We are going to try and guide you on how to smoke a turkey in a Big Green Egg grill. This is a very easy process but it does take some time so you need to make time for cooking this recipe.
The best model for smoking turkey is the BGE Large as it has enough space and height for the big bird that you are about to cook. That way, you can place it at the center of the grill grate.
Turkey is one of the best meats that you can smoke. It can be dry after a long time being cooked but with this recipe, you will not need to worry about that as we have taken that into account.
For most, turkey is only served during thanksgiving but there is nothing wrong with cooking one without any occasion. This easy recipe will teach you how to make the juiciest turkey you had.
So prepare the Big Green Egg and then select the best turkey that you can find at the nearest butcher shop and let’s get cooking. This recipe can also be customized later for your liking.
Selecting The Turkey
Just by looking at the color of the meat, you can tell whether a turkey is good and fresh. There should be a decent amount of fats on the leg part and around the breast of the turkey.
The first thing that you need to avoid is blood clots. If you see some purple colors under the skin, then that is a mark that the turkey has undergone stress before it was butchered.
So avoid that and go get another turkey, you can even opt for frozen turkey as it will not make that much difference. You can also be sure that the meat is preserved properly when frozen.
For the brine and the seasoning, you need some water, salt, sugar, sage, rosemary, thyme, lemons, bay leaves, smashed garlic, pepper, and onions. These are pretty basic ingredients.
If you want, you can even customize the brine or use your favorite brine if you have one.
The same goes for the seasoning as you can put any rub or combination of spices that you want.
Seasoning is all about dry ingredients such as onion powder, black pepper, salt, chili powder, paprika, and dried leaves such as oregano, thyme, and parsley to get all the spices you need.
Smoked Turkey In A Big Green Egg
Step 1: Defrost The Chicken
If you have chosen to go with a frozen turkey, then it will take time for you to process it.
While it can be thawed instantly by running it under cold water, there is also another safer option.
This will take about three days so make sure you buy the turkey way ahead of time.
If the turkey is frozen, place it in the refrigerator and let it thaw in there for at least three to four days.
Once it has been thawed, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and then place it in the sink.
Remove and discard the liquid from it and then wash the turkey with cold water and let it rest.
Step 2: Prepare The Brine
Mix the water and dry ingredients for the brine in a pan over medium heat, bring it to a boil, and then make sure that the dry ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels to remove any of the liquid that comes from the thawed ice.
Place the turkey in a large bag, I used a large zip lock bag for the turkey to fit in.
After it has cooled down, pour the brine into the bag and then close it.
Remember that you will need the brine to cover the entire turkey so you do not have to turn or press the spices in.
Place the lemons and other larger ingredients in the bag and then close it.
Brining such meat with a hard and bland skin will take time, so leave the turkey in the brine for at least 24 hours.
I find it best to do this by placing the bag of turkey and brine in a cooler and surrounding the bag with some ice. Make sure to put enough ice to last up to a day in the cooler for the turkey.
Step 3: Season The Turkey
After 24 hours, remove the turkey from the brine and then discard the brine.
Pat the turkey dry with paper towels and then start the seasoning process with a vegetable cooking spray on the turkey.
This will help the turkey get skin that will let the dry seasonings stick on it while also preventing the turkey from turning too dark when cooking.
Rub the seasoning all over the skin and inside the turkey.
You can also put some ingredients inside the turkey such as onions, halved apples, and some spices and herbs. These will help make the turkey more flavorful even on the inside.
Step 4: Start Smoking
Preheat the Big Green Egg to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and then close the lid for 15 minutes.
Once it has reached the set temperature, place the turkey directly on the grill grate.
You can also start with 275 degrees Fahrenheit and then turn it up to 300 degrees later on if you want more crisp on the skin.
Let the turkey smoke for at least three hours in the Big Green Egg.
After 2 hours, insert a meat probe into the thickest part of the turkey or in the breast and the other on the thighs up to the bone.
Just leave the lid closed on the grill and let it smoke by itself.
If the meat probe on the breast part of the turkey reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit and the thighs 175 degrees, then you can remove the turkey from the grill as it has been cooked perfectly.
Step 5: Let It Rest
Another indicator that the turkey is cooked perfectly is when the juices that run out of the meat are clear when you remove the meat probe.
When that happens, the turkey is near ready to be served.
Remove the turkey from the grill and then place it on a plate with aluminum foil. Wrap it loosely with the foil and then let it rest for at least 15 minutes before opening and checking it again.
This will help the juices return to the meat and make it more tender. The temperature of the turkey will also rise by at least 5 degrees Fahrenheit which will cook it even further inside.
Slice, carve, and enjoy!
It is most likely that you are going to have some leftovers when you cook a large bird like a turkey. So you need to know how to properly store it when you have some leftovers.
Place the leftovers in a sealed container and then place them in the refrigerator.
For up to four days, you can have the best-smoked turkey ready in our fridge, but do not go further than 4 days.
After four days, cooked food will start to spoil and bacteria will have contaminated it already.
If you want to prolong the shelf life of the leftovers, wrap aluminum foil on them and into a container.
Place the leftover turkey in the freezer as the aluminum foil will protect them from freezer burns. This will make the turkey leftovers last for months.
Whether you are practicing your cooking skills for the next thanksgiving or you just want to make a large meal, smoking turkey in a Big Green Egg is always a great way to cook your food.
There are only simple ingredients included in this recipe and the good thing about it is that you can customize it.
If some ingredients are not available, then you can improvise to your liking.
Just follow the process itself and I assure you that you will be having the best-smoked turkeys for your next meal.
This will get you to cook at the center of the table and eat a great meal!
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