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Ed's Mighty Stuffed Norman Rockwell Turkey

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  • EdF
    Club Member
    • Jul 2016
    • 3217
    • Atlantic Highlands, NJ
    • Uuni Pro (new kid in town)
      Karubeque C-60
      Large BGE since 2002 + plate setter + pizza stone + upper grid + stainless paella pan for drippings (the best!)
      TEC Cherokee FR since 2014 (portable infrared grill - does a mighty sear)
      Polyscience Sous Vide Pro since 2012 (wasn't much else available in those days)
      Thermapen Air
      ThermaQ (or its predecessor)
      Thermoworks Hi temp IR
      BBQ Dragon & Chimney of Insanity
      Various other stuff

    Ed's Mighty Stuffed Norman Rockwell Turkey

    My wife has four imperatives for turkey: gravy that’s not smoky, stuffing in the bird for drippings, the turkey is “done”, including good skin, and no spatchcocking for the holiday dinner. This recipe gets it done.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	20171123_170046.jpg Views:	1 Size:	2.91 MB ID:	465233

    Then there’s Meathead’s comprehensive guide, from which I’ve taken a bunch of ideas since 2016: https://amazingribs.com/tested-recip...-recipe-easily

    Good to check whether your setup will fit ahead of time. The one I find
    best involves platesetter, a low-sided roasting pan you can fit into the
    egg, and the grid.
    Smoke level is up to you. This also works in an oven.
    This year’s (2013) went more or less like this:
    21 lb free-range turkey

    Prep (brining is optional):

    Double-recipe of "Basic Meat Brine" or "Apple-brined turkey" from the Big
    Green Egg recipe book (http://www.nakedwhiz.com/WiseOneRecipes.pdf. Really, just use your brine of choice.
    Brine for about 24 hours (seems right from my experience). We use a huge
    stainless pot for this, but you can use a large food grade plastic bag
    that you set in some kind of container.
    Remove from brine, pat dry, let sit in fridge uncovered for another 24
    hours (seems to help the skin crisp up).

    *** Note: as of 11/17, switched to dry brine, about 3 days. See AmazingRibs.com or seriouseats.com Thanksgiving/turkey articles: sprinkle with specified amount of salt, leave on a rack uncovered in fridge for 3 days.

    Cook day:

    This year the whole process from laying the fire through making gravy took
    5-1/2 hours (21lb turkey), and I was moving slowly. Smaller turkey will take less time.
    Prep including the fire was about an hour and a half at a leisurely pace:
    (optional) I prepare a "dry" stuffing - no liquid in it initially.
    Generally, it's ground pork or sausage, good sized cubes of bread and
    herbs, mixed together in a big pot and cooked in butter until it mixes up
    well. This then goes into the oven covered at 325 while the turkey is
    cooking outside. More later. I didn't count stuffing making into the
    5-1/2 hours. Takes me an hour or so to put it together.
    Put the giblets in a stock pot and simmer slowly before starting the
    fire. Parsley, sage, thyme, bay leaf, a little salt, and pepper - the
    usual drill. Some people think the liver makes the gravy bitter - I use
    it. A package of turkey wings is also a good starter for the stock. Brown them first.
    Simultaneous with building fire:
    Salt and pepper inside of turkey. Toss in a halved lemon and halved onion
    with skin on, and a bundle of herbs, if you like (remove all before
    20 minutes to a half-hour before starting to cook put a plastic bag with
    ice cubes on breast. This helps equalize breast and dark meat cooking. [NOTE: optional if you don’t truss the legs].

    Slather outside with oil, or better, butter. [Note, I now think that just putting oil under the skin is better for crispiness. Butter is good (and tastier) for the outside skin - you’ve dehydrated it sufficiently with 3 days in the fridge dry brining].

    Make pouches between the skin and the meat, especially the breast, and rub some oil between them. This is really important for the skin (see pic above). Don't put anything moist in there!

    Butter a piece or two of bread on both sides, put in the roasting pan, and
    lay the bird breast down on it. This prevents ripping the skin.
    If you did rip the skin, put some cheesecloth over the section where bare
    meat is exposed, and slather well with melted butter. Remove the
    cheesecloth a half hour or so before the end of final cooking.

