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Large Turkey

I have a large group here (about 16-18) for the Canadian Thanksgiving in early October. I intend to cook a large turkey (16-18 lbs) in the BGE.[p]I usually get a Butterball bird (butter injected) but I'm not sure if this is the best thing for the BGE. Can I stuff the bird? I'm looking for hints and best ways to cook along with suggested timing, and setup for the BGE. Does the timing change much as it gets colder outside. This is a practice for Xmas when I'll have about 24 people here.[p]I appreciate any and all comments.[p]TX


  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    DickO,[p]I have made this recipe each year as Christmas presents. No timing change nomatter the outside temp. Only change with outside temp is adjustments to the vents to hold cooking temperature.[p]Spin
    [ul][li]Super Buzzard[/ul]
  • Spin,[p]TX for the info. Have you ever tried it stuffed with dressing?[p]DickO
  • DickO,[p] I don't know how Spin feels about stuffing, but I'm not a big fan of cooking it inside the bird. I know, I know -- startin' to sound preachy. But there is some danger involved, especially when cooking at relatively low temperatures as in that recipe. Plus, you'd have to work around the fruit . . .[p]MikeO
  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    DickO,[p]Like MikeO I'm not a fan of cooking a cavity stuffed turkey using this temperature. The recipe makes a great bird with the cavity stuffed with the fruit. A stuffing does work well if added in a foil pouch with the gizzard, neck, some broth, etc. for the cook.[p]Adding any extra fruit/vegetables to the drip pan will enhance the flavor of the stock produced that can then be utilized to make a great dressing. The drippings will thicken. Add liquid (stock/water/wine/etc) to the drip pan (if necessary) to avoid letting the drippings burn. Remove to a sauce pan to make the dressing.[p]Spin
  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Spin,[p]The foil pouch should be added to the Egg - not in cavity of the turkey.[p]My apologies,

  • DickO,
    When cooking turkeys I have always felt if you presoak them the night before in a brine solution it gives a juicier better taste. The extra salt helps hold moisture in the turkey. Just rinse turkey and place in large kettle/bucket with a lot of salt really no need to measure as much as will dissolve and them some. Usually in the MidWest or Northeast in the States you can just leave this in the garage as it will be chilly enough in there at Christmas or Thanksgiving time. Then just cook as you would regularly.

  • J AppledogJ Appledog Posts: 1,046
    james hayashi, Cat has a wonderful recipe for a brine solution. It may be in the archives; if not, I'm sure that she could be persuaded to share it again. JCA

  • J AppledogJ Appledog Posts: 1,046
    I usually cook my turkeys at 350? which works out to 13-15 minutes per pound depending on whether they are stuffed or not. When I do stuff them, I use the following:[p]Julie’s Corn Bread Stuffing: enough for a large bird

    1.5 cups onion, chopped
    1 cup celery, chopped (leaves included)
    1 stick butter
    .5 lb. ground pork sausage with sage included; or add sage to your favorite sausage. (I use Jimmy Dean brand).
    1 cup coarsley chopped mushrooms (I include some shitakes)
    8 cups corn bread, crumbled ( Use 3 boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix or your favorite recipe)
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon freshly ground peppercorns
    1.5 teaspoons poultry seasoning or
    .5 teaspoon thyme
    .5 teaspoon rosemary
    .5 teaspoon nutmeg
    1 cup white wine
    1 egg, slightly beaten
    .5 - 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries[p]Sauté onions & celery until just tender and put in large bowl. Cook sausage and mushrooms together. Pour off the grease and add to celery and onion.
    Mix together with the bread crumbs and seasonings. Just before stuffing the bird, moisten mixture with the wine, add the egg & dried fruit and mix well. Stuff the bird just before cooking, via the indirect method w a drip pan, on your grill. 13 minutes per pound usually works for me, but have a meat thermometer handy.[p]Bone appétit! JCA

  • DickO,
    I've only done a few turkeys (I prefer duck) in the Egg and I've tried a different method each time, but so far, the BGE cookbook is the one instance of the best cooking method. I modified mine a bit though, combining with the beer butt chicken. A Butterball is fine as I always stuff a few pats between the skin and the meat anyway, season the bird inside and out with your favorite poultry dry rub and stand it up on a vertical roaster. Get the dome temp steady at 300, add your chips to the fire(I recommend a mixture of cherry, apple, and maple soaked overnight in red wine), set your drip pan in place, suck down half a can of your favorite beer and add a 1/4 cup of the rub to the beer, swirl it around (take another sip if you dare) and set it in the middle of the drip pan and lower your bird down over the beer can. Continue at 300 deg. Figure about 8-10 minutes per pound to get the bird up to 185 internal.
    Now this method won't yield much drippings for gravy, but you can still get a good, real turkey gravy if you take the bird inside and with your most proficient gravy maker at the ready, carve the legs and wings right off the carcass over another drip pan, you're going to get plenty of juice for a nice gravy. Wrap the bird in foil to keep it warm while the gravy is cooked up, then carve up when ready to serve.
    A stuffed bird in the Egg will more than double your cooking times and yield some of the worst tasting stuffing you've ever had. We make our stuffing in a cake pan in the oven, mix up the Belle's or whatever your favorite stuffing is like it says on the package and before you put it in the oven, layer it over with chicken or turkey wings for that extra flavor.
    Good Luck and Good Q.

  • PujPuj Posts: 615
    DickO,[p]For another recipe to ponder, click on the link to the bird done at Eggtoberfest2000.[p]Puj

    [ul][li]PDK Bird[/ul]
  • YBYB Posts: 3,861
    That was one of the best turkeys I have ever tasted...What you cooking this year.

  • PujPuj Posts: 615
    Larry,[p]Well this year Cheryl is going to bake calzone, and son Richard is going to grill some burgers and dogs late in the afternoon. I'm going to roast some peanuts as the fire gets to the right temp for the calzone.[p]What's on the menu from Augusta this year?[p]See you soon.
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