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Smoking a Large Turnkey in Large Green Egg

retiredusafretiredusaf Posts: 8
edited 12:30PM in EggHead Forum
I'm knew to the Green Egg. I have a new Outdoor Kitchen with only the Large Green Egg. Since late Aug when it was finished, I have cooked once per week in it and had great results. We are hosting our family for Thanksgiving meal and I want to smoke a large turkey. The cookbook says the "Large Green Egg" can handle a 20 pound turkey. In the past we have needed a 23 pound turkey to feed our family. My question is, is there anyway to "cheat" and successfully smoke a 23 pound turkey in the large green egg? I am retired and feed only my wife and I most of the time so it was not pracical to get an "Extra Large Green Egg" for this once a year event. My wife is going to be very unhappy with me if she has to cook the 23 pound turkey in her kitchen oven because this was the specific reason she agreed to the outdoor kitchen; so that I would cook the turkey!


  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    Check the "cooks" section of my can see details of my 2003 cook of a 23# will fit..but test fit it first...
  • I did a 24# last Feb. for a birthday gathering....It just fit!
    Be careful of the thermometer
  • Thanks a lot. Now, if I can find the recipe for the brine, it looks like I will be in business.
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,610
    This helps: scrunching ;)
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,288
    i get my turkeys at a farm down the street, they are longer than the supermarket birds, i dont think a free range bird that size will fit so just be aware of that. i settled with 2 18 pounders, one for the egg and one for the oven, seems that there is always someone that says they dont like smoked meat, then devour it once it comes out of the egg
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,610
    fishlessman funny you bring that up. For the past few years we do two as well(14 lbs each). My wife just wants to cook one in the oven her way (then eats the egged one) :pinch:
    41 years of marrage- what can you say :S
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • I've done 22 to 24 lb turkeys in my LBGE for the past several Xmases. No problem. Just, as was pointed out in another post, watch out for the dome temp probe. Take it out before putting the turkey in. Another piece of advice: Go find Mad Max' recipe for cooking turkey somewhere on this site (or maybe it's on the Naked Whiz site). It's a great recipe and has a lot of helpful hints about how to cook a turkey.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,288
    i used to cook the bigger birds but birds 14 to 18 seem to taste better to me so it didnt take too much arm twisting. the one in the oven gets the stuffing, smoked stuffing is aweful :laugh:
  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    If you're talking about the brine I used there's a link to the recipe right in the first paragraph.
  • tsheehan7tsheehan7 Posts: 105
    Are you sure you want to smoke it? I love a good smoked turkey sandwich, but smoked turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy doesn't sound as good.
  • You could remove the fire ring and gain a lot of space for your turkey. I would also caution about too much smoking because poultry can take on a nasty smoke taste. Use a half handful of fruitwood chips sprinkled throught the lump before lighting. Turkeys also cook fast at 375 because the egg cooks like a convection oven. I would figure around 3 hours and allow 1/2 hour rest time.
  • NO!! It is a great taste (if you like smoked meat) and the gravy gets a bit of flavor too.
    OTOH, as civil eggineer points out...TOO much is TOO much.
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,610
    Kona hard to find, use expresso ground fine instant.
    VERY GOOD on Turkey.... done for several years.
    Rub, Kona Coffee, Hungry Man
    1/4 cup salt
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup ancho-chili powder
    1/2 cup expresso ground (very fine) Kona coffee
    1/4 cup garlic powder
    1/4 cup ground black pepper
    1 Mix all and keep in an air tight container.
    I use on spatchcocked turkey / direct at 350/400 high in dome....
    Skin side up and do not turn over.
    I leave uncovered in fridge overnight before cook.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • SundazesSundazes Posts: 305
    I did a 20 pounder last year in my lg. One of my brother in law's would not eat it. He saw the pink smoke ring and though it was under cooked. This is from a guy that has 2 bbq temps, frozen and burnt beyond recognition.
  • Thanks to all who responded to this post. Your advise and comments are greatly appreciated.
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,752
    I concur- Smoked turkey rocks. The mashed taters and smoky gravy was my favorite part!

    Also agree that you need to go easy on the chips. I used just a handful of cherry. A little goes a long way.

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • Do not SMOKE a turkey that large. Smoking a turkey, at a temp from 225 to 300 degrees, is unsafe. Bacteria will build up in the turkey. Bake it at 350-375, and you can use plenty of smoke while baking, but the largest turkey you want to smoke at a low temp is 14 pounds.
  • Maybe I'm using wrong terminolgy when I say I want to "smoke" the turkey. I do plan to cook it at about 350 degrees directly on the inverted plate setter with the turkey sitting in a drip pan directly on the inverted plate since I was told there is not room to use the v rack with a 23 pound turkey on the LGE. I planned to put a couple of handfuls of apple or pecan chunks (or would chips be better) scattered over the charcole lumps. Do I have the right approach or not. As I said before, I'm new to this "Big Green Egg" and in fact have no experience with a turkey. My wife always took care of that insde the oven. I sure don't want to mess this marriage up after 51 years by messing up the family Thanksgiving dinner!
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,752

    The danger zone is 40-140. The suggested temp is 225-300.

    That's not to say there is anything wrong with cooking at 350 (that is the recommendation of most eggheads).

    Maybe there is some terminology confusion.

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    3 23#'rs in 3 years. I need to put the dome thermometer between the turkey legs though.

    I have done 1 25#'er but that was a real tight fit.

    Here is a couple of them.

    my 2008 bird, I used the BGE V rack on this cook.

    I followed the Mad Max method then modified it for our liking.

    The turkey breasts are moist (dripping) when cooked to the correct temperature.

    We all love the turkey done on the egg.

    You have time, do a test cook before T-giving so you can fine tune the method to your liking.

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    BTW, I have cooked it with stuffing insde and veggies in side.

    When smoking the turkey the stuffing close to the outer edge of the bird gets too smokey and we end up tossing about 1 to 1.5 inches of stuffing away. The inner stuffing is good though. Most of the family preferes the stuffing done on the stove top with some of the drippings from the turkey or the stock made from the turkey parts.

    Most of the time I put some veggies inside the bird, not sure if that helps the flavor or not.

  • Perfect....
    I do my turkey at 325 to 350 F. with smoke-wood, thus a smoked turkey!
    I use a plate setter legs up, bird on the grid with a drip pan below. A tight fit for a big bird and you may have to adjust some but....
    I too, have read (from the poultry institute or something, somewhere...) that it is not recommended to cook a large bird at a low temp. I have to assume they are talking turkey here. But 350ish will do just fine.
    BTW, and totally OT...What did you do for our fabulous, world class USAF?
    My bro was a munitions tech and I was wrenching, in phase dock and the flight line every now and again, on the backbone of the Air Force, the "flying garbage truck".
    From daisy cutters, puff, lets get you boys here, lets get the hell out of here, bags and everything in between!!!
    Wing attach bolts broken...Hell...We don't need all of them, all the time!! There are few aircraft with such resilience
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