What is a Big Green Egg?
The Big Green Egg is an outdoor ceramic grill based on the ancient kamado, a traditional Japanese cooking device fueled by charcoal. It produces perfectly grilled steaks, flavorful smoked meats and even delicious baked goods. But if you currently own a Big Green Egg, then you already know that it is, indeed, the ultimate cooking experience.
Knowing the Basics
When cooking with the Big Green Egg there are four basics to know: filling, lighting, burping and temperature control.
Filling: When filling your grill, the company recommends using lump charcoal, because it heats quickly and burns cleanly. Aqua Pools carries Big Green Egg’s 100% organic lump charcoal, which contains American oak and hickory hardwood.
Lighting: Unlike most grills, the Big Green Egg doesn’t require lighter fluid. You can instead use a natural charcoal starter or an electric starter. Check out your options here.
Burping: If oxygen enters the Egg too quickly it can cause a back draft or flare-up. Slowly open the dome about an inch to prevent the heat from burning your hand. After pausing, it is safe to open it all the way.
Temperature control: The Egg offers easy temperature control with a simple adjustment of the vents.
*Tip: Close all openings on your Big Green Egg when you are finished, and you will be able to reuse any remaining charcoal.
Cooking Your Turkey
If you’re using your Big Green Egg to cook this year’s Thanksgiving turkey, following these tips will help you get the best results. And it all starts with preparation. Eggheads swear by brining their turkey overnight. Brining a turkey helps it absorb and retain extra moisture, in addition to adding flavor. You can hop over to the Big Green Egg’s website for a few recipes that include brining. Try this light salt brine or this smoked turkey recipe.
Another important step in preparation is timing. Timing when to begin cooking is critical for ensuring a moist, fully cooked turkey that is ready in time for the big meal. Big Green Egg recommends cooking the turkey approximately 15-20 minutes for each pound. If you have a 15 pound turkey, you’ll want to allow for 5 hours of cooking time. So if mealtime is at 6 p.m., get that grill lit by noon, because it can take 15-45 minutes for the Egg to reach the desired temperature, 325 to 350 degrees. While the Egg is heating up, you can begin preparing your turkey.
Preparing your turkey for a Big Green Egg isn’t unlike traditional methods. Use a family favorite, or this classic: Brush the turkey with butter or olive oil and season with chopped herbs. Don’t forget to season the inside of the turkey as well. If you’re roasting your turkey (the recommended method), don’t be afraid to use some smoking wood chips to add a smoky flavor. Try Apple, hickory or pecan, or a combination of all three. If you’re not looking for a smoky flavor, add some chicken stock and an onion and celery mix to the drip pan for a flavor boost.
Once your turkey is prepared and the Egg has heated to your desired temperature, it’s time to place the turkey in the grill. Using the convEGGtor or vertical turkey roaster to roast your turkey will allow for indirect cooking. With this method, the heat circulates around the turkey without overcooking the bird.
*Tip: Cover the turkey in foil to prevent it from over-browning and to retain moisture.
Place the turkey directly on the convEGGtor or slide it onto the turkey roaster and close the dome. Check the bird periodically and baste if desired. Once the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 160 degrees, it is ready to be pulled from the grill. Remove the turkey and loosely cover with foil. Let your turkey rest for up to 20 minutes and then slice and serve.
If you’ve haven’t yet tried cooking a turkey on your Big Green Egg, you’re in for a treat!