Whole Turkey on the Big Green Egg

Yes, I know Thanksgiving was a few days ago…but I didn't get to cook a turkey since we went to our families homes.  I'm toying with smoking a Turkey for Christmas (or maybe a ham) so I thought I'd give it a whirl today. 

I have my Big Green Egg at 325 degrees with the place-setter in (indirect grilling).  My 13.5 pound DSC_0043turkey has been loosely stuffed with a half of sweet onion, chunks of celery stalk, a couple baby carrots, half a bulb of garlic. The outside of the turkey  a drizzle of olive oil with Tom Douglas Rub with Love for turkey (new!).   The turkey is resting breast side up in a pan on the v-rack.   In the pan, there is the rest of the chopped onion and garlic along with a 2 cups of broth.   I've also soaked alder chips (because it's all I have left) and they're on the charcoals.   The turkey went on at 3:00 pm.

3:30 (just took the photo) and as with most of my recipes, I'm "wingin' it".  I'm brushing the bird with a little melted butter and noticed that my two cups of broth is almost all gone.  I'm going to add another cup or so in just a moment.

5:00 and I'm having a challenge keeping the temperature up high enough.  It seems to be stuck just under 300.    5:15 and I think  my turkey may actually be done–temp is showing 170 for the breast and 180 for the thigh (gulp, it could be overdone).   I'm cranking down the heat to 275.

DSC_00215:45 and the turkey is off the grill resting under a foil tent while I make garlic mashed potatoes and the asparagus are on the grill for a few minutes.

Tonight's wine will be a 2005 Adobe Road Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast.

Verdict: the white meat (breast) came out "classically dry" but the dark meat is to die for.  The smoked turkey breastthat I've made turned out more moist than the whole turkey…at least for this attempt. The breast I made earlier was brined…this whole turkey was not (next time I will).   

Even dry, it was tasty. 


  1. Last night’s turkey was fine…I’m looking forward to turkey enchilada’s for dinner tonight!

  2. With all credit to my belove Grandmother for this, cook/smoke your turkey breast side down for the first 75% of the total cooking time. Gravity keeps the juices right where they need to be – in the domed breast meat.

  3. Getting ready to attempt a full turkey on the BGE today… this time I’ve brined it overnight – should be delish!

    • Your method is perfect! Breast meat would have been perfect if you removed from grill on time! I have brined and not brined! Truthfully, I perceive little to no difference! In a hurry, I skip the brine completely! When I have time, I smell the flowers along the way! (Brine, and the whole three day process) Love my egg, won’t cook a turkey any other way (My wife and girls won’t let me!)

      • I’m noticing turkeys in the store… it may be time to do this recipe again – thanks for stopping by, Marty!

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