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
- Big Green Egg smoker
- Lump Charcoal for Big Green Egg
- Round Disposable Aluminum Pan
- Aluminum foil
- 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
- 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!
|15 Tempting Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes|
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!
Thanks for sharing the turkey recipe with us. Congratulations on smoking your first turkey.
Bobbi Towle says
Did you put the rub on 2 days earlier was that just for thawing?
Beth at Unskinny Boppy says
That was just for thawing. The rub goes on just before you put the bird on the grill.
We have been doing it a bit different – recommended to us by the Brewer at a brewpub.
I soak a chunk of smoking wood and then place it on the coals. I slowly bring up the temp over the cook time so that it finishes in about 4-6 hours depending upon turkey thigh.
For the turkey we push the herb butter under the skin. As for the outside my wife mixes various herbs (changes every time) in some mayo and then we rub the herbed mayo all over the skin…this in addition to the brine with brown sugar and salt protects the meat and skin from getting dried out…anyone who needs a crispy skin we just do that as a separate task…skin picks up a very nice color from the smoke…
Beth at Unskinny Boppy says
Thanks for that great tip, Tom! Sounds delicious! Happy Thanksgiving.
Andre Ward says
Hi, Will the coal brickets keep their heat long enough. How many coals do I need. If I lift the top lid to put more coals, wont the heat drop to much ? ? ?