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Turkey on an XL tips and advice

New to egging and this forum, have had a few successful cooks so far. Everything from pulled pork to brisket. Wife wants me to try to do the turkey this year on it and see how it turns out. Seeing as the whole family will be there I would like the odds of it turning out ok to be better than not. Anyone have any tips or advice on how to do this?


  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 9,395
    You will never find a better guide to cooking a turkey on a ceramic cooker than Mad Max's web site. You don't have to follow the complete guide to the gravy and all that but all the basic info is also there. You just have more room on your XL...The other info on his site is also fantastic.
    Thank you,

    Galveston Texas
  • six_eggsix_egg Posts: 1,025
    I have nothing to add @Photo Egg has you covered.


    Texarkana, TX

  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 7,285
    I'll just add that most people have never actually eaten a perfectly cooked, moist turkey.  Most people overcook it.  If you get the finishing temp right you're already one step ahead of the game.  The rest of the details push it over the top.  

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • In my experience the turkey always tends to cook a little faster than I anticipate, so I agree with others keep an eye on temp so you don't overcook it.  I did the full Mad Max method last year and it was great, although previous attempts winging it myself had turned out nicely.  I use a CGS AR to place the bird about midway in the dome and catch the drippings underneath.  Good luck!
    XL BGE, CGS AR & spider, 36" SS Blackstone, SMOBOT - Flower Mound, TX
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 9,395
    Not stuffing the cavity of the bird full of "stuff" will allow it to cook faster.
    Stuffing the cavity full of "stuff" and cooking at lower temp is also not real safe.
    Lots of bad things want to grow before the bird reaches a safe food temp.
    Thank you,

    Galveston Texas
  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 1,800
    Just spatchcock it and get rid of the cavity altogether. 
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 9,395
    SonVolt said:
    Just spatchcock it and get rid of the cavity altogether. 
    By far, that's my favorite way.
    Thank you,

    Galveston Texas
  • I second what @Foghorn said. If you cook it to the right temp, that is 90% of the battle.  I do turkey breasts year round for sandwiches, and I've gone as simple as just garlic salt and pepper and it still comes out great every time.
    Just remember, turkey cooks better hot and fast not low and slow, and don't use a lot of (or any) smoking wood.
    A trick I came across last year is to brush the skin with soy sauce before cooking to give it great color.
    Kansas City, Kansas
    Second hand Medium BGE, Second hand Black Kamado Joe Classic, Second hand Weber Kettle, Second hand Weber Smokey Mountain
  • cottonseedcottonseed Posts: 84
    edited November 2018
    Some may have seen this video before, but either way its worth the watch.

    Its Aaron Franklin's take on smoked turkey.

    If I didnt fry one, I would do this every time.

    Link should take you to 6:23 on the video.

    EDIT: Go to 6:23 on the video to see the secret. 

    Then watch part 3. 

    Atlanta, GA
    Large Egg ~1998 model
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 10,269
    All good advice so far. I would also consider doing a test run. It takes some of the stress off. I also like to make gravy ahead of time from the test run bird. One less thing to worry about on the big day. 

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

  • Thanks everyone, love the advice. I will make sure to post pics along the way of the cook!
  • Yes - a test run is extremely important in my experience (which is limited).  I received an XL for my bday (great wife) and tried a Mad Max approach during the summer.  While we all enjoyed the turkey, we did conclude that this wasn't what we were looking for in a Thanksgiving Turkey.  So glad I found that out in August instead of on the 22nd of November.  
  • mlc2013mlc2013 Posts: 988
    if you decide not to spatch and cook whole dont put it in a deep pan as I did. Top half cooked perfect bottom half undercooked!!!!

    Long Island NY    
    1 XL BGE 12/17, 1 LG BGE 3/18, 1 MM BGE 3/18
  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 1,800
    Don't use a pan at all! Just use a V-rack set directly on the grate.... or, just spatchcock it. 
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • mlc2013mlc2013 Posts: 988
    SonVolt I used pan back in feb when I was even more of a nob now im just half a nob but the idea was to catch the juice to make a gravy. Bad bad idea. I spatch all my birds now and will never go back

    Long Island NY    
    1 XL BGE 12/17, 1 LG BGE 3/18, 1 MM BGE 3/18
  • forgive if this is not allowed, but Dizzy Pig has a Mad Max Turkey rub
    I haven't tried it, so I can't give it a rating.
    Hint for ordering from Dizzy Pig, The freight is the same for 1-6 bottles
    Lrg 2008
    Mini 2009
  • I'm considering cooking our thanksgiving turkey with my new BGE for but I won't be adding additional wood - my wife isn't a fan of smoked turkey.   Can anyone tell me how smokey it will be using just BGE lump ?   thank you
  • stop by your local Ace hardware and pick up a bag of Rockwood. I have this same issue at home. BGE lump has some hickory in it as it has been told to me by some of the local BGE restaurants. not saying anything bad just trying to help a guy  get out of that smoke flavor jam :)

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