Big Green Egg Thanksgiving Turkey Review – by Hubby

I decided to smoke a turkey on the Big Green Egg. My wife had planned her turkey out and was going to cook it in the oven and I thought it would be a good idea to smoke one also. I searched a bunch of websites and thought I had an idea of how to do it. I was going to inject it with some butter, apple cider and chicken broth but got over ruled and was told that we will basically do the same thing to the both turkeys and see which is better… My first thought was “thats not fair, I have never smoked a turkey while she has cooked several turkeys in the oven” I soon over came that fear and realized a bigger fear “I have never smoked a turkey on the BGE before and now I'm doing it for the first time for a family gathering”
 
Well I went with the consensus on most websites and decided the temp would be set at 325 and would use hickory for the wood. My lovely wife chopped up apples, onions, oranges and carrots along with two cinnamon sticks and we both used that for the cavity stuffing. We both seperated the skin from our turkeys and seasoned underneath (her idea and a good one at that). We did not use the same seasoning due to mine being on a smoker I used more traditional bbq rubs (Fiesta fajita seasoning, Texas Pepper Belly and Nolan Ryan bbq rub) we both coated the turkeys with canola oil. All that done and the BGE was brought to 325 and stablelized.
 
I put the turkey on a V rack over a drip pan breast side up. I was planning on 12-15 minutes per pound and since it was a 12 pound turkey expected a 2.5 to 3 hours cook time. We were planning for a 1:00pm dinner and at 10 the turkey went in the BGE. I had good smoke and temp was perfect and returned to the kitchen to help the wife with side dishes. My wife used a champagne and poured half over the turkey and the other half in a glass…. little did I know, I was going to need a drink before all said and done.
 
Things were wrapping up in the kitchen and I was about to start cleaning up before the guests arrived. Turkey has been on for an hour and i decided to check on it. The temp probe was placed precisely in the middle of the left breast. I checked the reading and panic set in! It was reading 165 after just one hour. The turkey had a nice color and the legs were pulling back but it had only been an hour. I quickly grabbed a second temp probe and carefully pushed it into the right breast… yep it was confirmed, the second reading was 164… Great! I had told everyone that I was going to smoke a turkey and there is no way Im going to feed anyone a turkey that cooked in an hour. I flipped the turkey over and checked the back with a probe and got a reading of 145. I kept the turkey breast side down for about 20 to 25 minutes and the temp was checked again and read 157. I flipped it back over so the breast side was now up and placed a piece of foil over the breast… where is my drink.. (prep alert: if you think you are going to place foil on your meat during cooking, you should preform the foil before starting to cook. My wonderful wife did this for me and after having my little panic attack and a beer or two, was able to easly cover the breast) I left the turkey to cook another 15 minutes and decided I could not go any longer and pulled it off, wrapped it in foil and set it aside.
 
When the oven turkey was done we started carving and I got to say that the oven turkey was a lot juicier than the one on the BGE. The smoked turkey was not dry by any means (believe it or not) but was not as juicy as my wife's turkey. A little sample of both turkeys and I got to say it was hard to determine which tasted better. If you like the smoke meat taste then you would go with the BGE turkey if not then hers. Both turned out great and got great reviews from our guests. So now you know how to cook a full turkey in an hour and a half….
 
 
 
Tips: all the reading I did I decided to go simple on the flavors and am happy about that decision. There are mixed reviews on brining and I chose not to and feel that it did not take away from the flavor. I read one tip on a website (sorry, cant remember which one) that suggested placing an ice pack on the breast for about 20 minutes prior to cooking. This allows the breast to take longer to get to temp and allows the rest of the turkey to finish with the breast, not after. This is one thing i will do next time.
 
Green Big Egg Smoked Turkey recipe:
prep time: about 20 to 30 minutes. This includes rinsing(cold water), drying and adding rubs and stuffing
Temp: 325 (next time i will lower it to 300)
Ingredients: 12 pound turkey, Nolan Ryan BBQ seasoning, Texas Pepper belly, Fiesta Fajita seasoning, canola oil to coat the turkey prior to cooking.
 
