Lets Talk Turkey!!
Now I see lots of guys following a Great Recipe from "Mad Max Beyond Eggdome" . I put the link because it has definitely gotten such rave reviews it is certainly valuable use of your time to review.
I do mine slightly different and it has always been good. Actually I started smoking turkeys about 10 or so yrs ago on a 22" Kettle Grill before I got my first Large BGE. Was good there too!!
Good meal - Thanks to everyone!
Here is an example of how to elevate the pan off of the platesetter.
These are basic Guidelines that I follow. To be honest, I don't think I cook anything exactly the same twice:
1) Brine your Turkey - some don't like this. I do!!!, If nothing else it ensures the bird is an even temp all over. There is obviously some chemistry too - Apparantly brine can start to modify the protein structure of the meat (click here for a good article). Here is what I do.
2) I use a handful or so of dry Pecan wood chips mixed in the lump. About an hour before cook time, I get the egg going up to about 300F. Set the egg up with an inverted plate setter. I will place the turkey on a V-rack placed in a steel drip pan. To prevent scalding (an use the drippings for gravey) the steel drip pan should not be placed driectly on the plate setter. I get about 5 or 6 of 3/4" steel nuts and put on the plate setter. I then put the drip pan on that to elevate. Be careful to do a trial run w/your pan before you start to make sure everything fits.
3) Dry the rinsed turkey inside and out (I use paper towels). Rub with Canola oil equiv put on a V-rack legs up. I then make a rub, Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, sage, thyme. I use Mad Max's idea and put a couple of zip-lock bags filled w/ice on the breast as he egg is stablizing at around 300F. This gets the breast at a little lower temp and should keep it moister during the long cook. Mad Max recommended 20min before putting on the egg. This is a great idea!
3a) The last few cooks I have been using a paste of butter and my spices like Mad Max...I also use his technique of pouring wine over the butter coated turkey and basting every so often.
3b) I usually put a quartered sweet onion, carrot and celery inside the turkey while cooking along with some fresh rosemary.
4) I put a probe in the breast and one in the thigh and cook to close to 160 Breast 180 Thigh. I peek very little during the cook, just keeping the dome temp somewhere in the 250-300F range. I've cooked them slow and faster and the've always been good. I cooked a 21# turkey in a little less than 8 hours or 20 minutes/lb and the dome temp was at about 275F. I'ld be cautious on cook time +/- 1hr should be planned.
5) Tent in foil for 15-30 min and cut. I believe in completely deboning the breast from the carcass, and slicing down so everyone gets some skin, center cut tenderloin, and outer white meat. It is perfect. I also debone the thigh and cut good pieces of dark meet. Cut the wing into three pieces discarding the tips, and serving the leg whole. Makes for a great presentation. Here is a link on how I slice the turkey - Carving a turkey
Comments welcome -