Smoked Turkey in the Big Green Egg


Smoked Turkey is amazing. Smoking a whole turkey in the Big Green Egg will give your gathering a little bit more to be thankful for this season.

UPDATE:  We’ve taken another stab at Smoked Turkey Big Green Egg style.  Be sure to check out the updated post.

Earlier this month Big Green Egg published four ways to prepare a turkey. Tis the season when so much emphasis is placed on food, friends and family and there is no better time to employ your Big Green Egg.  Let the gobbling begin.  These gatherings of friends and families are fertile grounds for excellent food experiences.  Smoking a turkey in a kamado style grill will spark conversation, relieve the kitchen, and provide a delicious main course.  An added bonus: cleanup is snap as the dishes will practically clean themselves.

For this video we have adapted Kevin Rathbun’s recipe which features a rosemary/onion/garlic brine and a sage/thyme/potato stuffing.  The result is a succulent feast sure to please the palates of everyone gathered at your table this season.

You can find Kevin Rathbun and thank him personally for this recipe on twitter or at his steak house in Atlanta, GA.

And on with the show:


  • 16 cups (1 gallon) water
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • Rind of 1 orange
  • 5 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 3 yellow onions, quartered (separated)
  • 1 garlic head (halved)
  • 1 (12-pound) turkey (thawed)
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 10 sprigs sage
  • 1 large potato chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder

Brine Time

Brining a bird is a fantastic way to impart flavor and moisture before the smoke. Turkeys are lean and the leaner the meat the less forgiveness they will show in the battle against dryness.  Brining a Turkey will increase the moisture of the meat ahead of the smoke and bring balance back the battle.  Brine also serves as a vehicle by which to infuse flavor into the bird.   Kevin’s brine recipe calls on the basic brine ingredients one would expect (water, salt & sugar) but also leans on flavorful ingredients that seek to enhance the overall taste including Rosemary, Onions and Garlic.

In a large bowl add the orange rind, rosemary, brown sugar, salt and 1 of the quartered onions and 1 half of the garlic head.   After having rinsed off the turkey and discarding the giblets place the turkey in a 2½ gallon resealable plastic bag.  Pour the brine over the turkey and remove most of the air from the bag before sealing it.   Mix well with your hands and ensure the brine is completely covering all of the turkey.   Refrigerate overnight or 12 hours, turning occasionally.

Stuffing Time

Mix together in a large bowl the lemon quarters, remaining garlic head, onion, thyme, sage and chopped potato.

  • Remove the turkey from the plastic bag and discard the brine solution and brine ingredients.
  • Rinse the turkey well and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Stuff the turkey with the stuffing ensuring to get as much of the stuffing into the cavity of the bird as possible.
  • Brush the entire turkey with olive oil and season with fresh ground pepper and garlic powder.

Prepare the Egg

  • Set the egg for an indirect cook with the platesetter legs up and preheat to 350 degrees.
  • Add several hickory chunks just prior to placing the turkey in the grill.
  • Place the turkey in a v-rack and place in a drip pan.
  • Put spacers on the platesetter, such as rolled up aluminum foil to avoid direct contact between the drip pan and the platesetter.

Turkey Time

Place the drip pan with the turkey on top of the aluminum foil spacers on top of the platesetter in the Big Green Egg and smoke for 2.5 hours (12 minutes per pound).

Pull the turkey once an instant read thermometer registers 165ºF and allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

Carve immediately and serve hot.



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