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First whole turkey

cbelcbel Posts: 1
Any suggestions on smoking first turkey? What's the deal with icing the breast?


  • MickeyMickey Posts: 16,598
    No ice.
    Spatchcocked Turkey
    (you cut out the backbone and cook opened)
    I like a 11/12 lb bird. If I need lots of turkey I just cook a couple ( 1 & 1/2 hr cook app)
    Or, just add a package of legs extra.
    I do not brine the turkey.
    If time I like to leave uncovered in the fridge overnight (no problem if no time)
    I cook "direct" @ 400 on a raised grill "skin side up" and never turn over.
    I will use a coffee rub (see below) Use what you like.
    I use about a single handfull of mixed chips: Cherry & Pecan.
    Cook to temp (not time) breast @ 160 and thigh @ 180
    Please let set for 20 to 30 mins to rest before cutting.

    Coffee Rub (turkey, chicken, beef & pork)
    Equal part: Instant Expresso Ground coffee
    Equal part: Brown Sugar
    ½ part: Black Pepper
    ½ part: Kosher Salt
    ½ part: Garlic Powder
    ¾ part: Ancho Chili Powder
    Don't worry on exact, just close on measurement. I used to use turbinado sugar but we like with brown better. This is pulled from MollyShark, Hungry Man, & Richard In Fl then tweaked. I find the ancho chili powder is far less expensive in the bulk spice area than the bottled area ( have used both light or dark version). I make it starting with a half cup Instant Expresso Ground coffee and work from there as it seems to store well if sealed.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, just added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • Icing the breast involves taking a large ziplock bag full of ice cubes and set it on the breast for around 10 minutes or so then quickly add the rub and put it in the Egg.  The idea is the thighs and legs which need to cook to 180 degrees start warmer than the breast which is best cooked to 160 degrees (so it doesn't over cook and become dry).  I ice mine and it seems to work well.  That's the only differnce I have in what Mickey said.


    Shangri la where life is beautiful and everybody's happy.

  • I spatchcocked at thanksgiving, turkey came out great. Cooked much faster than whole. Alton brown has a great recipe. The dry brine also was excellent.
  • JayHawkEyeJayHawkEye Posts: 193
    I do the brining thing on almost all of my poultry when I have time. For Easter, I brined an 11 lb turkey that I spatchcocked. I used a wet rub (oil with spices mixed in - like a paste) that I applied under the skin. I lightly coated the outside of the skin with the remains of the paste (not much). I went raised indirect at 350 til done. Very moist. You don't need to brine, but I get my best results when I do. Just make sure you rinse it really well when it comes out of the solution, and go easy on the sodium in your rubs.
    "Take yourself lightly, but what you do seriously." - M. Martin XL BGE - Johnston, IA
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 5,684
    Like Mickey said, just spatch it. I have always had great results with the temp of white and dark meat getting done at same time when I spatch chicken or turkey. I only use ice in my drink
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • caneggercanegger Posts: 540
    I did my first spatchcock turkey for easter and it turned out great. I followed @Mickey recipe on doing it and that is the only way I would do it again. It turned out great
  • I never tried spatchcock cooking but I think I might on my next chicken. However I did cook a whole turkey last Christmas. My secret was cooking it breast side down. This reduces the drippings found and in your drip pan because the dripping remain inside the cavity directly on top of the breast. Sort of self basting.... :-)
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