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Smoking a turkey

Never done it but got a 20 lb bird for thanksgiving. Any tips appreciated

anyone have a good brine recipe they like?

thanks in advance 
Memphis raised me, T-Town made me...Aint never been nothing but a winner

Comments

  • ThatgrimguyThatgrimguy Posts: 4,594
    edited November 18
    I highly recommend raised indirect spatchcock for a bird that size. Smaller 14-16lb birds I go raised direct, but the bigger birds seem to do better indirect for me. 

    Make sure your bird isn't pre brined. If it is you want to either do no brine or do an equalization brine that takes a few days. 

    I don't wet brine my birds. I buy unbrined birds and then dry brine them.

    Which is basically applying my Dizzy Pig Mad Max turkey seasoning Wednesday morning as soon as I wake up, usually about 7am. And then it sit's spatchcocked on a tray in the fridge covered in rub so the salt can work it's way into the meat and the bird can start drying out. This way I don't end up with too much salt from brining and dry rubbing.


    On turkey day I shove a bunch of butter under the skin, make sure to separate the skin from the turkey as much as possible and make room for the fat to drain out of the skin on the thighs
    XL, Small, Mini & Mini Max Green Egg, Shirley Fab Trailer, 6 gal and 2.5 gal Cajun Fryers, BlueStar 60" Range, 48" Lonestar Grillz Santa Maria, Alto Shaam 1200s, Gozney Dome, Gateway 55g Drum
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 30,481
    i like a dry brine over wet, ill start this one monday night for thursdays cook.


    then i use the madmax turkey method starting with butter/no rub for the gravy



    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • I like to spatchcock and inject with no brining then cook raised indirect.  I like this method because I’m not dealing with potential contamination issues of dealing with the brining process.  
    XL BGE, Large BGE, Small BGE, Weber Summit NG                                                                                               
    Memphis  
  • MaskedMarvelMaskedMarvel Posts: 2,876
    I’m on the spatchcock train, as well. So two different birds every year. Different rubs and smoke. 

    90 minutes 400° indirect. 

    Only problem is gravy… ::
    Large BGE and Medium BGE
    36" Blackstone - Greensboro!


  • GulfcoastguyGulfcoastguy Posts: 5,429
    Spatchcock raised indirect. Already starting the stock for turkey noodle soup.
  • WoodersonWooderson Posts: 295
    edited November 19
    I like to spatchcock and inject with no brining then cook raised indirect.  I like this method because I’m not dealing with potential contamination issues of dealing with the brining process.  
    That looks indirect to me and yumms
  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 26,196
    Another vote for dry brining.  It makes a huge difference.
    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike


  • Langner91Langner91 Posts: 1,489
    Only problem is gravy… ::
    They sell that in a jar!  My family has never figured it out.  I have been using jarred since my mother died and they still don't know!
    Clinton, Iowa
  • xfire_ATXxfire_ATX Posts: 1,041
    +1 Spatchcock

    We have a small group this year and SWMBO wanted to do only breast, upon inspection I got a 16# turkey for less than a breast so full turkey it is.  Im thinking I can get this smallish turkey on the XL (recent upgrade from L) with a small ham, if not I will be doing the FTC for a bit.

    As far as gravy, I bought some turkey stock at Trader Joes and will just make some.  My BIL grew up using some creamed can soup as their gravy.  SIL is bringing it, I tried it last year (why not) and it was odd putting soup on the turkey but it worked.
    XLBGE, LBGECharbroil Gas Grill, Weber Q2000, Old Weber Kettle, Yeti 65, RTIC 20, RTIC 40 Soft Side - Too many drinkware vessels to mention.

    Not quite in Austin, TX City Limits
    Just Vote- What if you could choose "none of the above" on an election ballot? Millions of Americans do just that, in effect, by not voting.  The result in 2016: "Nobody" won more counties, more states, and more electoral votes than either candidate for president. 
  • This is money every time, I don't bother with spatchcocking if I'm just doing the breast. Egg times run much longer. My friends ask for this every year. I'm not posting pics, not sure where they're from.

