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How long to smoke a Turkey on the Big Green Egg

j
jbford Dec 11, 2011 12:20 PM

We are going to smoke a 25 pound turkey on the Big Green Egg for Christmas. My wife's folks are coming down from Indiana to our house in Florida for the first time and I'd better not screw up. I've seen a lot of conflicting information about how long to smoke a turkey and at what temperature to cook it at. In the video on the BGE web site Kevin Rathbun says 350 degrees and 12 min per pound which for a 25 lb turkey would be 5 hours. I've seen other information that says you should smoke it at 250 degrees and 20 to 30 minutes per pound which means i'll be up all night. Can someone please help me?

  1. n
    Nanzi Dec 11, 2011 12:54 PM

    We have a Kamado cooker, quite similiar to a BGE. I have done a number of turkeys on it with delicious results. I do it exactly like I cook them in the oven. I even stuff them, in fact have not done one without the stuffing. One of them had the popup to signal done and it worked just fine. I cook at 375, and without the popup, wiggle the legs to see when they are done. As far as how long? I have to look it up on the wrapping for the turkey. Since we both have the advantage of being able to control temperatures well, I would do it just like inside the house. I haven't done one that big tho. It sounds great for Christmas Dinner. I wish you good luck and the best of birds!! Aren't we spoiled with these cookers? Ours is 12 years old and going strong, spoiling us a few times a week with superior food!!

    1. b
      bagofwater Dec 11, 2011 05:21 PM

      For a bird that big, it would probably be better to cook at the higher temperature. Since poultry has salmonella in the meat, you want to avoid the danger zone for too long.

      1. s
        sharhamm Dec 11, 2011 06:08 PM

        When I have questions about my green egg I visit this site. There's a wealth of information there and you will be answered very quickly.

        greeneggers.com

        1. r
          rasputina Dec 11, 2011 06:14 PM

          Always, always always go by temp of the meat, not X minutes per pound.

          We have never done a 25 pounder, this TG we did a 13 pound turkey and it took about 3 hours.

          1. BiscuitBoy Dec 12, 2011 07:26 AM

            25 lbs? WOW...Is that rascal gonna fit? I've done breasts in my rig (sadly, not a bge) that take about 4 hours, and strive for no hotter than 250. I agree with rasputina, in that it's done when it's done, but I'd allow for at least an 8hr cook

            1. p
              poser Dec 12, 2011 09:56 AM

              Good advise from sharhamm, or you can do Mad Max's turkey from the naked whiz site. Pay special attention to the ice pack trick. It really works.

              http://www.nakedwhiz.com/madmaxturkey...

              1. b
                bbqJohn Dec 12, 2011 06:00 PM

                jbford, have you purchased the bird yet? If not can you go with one or two smaller ones? I smoke (WSM) a fair amount but prefer 12-15 lb turkeys... as they are faster cook to and handle.

                I would suggest cooking at 325-375. Turkeys don't have internal fat like a pork shoulder and don't benefit from a low slow cook.

                If you have already bought the 25 lber consider de-constructing it by removing the back bone and legs. There's a video of Pepin/Julia on Hulu.

                http://www.hulu.com/watch/233296/juli...

                7 Replies
                1. re: bbqJohn
                  j
                  jbford Dec 12, 2011 07:14 PM

                  Hi bbqJohn, I have ordered but could probably change. Would it take less time to cook two smaller birds versus one big one.? And where would I get an estimate of how long it would take to cook two? All the cooking times I've seen are based on cooking one at a time. I know I have to cook it until it gets to the proper temp but I need to know approximately how long it will take to cook so it doesn't get done too soon relative to when my wife will have everything else done.

                  1. re: jbford
                    p
                    poser Dec 12, 2011 07:25 PM

                    Unless the birds are touching in your egg, it would be the same as cooking one bird.

                    1. re: poser
                      j
                      jbford Dec 12, 2011 07:35 PM

                      So what would be the advantage of smoking two small ones vs. one large one?

                      1. re: jbford
                        b
                        bbqJohn Dec 12, 2011 07:37 PM

                        It's faster, I'm not sure about Poser's answer.

                    2. re: jbford
                      b
                      bbqJohn Dec 12, 2011 07:34 PM

                      All turkeys have a time/temp guide on the package but use it as a guideline.

                      Poser are you suggesting that two 10 pounders will take the same time as one 20 pounder?

                      1. re: bbqJohn
                        p
                        poser Dec 12, 2011 07:41 PM

                        No, I'm saying cooking two 12lb will be approximately the same as one 12lb if there is space between them in the egg, and they are not touching each other.

                      2. re: jbford
                        r
                        rasputina Dec 13, 2011 11:34 AM

                        Yes it will absolutely take less time to cook 2 smaller birds than one large one. We do 2 chickens as a matter of course at our house. Takes the same amount of time as one. What size is your BGE though? You will not fit 2 turkeys on a small or medium Egg

                    3. FoodFire Dec 13, 2011 09:40 AM

                      At 25 pounds, you might be pushing how much bird you can put in your large (I'm assuming you have a large) Egg. Do a test fit with the plate setter, roaster, and a basketball in place of the bird. You have to watch to make sure the breast isn't touching the dome thermometer.

                      If it is touching, maybe think about spatchcocking or breaking the bird down into white meat and dark meat: http://www.food-fire.com/index.php/20...

                      The last time I did a whole (non-spatchcocked) turkey on my large BGE I ran it up to 500°F, tossed in a chunk of apple wood and loaded the cold plate setter (legs up), a trivet, the roasting pan full of turkey, and then closed the lid. The dome temperature stayed at 500°F for about 5 minutes before dropping. I watched the thermometer and adjusted the vents to get the dome down to 350°F for the rest of the cook.

                      The turkey cooked for just about 4 hours total (roughly 15 minutes per pound), to the point where my Thermapen instant-read thermometer said the thigh was at 180°F and the breast was 160°F. This is a nice way to get a crisp skin and an evenly-cooked bird.

                      1. g
                        gldickens3 Nov 28, 2013 08:08 AM

                        I've been cooking 25 pound Turkeys in the Big Green Egg for several years with outstanding success. The turkey will cook in 4-6 hours at 300-350 degrees. I have both a large and an extra large Big Green Egg and I have cooked this size bird in both. Today, I cooked at 325 degrees and it was done in about 4 hours.

                        1. r
                          rich in stl Nov 30, 2013 06:13 PM

                          I would check out "Spatchcocking" - butterflying the bird by removing the spine - makes it cook much more quickly - and spatchcocking is the fashionable way to cook this Wnter 8)

                          1. JayL Nov 30, 2013 07:15 PM

                            Cooked a 14# bird in under 2.5 hours today.

                            Be sure to temp it...don't cook by time.

                            And be sure your seasonings are low-to-no sugar...

                            1. justbeingpolite Dec 1, 2013 08:39 AM

                              Have you seen this:
                              http://issuu.com/biggreenegg/docs/tur...

                              1. c
                                Cheez62 Dec 7, 2013 09:51 PM

                                As mentioned by some others, I also prefer to grill a turkey at "oven" temperatures. I find that it comes out better over all, and it also looks better and has better bite to the skin (for those who enjoy that). I have "smoked" turkeys as well, and I now know that I prefer the higher temps. I think that the turkey takes on enough smoke to be tasty.
                                At 350 or so, I suspect that Rathbun is on target, as will be the turkey package, and other resources for turkey roasting.

                                Good luck, and post pics!

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