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first turkey, questions/lessons learned within

this weekend i had a chance to do a turkey for the wifes social club.  it was 18.6 lb which easily fit on my large.  the morning of i removed it from the refrigerator to get up to room temp (no brine).  slathered it with butter, kosher salt, and cracked pepper.  stuffed it with some chopped:  apples, celery, onions, carrots, and aromatics the wife picked up.  kept the temp at 300 according to the dome thermometer, but the maverick showed 250 clipped to the side of the pan (not touching anything).  the bird sat on a roasting rack in a disposable pan, which sat on top of the place setter (legs up) with some copper plumbing end caps in between the pan and the bird to prevent scorching.  it took about 4.5 hours for the bird to reach 160 at the breast according to the maverick.  i double checked it with the thermopen to be sure.

questions:  why did it cook so fast?  from reading experiences here i was expecting 6-7 hours for a bird that big

why did the dome say 300 when the maverick said 250 which was waaay closer to the firebox and "should" have been warmer?

the bird came out amazing though, everyone bragged on how juicy it was, and this was after having to keep it warm for 2-3 hours before chow time because of the shorter than expected cook time
bird.jpg 415.3K


  • You were about 15 minutes per pound which is about normal. I cook at 325 and usually get 12 minutes per pound.


    Caledon, ON


  • tonyledtonyled Posts: 522
    ah, i was figuring 20 mins per pound, thanks for the response!!!

    any thoughts on the different temps?
  • tonyledtonyled Posts: 522
    i think i just thought of my answer, im betting the thermometer in the dome holds a higher temp because of the ceramic
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,870
    the temp differential is usually like that with an inderect setup, the heat is forced up the sides into the dome instead of directly hitting the probe. also your getting cooler temps from the turkey with the probe so close
  • MikeP624MikeP624 Posts: 292
    edited November 2012
    Dome temp is typically hotter than the grate temp for indirect cooking.  The longer the indirect cook, the closer the dome and grate temp typically become.  I ususally see about 30 degrees difference at the start of the cook.
  • tonyledtonyled Posts: 522
    yep, makes sense now.  thanks for the responses.  im still learning, but its amazing how forgiving this thing is. 
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 6,101
    Maybe someday someone w. a lot of $$ will drill holes all over an Egg, and position temp sensors in them. And then take measurements w. every possible set-up I'd be willing to bet there would be as many different temperature maps.

    Here's what little I know. In a direct cook, the air temp at the felt line in the center of the grill is hotter than the dome. Also, the side of the food facing the lump is getting more heat from the IR than the heat air. The temperature increases as the grill gets closer to the lump, and should be about twice what it is at the felt line when down around the lump.

    In an indirect cook, most of the IR is blocked. The air temperature coming up around the block can be quite high, enough to char any food directly over the air passage.

    During an indirect cook, for the first few hours, the grill area is generally lower temperature than the dome, where the hot air rises and collects. After several hours, the temperature difference between those to places evens out.

    The kind of heat block used makes a difference in how fast the grill area heats up. A platesetter will absorb lots of heat, a drip pan w. water, somewhat less, and an empty drip pan, the least. However, once a platestter is heated, it may be over 600F, and become a secondary heat source, driving up the temp at the grill.

    Any temperature measurement within an inch of a big piece of food will be much lower than the rest of the grill until much of the water has been cooked out of the meat. Likewise, the temperature near any water bath is going to be limited by the temperature of the vaporizing water.

  • I doubt there is much difference at all. Think of it as a convection oven vs standard Convection roast is 325* standard roast is 350*


    Caledon, ON


  • Does anyone think there is any difference of using the PS versus the AR Rig Oval stone for ribs?

    Seems like it would cover more of the opening to prevent any scorching for the drip pan.

  • The Egg is so efficient in it's heating process and heat retention that you will see shorter cook times than is possible in a conventional home oven.  Most stated cook times are estimates.  Over time you will learn to adjust for your style and temp control.  Cooking in a Hamado style gill or Tajine type cooker retains so much more moisture in your meats.  You can never achieve that in a metal covered grill.

    Simple ingredients, amazing results!
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