 
 

Big Green Egg Pizza Review (by Hubby)

Here is the review of the three pizzas I cooked on the Big Green Egg (AKA:BGE or as my kids call it the “Big Green GolfBall”)
 
I will confess that the first pizza I tried could have been mistakenly identified as a piece of the lump charcoal. I failed to use the pizza stone and set it directly on the plate setter and it cooked fast and quickly became blackened….
 
After realizing my mistake I was encouraged to try again (i was told by my wife that we had company coming over and they were told I would cook pizza on the BGE). I purchased two more pizzas from Papa Murphy's (if you have one near by and have not tried their pizza, you should. We love it…)
 
I heated the BGE up to 475 (with the plate setter, the cooking grate in place and the pizza stone on top of the grate). After the BGE temperature stablized I put on the first pizza (with the tray it came with) on the pizza stone and checked it about every six minutes. I had to turn it a quarter of a turn every time to keep it heating even. After about 18 minutes I slid it off the tray and directly on the stone and let it cook just a few more minutes then off it came. It was pefect and tasted great! I was very proud of my accomplishment…
 
The second one was cooked in the same manner but apparently the pizza stone was a little hotter. This pizza cooked in about 12 minutes and the crust was a litte more done on the bottom, not burnt but more golden brown. It actually was better tasting than the first, according to our guests.
 
 
I will allow the pizza stone to heat up about 15 minutes longer next time and will try to keep the temp down between 425 and 450. I will let you know how that works when we do it.
The pictures were a little tough to take due to the setting sun shining down casting shadows. Again I gotta say, If you have not tried Papa Murphy's pizza (and their salads) you are missing out.
 
 
 
 
Big Green Egg
 
 
 
Green Big Egg
Green Big Egg
Green Big Egg Pizza
 
Green Big Egg Pizza
 
 
 
So far the BGE has not let me down. I'm glad my wife made me buy it.
 

Vitamix Tomato Basil Soup (By Hubby)

We tried a new recipe Friday night, using our Vitamix. I read several recipes online and came up with a fantastic tomato basil soup.

Ingredients:

3 cans of diced tomatoes

Fresh basil leaves ( I put in 5 leaves)

Fresh oregano ( I put 3 small stems in)

One and a half  Tsp minced garlic

One and a half to two Tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in the Vitamix, start on low variable and turn it up to high then let it run while preparing the rest of your items ( Grill Cheese is what we had). The Vitamix will heat up the soup while you finish up. You got to love the Vitamix. Cold ingredients in and within a few minutes of it being on high you get hot product out.

As with most meals we cook, a recipe is only a guide. We often add or leave out an item, depending on our taste.

Vitamix Basil Soup

Basil Soup

Wonderful Fresh Corn Salsa

This is a wonderful salsa that my husband loves to make and everyone loves to eat!

IMG_3931 IMG_3947

You will need 3 ears of fresh corn on the cob still in husk
2 green bell peppers
2 yellow bell peppers
2 red bell peppers
2 orange bell peppers
One jalapeño
Cilantro
2 limes
Fresh yellow onion
Fiesta brand fajita seasoning

My husband soaks the corn in water for about 15 minutes then puts it on a hot grill and will rotate it every few minutes until done ( 15-20 minutes).
Core and seed the peppers.
Dice the bells and mince the jalapeño.
Chop some cilantro ( not too much).
Dice about 1/4 to half the onion and cut the corn off the cob.
Mix the peppers, corn, cilantro and onion in a large bowl and juice two limes over mixture and stir thoroughly.
Season with Fiesta fajita seasoning to taste and serve with your favorite corn chips.

Tip: make it ahead of time and allow the favors to mix for a couple of hours in the fridge.
You can adjust according to taste.  My husband never uses exact amounts but this basic recipe is a favorite of everyone that tries it.