Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Cooked on a Big Green Egg (2024)

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Filed Under: Recipes, Whole30 15 Comments

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Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Cooked on a Big Green Egg (1)

Somehow I’ve made it 37 years on this Earth without ever cooking a whole turkey for Thanksgiving. This year, I aimed to change that. I set out to find an easy recipe for a smoked turkey that even a novice could handle, and I found it.

But, the secret is cooking it on our Big Green Egg. If you don’t have a BGE, you could definitely try this in your oven, as well. The cook times and temps should be similar.

Big Green Egg Smoked Turkey Ingredients and Recipe:

Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey on the Big Green Egg

Step-by-step instructions on how to smoke a whole Thanksgiving turkey on the Big Green Egg. Juicy and delicious!

Course Main Course

Cuisine American

Keyword big green egg, fowl, meat, smoked turkey, thanksgiving, turkey

Prep Time 2 days days

Cook Time 4 hours hours 40 minutes minutes

Resting Time 20 minutes minutes

Total Time 2 days days 5 hours hours

Author Beth

Equipment

  • Big Green Egg smoker

  • Lump Charcoal for Big Green Egg

  • Round Disposable Aluminum Pan

  • Aluminum foil

Ingredients

  • 1 whole turkey, completely thawed ours was 14 lbs
  • 2 sticks softened salted butter
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Rosemary fresh or dried
  • 1 Tablespoon Thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Sage
  • 1 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons Salt

Instructions

  • If you purchase a frozen turkey, thaw the turkey in the refrigerator for a few days until completely defrosted all the way through. Factor in one day of thawing time for every four pounds of bird into your prep time. This might take up to a week, depending on the size of the turkey.

  • Preheat the Big Green Egg to about 325-350 degrees Fahrenheit. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Add lump charcoal (we prefer applewood or hickory) to the BGE and ignite. Open the bottom vent and the top daisy wheel wide so the flames catch and begin to burn freely

  • Once the fire is well underway, watch the temperature closely and start closing the bottom and top vents a bit as you approach 330-340 degrees. Once you get the correct amount of airflow in the bottom vent it will stabilize at 350 degrees and stay there.

  • Let the BGE preheat for at least 15-20 minutes before you put the turkey on.

  • Remove all the giblets from inside the bird and discard unless you are making gravy with them.

  • Wash and rinse the turkey, then pat it dry completely with paper towels.

  • Tuck the wings under the back and tie the legs together with twine so everything cooks evenly.

  • Mix the butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage, poultry seasoning and salt together in a bowl

  • Rub the herbed butter all over the outside of the turkey until all the skin is covered.

  • Place a round disposable aluminum pan on the grill of the Big Green Egg to catch the drippings

  • Place the turkey on three big balls of aluminum foil to raise it up off of the pan and allow the fat to drip but not get inside the big green egg.

  • Roast the turkey for about 4 and a half hours, until it has an internal temperature of 165 degrees and the skin is brown and crispy. Depending on the size of the turkey, this could take longer. Plan to cook it for approximately 15-20 minutes per pound of bird.

  • Once you reach an internal temp of 165 degrees, remove turkey from grill and allow to sit for at least 15-20 minutes before carving to allow juices to redistribute.

I found this Big Green Egg Turkey Cheat Sheet if you need help figuring out how many pounds of bird your Big Green Egg will hold or how many hours to cook your size bird. We have a medium-sized Egg, and this turkey weighed in at 14 lbs. He fit perfectly, but anything bigger we would have needed a bigger egg.

I hope you don’t wait 37 years like I did to try out this delicious recipe. We plan to start roasting turkeys WAY more often now that we know how easy it is on the smoker. The leftovers are amazing, and this could be totally Whole30 approved with just a little bit of tweaking.

Who’s ready for some smoked meat? Hooray for Turkey Day!

Ready for Dessert?

If you’re looking for a quick and easy Thanksgiving dessert, be sure to check out these recipes!

Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Cooked on a Big Green Egg (3)15 Tempting Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Beautiful Pumpkin Pie Recipe (Semi-homemade)

This pie is absolutely delicious at any time of the year but everyone knows Pumpkin Pie is made for Thanksgiving dinner. Since it uses a storebought crust it's an easy pie to make and bakes up beautifully.

Click Here for the Recipe

Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Cooked on a Big Green Egg (7)

Cute & Easy Thanksgiving Cheeseball

Need a last minute Thanksgiving appetizer? This super cute turkey cheeseball is an easy way to make your turkey table festive with hardly any effort at all.

Click Here for the Recipe

Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Cooked on a Big Green Egg (8)

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by any turkey farmers or big green eggs, I just really wanted to show off my meat smoking skills!

Happy Thanksgiving dinner planning!

Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Cooked on a Big Green Egg (9)
Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Cooked on a Big Green Egg (10)
Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Cooked on a Big Green Egg (2024)

FAQs

What temperature do you cook a turkey on the Big Green Egg? ›

Roasted turkeys may be cooked in oven but we prefer them cooked on a smoker or Big Green Egg. Roasting a turkey is best done in a two-step process. Set the EGG up for indirect cooking with the temp at 325°F/163°C.

How do you make turkey skin crispy on Green EGG? ›

Place the turkey on three big balls of aluminum foil to raise it up off of the pan and allow the fat to drip but not get inside the big green egg. Roast the turkey for about 4 and a half hours, until it has an internal temperature of 165 degrees and the skin is brown and crispy.

Do you cook a Thanksgiving turkey covered or uncovered? ›

To achieve a perfectly golden, juicy turkey, let the bird spend time both covered and uncovered in the oven. We recommend covering your bird for most of the cooking time to prevent it from drying out; then, during the last 30 minutes or so of cooking, remove the cover so the skin crisps in the hot oven.

Will 20 lb turkey fit on a large big green egg? ›

The Large EGG can cook:

One 20-pound turkey.

How long does it take to cook a 20 pound turkey on the Big Green Egg? ›

Smoke in the EGG until the internal temperature of the breast meat is 165ºF, the dark meat will be about 185ºF internal temperature. Typically, it is about 30 minutes per lb., between 6 to 8 hours. Let rest for 15 minutes, and serve!

Should I wrap my turkey in foil while smoking? ›

SHOULD YOU WRAP TURKEY IN FOIL WHEN SMOKING? Unlike cooking a turkey in an oven, you won't want to wrap your turkey in aluminum foil for smoked turkey. If your turkey's wings are baking too quickly, you can cover them with foil, but otherwise, there's no need.

How long does it take to smoke a turkey on a Big Green Egg? ›

THE PERFECT TURKEY
  1. INGREDIENTS.
  2. PREP.
  3. If you plan to soak your wood chips, start the night before. Load the charcoal into the EGG the night before, so everything is ready on Thanksgiving.
  4. Approximately 12 minutes per pound.

How do you keep turkey skin crispy when smoking? ›

Start hot, then finish low. The secret to the crispy skin is all in the temperature. Pellet grills have made it so easy to get smokers up to higher temps, and this is to your advantage. Starting the smoker hot then turning it down to more traditional low n slow temps is how the achieve great textured skin.

Is it better to cook a turkey at 325 or 350? ›

We recommend roasting turkey at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 13 minutes per pound for an unstuffed turkey. We've done the math for you — check out the chart below to determine both turkey cook times and estimated servings (with leftovers!).

Do you put water in the bottom of the roasting pan for turkey? ›

"Often, consumers will inquire about adding water to the bottom of their roasting pans. We do not recommend adding water to the bottom of the pan. Cooking a turkey with steam is a moist heat-cook method and is acceptable, sure, but is not the preferred method for cooking your turkey."

What to spray turkey with while smoking? ›

Also, I always recommend spraying the outside of your turkey with cooking spray. This also works to keep the skin crispy and give it that golden-brown color.

What size turkey is best for Green EGG? ›

An easy and generous formula is one pound of bird for every guest. If you have a medium Big Green Egg, a 10-12 pound turkey will work perfectly. If you have the large Big Green Egg, go ahead and grab that 18-20 pounder! The bigger the turkey, the more leftover!

What is the best wood for smoking a turkey Big Green Egg? ›

You only need about two cups of wood chips, and you can choose any type of wood you like. We went with hickory because it has a sweet, bacon-like flavor. Fruit woods (like apple or cherry) are also a good choice here, as is pecan.

Should I cook my turkey at 325 or 350? ›

Roasting a whole turkey is easier than you think. Just follow these simple instructions for a fresh or thawed turkey: Preheat oven to 325° F. Drain juices and pat dry with clean paper towels. Place turkey breast-side-up on a flat rack in a shallow roasting pan 2 to 2½ inches deep.

How long does it take to smoke a turkey at 325 degrees? ›

At 325 degrees, your turkey will get to the necessary temperature without drying out. Regardless of size, you're normally looking at 3 to 4 hours total cook time. From there, all you've got to do is remove from the grill and rest for 15 minutes before carving.

How long does it take to smoke a turkey at 350? ›

Smoking Turkey Tips
  1. Turkey (Whole 10-12 lbs): Target temperature of 275° – 350°F. Smoke for 2 ½ – 3 hours. Minimum Internal Temperature: 170°F.
  2. Turkey Legs: Target temperature of 275° – 350°F. Smoke for 2-3 hours. Minimum Internal Temperature: 170°F.

How long does it take to smoke a turkey at 275 degrees? ›

A 275°F smoker will cook one pound of turkey in about 20 minutes – a four-hour cook time for a 12-pound turkey. Any of these temperatures will work great for smoking your turkey, as long as it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

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