Kevin Rathbun's Smoked Turkey Recipe on the Big Green Egg
Once you try this brined turkey, you’ll agree that nothing does a better job of roasting meats than the EGG. The turkey has a subtle smoky flavor and is moist and succulent, but if you prefer a bolder smoky flavor, add more smoking wood chips in increments during cooking. This turkey would be great for holidays, and you can use the leftovers to make wonderful sandwiches.
16 cups (1 gallon) water
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
Rind of 1 navel orange
3 sprigs rosemary
1 cup kosher salt
3 yellow onions, quartered
2 heads garlic, halved
1 (12-pound) turkey
2 lemons, quartered
10 sprigs thyme
10 sprigs sage
1 cup chopped potatoes
¼ cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Set the EGG for direct cooking at 350ºF/177ºC.
Pour the water into a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, orange rind, rosemary, salt, two-thirds of the quartered onions and 1 halved garlic head. Mix until the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove the giblets from inside the turkey and reserve for another use. Rinse the turkey well. Place the turkey in a 2½ gallon resealable plastic bag or any container that is large enough to hold the turkey and the liquid. Pour the brine over the turkey, making sure it’s completely covered. Refrigerate for 12 hours, turning occasionally.
Soak 4 cups of hickory chips in water in a medium bowl for 1 hour.
Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse well to remove the brining liquid, and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brining liquid and solids. Stuff the turkey with the lemon quarters, the remaining halved garlic head and onion, thyme, sage, and potatoes. Brush the turkey with olive oil and season with pepper and garlic powder.
Scatter 1 cup of the hickory chips over the hot coals and, using barbecue mitts, add the ConvEGGtor™ Plate Setter, legs up, in the EGG. Place the turkey on the V-Rack and put the V-Rack in the Drip Pan. Place the Drip Pan on the ConvEGGtor Plate Setter and close the lid of the EGG. Cook for 2½ hours, adding more chips every 30 minutes. If the turkey starts to brown too quickly, carefully tent the turkey with aluminum foil. Continue cooking until the instant read thermometer registers 165ºF / 74ºC.
Remove the turkey from the EGG and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Carve and serve immediately.