is quite simple when you get down to it. ..i just provide all the detail. ..what caused me to put it together 6 years ago was that all these people on the forum were asking individual questions left and right (how do i set up the egg, how do i prep the bird, what temps, how long, how do i do this, how do i do that, etc, etc) ..i finally wrote out a soup to nuts description so that all the questions could get answered in one place. ..thats how it all got started. . .and hopefully folks are less intimidate, not more intimidated after reading it all ..thats the feedback i usually get anyway...

    only thing i will say though is that the ice does in fact make a difference ....if you don't ice and stictly go by pulling your bird when the thigh hits 180, then won't your breasts also be 180?? i don't know about you, but any turkey breast i've ever eaten at 180 has been a bit on the dry side ..
  • Thank you for your additional explanation of how the MM Turkey method was derived and why. I humbly bow to your eggcellence and didn't want to offend what you have done for Thanksgiving in any way. ;)

    I should have checked my breast and thigh temps yesterday before cooking. I iced the breast for 2 hours but checked the breast temp when the thigh was 180 and it was also 180 :pinch: . Thicker chunk of meat and all and truthfully wasn't covering the breast with the ice water as well as I should have :blush: . Actually cleaned the bird and placed in the fridge as the wife was late getting home. The few niblets I ate while cleaning were very moist and plan on making sammies today and try out the breast meat.
  • no offense taken at all tim. ...its just been a long time and i thought i'd let you know how it all came about... and yes there are absolutely more than one way to do it . ...heck when we were at fred's a couple of weeks ago we roasted about 10 turkeys a bunch of different ways, and some of them were fantastic ...in particular the beer can birds . ..very simple, we just stuck them in the eggs with the beer cans up the cavities, some of fred's rub on them, and let em go for 3 - 4 hours till done, and they were as good as you get. . .easy peasy....no drippings for gravy, but hell, there are ways around that too...and the bge rep from philly made and apple brined bird that was all most excellent. ...so there are absolutely many good birds out there ...go for them!!
  • I will tell you that my stab at the Mad Max gravy this last weekend had a wine flavor undertone to it, which I thought was fantastic, different than what I have been getting for 40 plus years, in a good way (sorry mom and mom-in-law). Having said this, if you follow the directions given, you will have plenty of flavorful stock to use in place of the wine, if that flavor is not to your liking.
  • mikeggmikegg Posts: 11
    Well we are new at this BGE thing first cook was last night, 1" new yorks, good but need to time better over done, will be doing a turkey for t-day, still intemidated
  • Max, this is my first try. Since several people have previously commented on the strong wine taste, and I am cooking for 20+ people, I thought I would pick "tripmaker's" brain for how much he used and what he thought about the taste.

    I think I will love the addition of the wine to the gravy, but not knowing how string it will be, I am considering adding 1/4 of the remaining bottle to the gravy (Pinot Grigio is the plan), then tasting after the reduction to decide if I want more.

    I am looking forward to the gravy !!! :woohoo: :woohoo:
  • You need to cook to internal temp, not time.

    Get a good continuous thermometer - many here use the Maverick E-73 (Redicheck). A more expensive, but great, instant-read thermometer is the Thermapen - www.thermoworks.com.

    I use the Maverick on most all cooks and double check with the Thermapen.

    That way you take the guess work out of your cook and create incredibly consistent results!
  • Thanks for providing such detailed instructions on the Naked Whiz site and for taking the time to do the daily tips!
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,768
    If the breast and thighs were at the same temp then the ice bag worked. Breast meat cooks faster than dark meat. The ice bag method slows down the breast allowing the dark meat to "catch up"
  • Thanks for that tidbit of info Wolf. Made turkey sammies today for lunch and they were sooooo good!
  • smoky bsmoky b Posts: 648
    let me know if you need a taste tester! i am right down the road.
  • Compared to most of you I don't know a thing about the Egg... But in the short time I have owned the Egg I have had great results on various types of pork and beef. Thursday will mark my first attempt at any type of poultry. The one philosphy that I have tried to stick with is not opening the Egg unless absolutely necessary. I believe that keeping the Egg closed during the cooking process contributes greatly to the moistness of the final product. I also want to be able to make comments to the guests like "Really? Best turkey you've ever had? Wow, all I did was close the lid and let the Egg work its magic" :laugh: So with that goal in mind, I have a few questions.

    1) I'm considering using a brine (Alton Brown's recipe) overnight... necessary? Will I be able to tell the difference?

    2) If I brine, should I still put things (onions, garlic, etc.) in the bird during the cooking?

    3) The excellent "Smoke and Spice" book talks about smoking a turkey at 200-220 degrees, whereas on here most people seem to talk about 350 or so. Will the slow and low process lead to a noticeably more tender bird? Or am I just making the cooking time twice as long for no good reason?

    4) Orientation of the bird... Should I buy one of those vertical stands or even a beer can setup or just lay the bird flat on the grid? And if it is flat, does it matter if it's breasts up or down? I will be cooking indirect (large egg) with the platesetter... Bird is approx 14lbs by the way.

    Thanks everyone for reading!
  • My personal preference is no brine. There are some "briners" here, but really not necessary unless you are trying to add some flavor with the brine.

    I have used the vertical roaster in the past, but will be using a V-rack this year. I don't think it matters - personal preference.

    Can't answer the question about the low/slow cook, but mine at 350* have been excellent in the past - getting the compliments you are talking about.

    Happy Thanksgiving!
  • Brine it, I make my brine a little strong, and use top quality spices and fresh herbs from my garden. I've smoked and deep fried turkeys for over 20 years, I've recently thrown away my injector and have gone 100% brine. Nothing beats a good brine for adding flavor to a bird. I use a cup of kosher salt, a cup of brown sugar, a hand full of all spice berries and black peppercorns(3 or 4 oz of each). Rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme, and other herbs as I feel like. I make my brine in large batches as I never cook just one bird. Make it several hours ahead of time and allow it to cool. Add some ice and the birds and place them in an ice chest and keep cold for at least 20 hours. The worst thing you can do is brine for 2 to 4 hours.

    The one thing my family likes about my version of the MM turkey is the gravy is the best.
  • I am of the persuation that low and slows are for fatty, poor quality meats that benefit from the slow breakdon of fat, connective tissue etc. Meats like butt, ribs, and briskets. It takes long cook times for them to dissolve the nastys and turn them into lubricating goodness. Steaks, turkeys, chickens etc. are low fat meats and should be cooked fast as to not dry the meat out. Never tried a low and slow chicken because it si fantastic doing it quick. My two cents which I will gladly donate for free.
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