[Editors Note: LIVE POST!]
I've attempted smoking a whole turkey on the Big Green Egg once before. This time, after enjoying a fantastic turkey on Thanskgiving at my little sisters home that my brother in law brined, I decided to do the same. I have a 10 pound turkey that has been soaking in this brine just shy of 24 hours from one of my favorite cooks, The Pioneer Woman. This is a fresh bird – it has not been frozen.
I've rinced the brine off the turkey and its had a nice rub down (inside and out) consisting of fresh chopped herbs (thyme, rosemary and sage) and garlic mashed into butter with a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper.
The Big Green Egg has been heated up to about 500 degrees – I know once the place setter and bird are in the egg, the temp will be closer to 300 – 325%. I have alder chips soaking that I'll be using to enhance the smoke.
While this is all taking place, I have sauteed the giblets in some butter with onion, celery, garlic and a little andoulie sausage for gravy later. Once the giblets were golden and onions were soft, I added water to fill the pot and have continued to add water as this has been simmering for a few hours.
After the bird was buttered up, I stuffed it with fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic and a few slices of sweet onion and lemon. A few recipes I've seen call for spashing the turkey with a half bottle of white wine – I gave it closer to one glass. I can't bear to sacrifice a half-bottle of wine on the outside of a turkey!
It's on the grill as of 2:55 pm. We'll see if it's ready in time for dinner! My goal is to baste the turkey every half hour and add additional soaked chips at that time.
4:45 pm: the house smells great thanks to the giblets that have been simmering most of the day and the bird is looking pretty good too! I've been faithfully basting it and adding soaked wood chips every half hour or so.
By the way, don't judge my bird by this photo…she ain't done yet!
6:45 pm: turkey is still on the egg and the coals are starting to give out… we may have to finish this bird in the oven – stay tuned!
7:20 pm: made an executive decision, the coals are not getting warmer and we're all starting to get a bit hungry so we moved the bird inside into the temp controlled oven. Before submitting the bird to the 350 oven, we flipped it (yes we flipped the bird) after moving it to a new pan (on the same v-rack) and reserving the juices and fat for the gravy.
Back to the gravy, I poured the liquids from the backing pan into a big glass measuring cup and moved it to the fridge so the fat and juice can part their ways. BUT WAIT!! I still have my simmering giblets that I have strained to remove the veggies and have cut the giblets into smaller chunks. I have a fresh large fry pan that I have melted about 1-2 tablespoons of butter and I'm using about 1/4 cup of fat from the drippings to start my gravy. I've sprinkled in some Wondra (fancy flour) to start my gravy. Once the fat and juice is cleary separated in my glass measuring cup in the fridge, I'll remove the fat and add those tasty juices to my gravy. I did take a couple ladles of my giblet brew to my pan that I was smoking the turkey in the BGE to help retrieve the "good bits" and added that back to the gravy.
It's all about gravy – no, it's the bird, or is it the gravy? I do have some potatoes boiling for garlic mashers…yep!
Dinner was a hit! Gravy and the bird were terrific. I did use my Viking hand blender to make to swirl the gizzards into tasty chunkless goo.