The Perfect Holiday Turkey on the Big Green Egg

 So the family heard you have been cooking all kinds of wonderful creations on your Big Green Egg and you've been selected to prepare the turkey for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. Congratulations. Here's the recipe for success!



Defrosting the Turkey

First you want to defrost the turkey. Then you are going to brine the turkey for 24 hrs. So a 16 lb turkey will need 5-6 days to defrost in the refrigerator. 

So if you are cooking on the 24th, you will be brining on the 23rd, so move the frozen turkey from the freezer to the refrigerator on either the 18th or 19th.


Brine Ingredients

3 oranges

3 lemons

1/2 cup of ground or chopped sage leaves

2 whole bay leaves

1 Tablespoon of whole peppercorns

5 large garlic cloves (peeled and mashed)

4 quarts of water

1 cup of salt


Prepare the Turkey:

Remove the turkey from the packaging, remove the neck and giblet bag from the cavity. Rinse the turkey internally and externally and pat dry. Place the turkey in a container large enough to completely submerge the turkey.

Prepare the Brine:

Peel the oranges and lemons - trying to leave as much of the white pith on the fruit as possible. 

Bring 1 quart of water to a gentle boil in a 1.5 gallon or larger stock pot. Add all of the ingredients (except of the remaining water). Bring the concentrate back to a boil and then remove from heat and allow it to cool. Once completely cooled add the remaining water. 




Brine the Turkey:

Pour the brine over the turkey ensuring that it is fully submerged or as close as possible. Cover the container with a lid, a plate, or aluminum foil. Refrigerate the turkey in the brine for 12-24 hours.

Prepare the Smoking Chips:

Place a large handful of smoking chips in one quart of water and allow to soak overnight.

Prepare the Big Green Egg:

Remove the plate setter and grill from the BGE. Light the lump charcoal and heat the BGE to 350 degrees. drain the water off of the smoking chips. Sprinkle the smoking chips across the top of the burning lump charcoal. Replace the place setter.

Remove the Turkey from the Brine:

Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse thoroughly. Pat dry. Do not add any seasoning or dry rub. 

Smoking the Turkey:

Place the turkey in a large disposal aluminum pan. Place the pan on the place setter. Close the lid and monitor air flow to achieve 350 degrees. Allow the turkey to smoke without opening the lid for 2 hours. Check the internal breast temperature. Remove the turkey from the grill when the internal breast temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Approximate cooking times (only estimates):
10 lbs: 2 hrs
12 lbs: 2 hrs 30 mins
14 lbs: 2 hrs 45 mins
16 lbs: 3 hrs 15 mins
But again monitor until the internal breast temperature reaches 165 degrees

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