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First whole turkey on the Egg

wardowardo Posts: 395
Good evening Eggers and happy Friday!

I'm happy to report that I'm now responsible for Thanksgiving dinner this year and the LBGE will be key to this.  I'm planning to cook a few of these (hopefully) before the big day.  Practice bird #1 is tomorrow for the inlaws and my nieces and nephews.  I'm hoping to get a good process in place over these next couple of cooks though.  I'm planning to cook the bird spatchcocked.  Since getting the egg and cooking a small flock? of chickens, I've found that the spatchcocked chicken is my favorite and comes out SO juicy every time.  I'm hoping this translates well to a ~15lb turkey.  I've got 2 series of questions that I'm hoping to get some opinions and advice on from y'all, so thank you in advance for the help as usual!

For the cook tomorrow (15lb bird, no brine, separated skin from breast, spatchcock):
1.  How long will this take?
A. I'm thinking a cook around 325 raised indirect with cherry and pecan wood will be about 3hrs?
2.  Am I crazy for thinking I can fit this on the LBGE?! Lol

In general questions:
1.  Should I brine the bird?
A.  I'm probably gonna buy a frozen bird (this one is) for the big day.  I've read that frozen birds shouldn't be brined.  I honestly don't know if it's even worth it, but my buddy swears by it
2.  Does anyone have a simple or basic seasoning they like for a whole turkey?
3.  What's the biggest spatchcock bird I can fit on a LBGE?

I'm super excited to see how this thing turns out.  I'm doing a lot of searching on these topics as well, but I wanted to share some of my plans for the cook and see if that'll change y'alls recommendations.   I'm cooking some wild caught salmon tonight and having some yuenglings to keep my creative juices flowing!

Thank you again for all the help!



  • haven't tried this myself, but an inverted rib rack should reduce the grill space needed
    Lrg 2008
    Mini 2009
  • ColtsFanColtsFan Posts: 5,089
    I Really like Alton Brown's brine recipe. I usually will brine for at least 24hrs...always frozen birds 

    @Mickey coffee run is excellent 

    A 16lb bird will fit tight 

    I like 375 raised direct. A 14lb bird is done in under 2 hours 

    ~ John -
    XL BGE, LG BGE, KJ Jr, Ardore Pizza Oven, King Disc 
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!

  • posterposter Posts: 791
    edited September 2019
    400 raised direct! Will be under 2 hours and you will wanna do them monthly. Brines or not, your preference. I cant be bothered

    Oh ya, little to no smoke wood
  • Agree with what everyone has said. Last year I did my first turkey for Thanksgiving. It  to was close 14# and I brined it. I don't recall the temp I cooked at but it was done in no more than 2.5 hours.
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 19,501

    Spatchcocked Turkey and Chicken on the Big Green Egg

    (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)

    Chicken 3 to 4.5lb bird or birds. Under an hour cook. 

    Or, just add a package of legs extra. 

    I do not brine the turkey or Chicken. 

    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. Use what you like.


    I use about a single handfull of mixed chips: Cherry & Pecan. 

    Cook to temp (not time) breast @ 165 and thigh @ 175


    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 & 30A  FL: Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max when they came out (I'm good for now). 

  • CornholioCornholio Posts: 1,005
    I’ve had good turkeys off the egg both brined and not.  Biggest thing for me (actually my guests) is I don’t use any smoke wood, just lump.  

    Last year I didn’t spatchcock but have before and a decent sized bird fit fine on my large.  I do a butter paste coating on mine and I ice the breasts before putting on the egg.

  • I think turkey is one of the easiest a d most rewarding things to do on the egg. I personally think brining is the way to go, but you will get a good result either way.
    Raised, indirect anywhere between 325 and 400. Little to no smoking wood. Also a little trick is to brush the skin with soy sauce for a nice deep color.
    Kansas City, Kansas
    Second hand Medium BGE, Second hand Black Kamado Joe Classic, Second hand Weber Kettle, Second hand Weber Smokey Mountain
  • What soy sauce do...
    Kansas City, Kansas
    Second hand Medium BGE, Second hand Black Kamado Joe Classic, Second hand Weber Kettle, Second hand Weber Smokey Mountain
  • wardowardo Posts: 395
    @tenpenny_05, is that a large bge you did that bird on?  If so, how big was it?

    I've been making my own butter lately so I have butter (front) I plan to use on this booger and buttermilk (back) that will be used on the mashed potatoes.

    I'm seeing a lot of search results cautioning the amount of smoke.  Any other thoughts on how much smoking wood should be used?
    @Mickey, thank you for sharing that rub recipe, I think I'm going to give it a shot.  I'm thinking I'll mix some of that rub into the butter and a bunch of it will go under the skin.

    My raised grid is probably a few inches above the felt line, so we'll see if this is do-able!  We've got some more prep work to do before everyone gets here but I will post up pics of the adventure as it unfolds.
    NC - LBGE
  • wardowardo Posts: 395
    Well that coffee rub is legit.  I mixed it in with the butter I made and got this awful looking but amazing tasting paste.
    I crammed most of it up on the breast meat under the skin.  The rest I spread around the bird the best I could.  Added some more seasoning and it's in the fridge waiting on the egg to heat up.

    My raised grid for indirect is too high and I usually cook all my birds indirect so I'll be doing this indirect with the platesetter legs up, spacers for my drip pan, the pan, the grid and then the bird.  I'm using a large handful of mostly cherry but a little pecan wood. The bird has been in the fridge drying for about 24hrs now.  Hopefully that'll yield a crisp skin.  More pics to come as this unfolds.

    Question: I should be able to use the drippings in the pan for gravy right?

    Happy Saturday folks!
    NC - LBGE
  • 1911Man1911Man Posts: 366
    I'm planning to do my first smoked turkey of the season next weekend (provided the grocery store has a fresh one of the right size). I use a thermometer in mine (remote probe with a BT main unit connected to my phone) and just pull it when done. I expect to get the request to provide one at least either at Thanksgiving and/or Xmas this year (again). 

    I'm on a low sodium diet, so no brine for mine. I've found that pulling it when the thermometer reads 165 (in the thickest part of the breast) gives the best results. I would advise using a remote thermometer to determine when the bird is done. Not time. 
    Large BGE with CGS Woo Ring, stone with stainless pan, Smokeware chimney cap, Kick Ash basket and Kick Ash can.
    Living free in the 603 (Pelham).
  • wardowardo Posts: 395
    @1911man I agree 100%.  Having a wireless probe makes life so much easier.  I've got a probe in each breast now and will use my thermapen to check the drumsticks shortly.  Up to about 153 IT on the breasts right now.
    NC - LBGE
  • That thing looks gooooood 
    Go Gamecocks!!!
    1 XL, 1 MM
    Smoking in Aiken South Carolina
  • That looks like a home run.  Nice job.
    Go Gamecocks!!!
    1 XL, 1 MM
    Smoking in Aiken South Carolina
  • I really like the idea of Spatchcocking BUT, I can't do it.  We eat with our eyes, presentation is everything.  Spatchcocking looks like roadkill.  Sorry guys, it just isn't a Norman Rockwill painting.

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