Two posts in one day? I can honestly say I never thought this would happen but this turkey is just too beautiful not to share with my readers while everyone is planning Thanksgiving menus. I can’t take any credit for this bird – it’s my dad’s practice turkey for Thanksgiving. He made this last weekend on the Big Green Egg using Alton Brown’s Good Eats Roast Turkey recipe. If you’re looking for a turkey recipe I think you should give Alton’s a try. I was shocked to see it has received 2,289 reviews and still has 5-stars. Pretty impressive! My dad was very pleased with how this turkey turned out and will be using this recipe on Thanksgiving day.
One of the benefits of cooking your turkey on the Egg is having your oven space available for all your sides and desserts. Also, the smoke flavor and crisp skin is delicious! If you don’t have an Egg, no worries. Alton’s recipe provides step-by-step instructions for the oven.
The only thing my dad did differently was let the turkey air-dry in the fridge for 12 hours before cooking. This dries the skin to help it become golden and crisp while cooking.
Can’t wait to try this turkey on Thanksgiving day!
14-16 hours (1 hour per pound)
2 hours 30 min (max)
1 (14-16 pound) fresh turkey
FOR THE BRINE
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries (my dad substituted 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
1 gallon heavily iced water
FOR THE AROMATICS
1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 rosemary sprigs
6 sage leaves
TO MAKE THE BRINE
Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Remove the brine from heat, cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
TO BRINE THE TURKEY
The day before you’re roasting your turkey, combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed. Cover and refrigerate or set in cool area for one hour per pound. Turn the bird once halfway through brining if your turkey is not fully submersed.
After brining time is up, remove the bird from the brine, rinse and pat dry. Place in refrigerator and allow to air chill overnight, about 12 hours.
TO ROAST THE TURKEY
If using the Egg, set it up with a plate setter or pizza stone. Place a cast iron grate (feet side up) on top of that and finally you’ll place the turkey in a roasting pan on top of that (after Egg is preheated). Preheat the oven or Big Green Egg to 500 degrees.
Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey’s cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.
Roast the turkey in the Big Green Egg with lid down or on lowest level of the oven for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees (or bring the grill temperature down). Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees and remove the turkey to rest when it reaches this temperature. (After 2 hours my dad’s turkey was 163 degrees in the breast and 171 degrees in the thigh).
Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil for at least 15 minutes before carving.