    MAPLE-SMOKED TURKEY BREAST
    Source: BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
    Method: Indirect
    Yield: Serves 8 to 10
    Advance Preparation: 12 hours for curing the turkey
    FOR THE RUB AND THE TURKEY
    2 tablespoons maple sugar or light brown sugar
    1 tablespoon sweet paprika
    2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea)
    1 teaspoon celery salt
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
    1 bone-in turkey breast (about 5 pounds)
    FOR THE MAPLE BUTTER BASTING MIXTURE
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter, melted
    You’ll also need:
    Poultry shears; 2 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably maple), soaked for 1 hour in cold water to cover, then drained
    1. MAKE THE RUB: Place the maple sugar, paprika, black pepper, coarse salt, celery salt, garlic and onion powders, cayenne, and mustard in a small bowl and stir to mix.
    2. Rinse the turkey breast under cold running water, then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Using poultry shears or a large knife, cut out the ribs so the turkey breast lies flat.
    Trim off and discard any excess fat. Sprinkle the rub over the turkey on all sides, patting it onto the meat with your fingertips. Place the breast in a covered bowl or resealable plastic bag and let cure overnight in the refrigerator.
    3. MAKE THE BASTING MIXTURE: Combine the maple syrup and melted butter in a small saucepan.
    4. Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. If using a gas grill, place all of the wood chips or chunks in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center, preheat the grill to medium, then toss all of the wood chips or chunks on the coals.
    5. When ready to cook, place the turkey breast in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook the turkey until cooked through, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. To test for doneness, use an instant-read meat thermometer: The internal temperature should be about 170 degrees F. After 45 minutes, brush the turkey breast with some of the maple butter basting mixture. Baste the turkey 2 or 3 more times with the maple butter. If using a charcoal grill, after 1 hour you’ll need to add 12 fresh coals to each side.
    6. Transfer the grilled turkey breast to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then carve. Or refrigerate the turkey until completely chilled and serve it cold.
    VARIATION: While I call for a turkey breast here, you could certainly smoke a whole turkey the same way. For a 10-pound turkey, you’d need a double batch of the rub and basting mixture. The cooking time would be 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
    © 2006 Steven Raichlen | site design Benjamin Wilchfort

    LBGE, 36" Blackstone, Anova Pro
    Charleston, SC
  • Mark_B_GoodMark_B_Good Posts: 1,219
    Never done it but got a 20 lb bird for thanksgiving. Any tips appreciated

    anyone have a good brine recipe they like?

    thanks in advance 
    I've done several over 20 lbs ... and my last cook was 2 x 17 lbs BOTH TOGETHER in the XL BGE.

    Here is the method I use ... a modified MAD MAX recipe. Main mods ... I inject with vegetable or chicken broth (unsalted) before I insert the turkey into the BGE ... and then I reinject about 30 min before I serve. Probably  half a quart each time.  I also can't get the Mad Max seasoning (at least not easily) so I just use another Poultry Seasoning ... otherwise, I pretty much follow this method to the tune.

    Next up ... Turkey - Page 2 — Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
  • tclamberthtclamberth Posts: 162
    I highly recommend raised indirect spatchcock for a bird that size. Smaller 14-16lb birds I go raised direct, but the bigger birds seem to do better indirect for me. 

    Make sure your bird isn't pre brined. If it is you want to either do no brine or do an equalization brine that takes a few days. 

    I don't wet brine my birds. I buy unbrined birds and then dry brine them.

    Which is basically applying my Dizzy Pig Mad Max turkey seasoning Wednesday morning as soon as I wake up, usually about 7am. And then it sit's spatchcocked on a tray in the fridge covered in rub so the salt can work it's way into the meat and the bird can start drying out. This way I don't end up with too much salt from brining and dry rubbing.


    On turkey day I shove a bunch of butter under the skin, make sure to separate the skin from the turkey as much as possible and make room for the fat to drain out of the skin on the thighs
    This is what I am doing. Have you ever had a bird not fit? This one looks like it probably won’t so I’m thinkning I could cut off the legs and smoke them under the breast. Hopefully it fits but it looks like it won’t 

    Thoughts? 
    Memphis raised me, T-Town made me...Aint never been nothing but a winner
  • tclamberthtclamberth Posts: 162

    Memphis raised me, T-Town made me...Aint never been nothing but a winner
  • 500500 Posts: 3,170
    Spatchcock here for 2nd year. SWMBO was SOOOO against spatching last year. I did it anyway and it was the best. 

    I have. 12# spatched turkey.  I cut but left the backbone in. Dry brined on Tuesday getting g salt and Dizzy Pig Mad Max Turkey Rub on both sides and under skin. 

    No mashed taters this year, but when I did homemade stock and gravy in the past, I bought Turkey pieces parts and made the stock two days ahead of time for the gravy. The spatched dry brined turkey doesn’t give up enough fat to use for gravy, but making stock ahead yieldsd plenty of rendered Turkey fat and stock for gravy and soup. 
    I like my butt rubbed and my pork pulled.
    Member since 2009
  • 500500 Posts: 3,170

    My question is raised direct or indirect on my 12# dry brined spatched turkey?  What temp and how long?  Thinking 10 minutes per pound plus 15-20 rest, pulling it off at 155* internal at breast. Of course looking for crispy skin but don’t want to overcook it for the sake of crispy skin. 

    I like my butt rubbed and my pork pulled.
    Member since 2009
  • Quick question for the smart people in the room....How long is safe for a turkey in FTC?
    Retired Navy, LBGE
    Pinehurst, NC

  • 500 said:

    My question is raised direct or indirect on my 12# dry brined spatched turkey?  What temp and how long?  Thinking 10 minutes per pound plus 15-20 rest, pulling it off at 155* internal at breast. Of course looking for crispy skin but don’t want to overcook it for the sake of crispy skin. 

    Just did a 14 lb turkey last night and smoked with pecan wood at 325F indirect.  Total cook was around 3 hours.  Pulled at 157F in the breast and watched carryover take it to 165.  
    XL BGE, Large BGE, Small BGE, Weber Summit NG                                                                                               
    Memphis  
  • 500500 Posts: 3,170
    500 said:

    My question is raised direct or indirect on my 12# dry brined spatched turkey?  What temp and how long?  Thinking 10 minutes per pound plus 15-20 rest, pulling it off at 155* internal at breast. Of course looking for crispy skin but don’t want to overcook it for the sake of crispy skin. 

    Just did a 14 lb turkey last night and smoked with pecan wood at 325F indirect.  Total cook was around 3 hours.  Pulled at 157F in the breast and watched carryover take it to 165.  
    Thanks. Mrs. 500 always wants to know when it’s done. I say 157* and she gives me that look. 
    I like my butt rubbed and my pork pulled.
    Member since 2009
  • tclamberthtclamberth Posts: 162
    20# bird will fit on the egg

    Memphis raised me, T-Town made me...Aint never been nothing but a winner
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 9,411
    Quick question for the smart people in the room....How long is safe for a turkey in FTC?
    However long you can keep the meat temp above 140.

    It's not like a brisket that is cooked to 200 degrees but it should be able to do 3-4 hours easily.

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • Foghorn said:
    Quick question for the smart people in the room....How long is safe for a turkey in FTC?
    However long you can keep the meat temp above 140.

    It's not like a brisket that is cooked to 200 degrees but it should be able to do 3-4 hours easily.
    I had the bird in FTC from 11:30 until 4:30 when I pulled it out to carve.  I must say no turkey was leftover but a boatload of ham was...just say'n!
    Retired Navy, LBGE
    Pinehurst, NC

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