    Make sure the firebox is clean. Load charcoal up to the middle of the
    fire ring. Let it burn for a while to get past the white smoke phase. Put
    plate setter on, legs up before getting up to initial temp of 400. Just
    before putting in the bird, add a few sticks of apple or similar wood
    (amount depends on how smokey you want it - 3 1" thick by 3"-4" long
    sticks was subtlely smokey). Again, smoke level is up to you or in my case, the Missus!

    Initial cook (1-1/2 hours):
    Put the grid over the plate setter, put the roasting pan on top of it.
    Check to make sure the thermometer won't break the skin when you close the
    top. If your egg is like mine, it's probably hotter towards the back, so
    put the legs facing towards the hinge.
    Close the top and throttle the egg down to 325. Total cook for this part
    is 1-1/2 hours. You can melt some butter with herbs in it (eg thyme,
    sage, etc) and baste every 20 minutes or so. Once the butter is gone, the
    pan drippings are good for it. TBH, I rarely baste anymore.
    Cook stuffing covered in oven about an hour at 325 while this is going on.
    Stuffing and turning (~40 minutes at a leisurely pace):
    Take turkey off and bring inside, but leave egg going. Remove stuffing
    from oven, but leave oven going.
    Let it cool enough so you can work with it.
    Remove the pieces of bread from the pan. Stuff the bird. Lay it breast
    up in the pan.
    You'll probably have more stuffing than needed for the bird. Add some
    white wine to moisten it a bit or some of the pan drippings (wine turns
    out less greasy and you don't have to defat the drippings now). Put it in the oven uncovered for about an hour.

    Final cook (this time it was 1:50; it can take as little as an hour for
    smaller birds)
    Put the bird back in as before, with legs towards the back. Shut the top
    and have a beer or something. I started checking
    doneness with an instant thermometor at about 1:25. Shoot for 170 at the
    thigh (or the loose drumstick method) and 160 at the breast. 160 at the breast will get you there if you don’t truss the legs (thanks Meathead)!
    Pull the bird and let it cool while you make the gravy. Loosely tent - the temp will go up at least 5 degrees.

    About a half hour for cool down and gravy (but nothing else is ever ready,
    so it's usually longer - no harm).
    Typical pan gravy. Skim off the fat, add flour (first) and white wine to
    drippings, maybe some shallots, the cut-up giblets and stock from
    earlier. Simmer to desired consistency.

    That's it. I've done variations on this for years now. Always comes up
    Last edited by EdF; June 24, 2018, 11:58 AM.
  • Mudkat
    Club Member
    • Feb 2017
    • 2089
    • At a river near me, MD
    • Weber Smokey Mountain 14.5"
      Weber 22" Kettel
      Weber Smokey Joe (2)
      One Grill 45" Rotisserie
      Lodge 5 qt. Dutch Oven
      Lodge 10.5" Double Loop Skillet
      Cast Iron 9" Skillet
      Cast Iron 12" Skillet
      Weber 22 Grill Grates
      Home Built 55 Gallon Ugly Drum Smoker - "MUDS"

    Sounds delicious! What a step by step tutorial. Thanks for taking the time to write this up Ed!


    • EdF
      EdF commented
      Editing a comment
      Put it together for a friend I found out had a BGE a few years back. With some tweaking, I think it's good enough for here - for those dealing with "constraints"! ;-)
  • FireMan
    Charter Member
    • Jul 2015
    • 7707
    • Bottom of Winnebago

    Excellent step by step write up & visual results. This is something to just check, do, & enjoy in the future for next turkey. Question: why did you move slowly & how slow is slowly?
    Also, really like the “new” lid!


    • EdF
      EdF commented
      Editing a comment
      Slowly is like enjoying the process. Hard to put it objectively. I'm sure you know what I mean!

    • EdF
      EdF commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, that lid is special. I don't wear it all that often. But when I do, there's a sort of feeling of authority over my life that happens. ;-)
    Club Member
    • Jan 2016
    • 1066
    • Jersey City, NJ
    • Primo Oval XL Ceramic Cooker
      Pit Barrel Cooker
      2x Mavrick 732
      Therma Pen Orange
      Favorite Bourbon Blanton's
      SF Giants

      MCS wish list - Lone Star Grillz off set

    Thanks EdF ! Yeah, i'm also not a fan of spatchcocking the Thanksgiving bird. I like the presentation of the bird in tact. This is great info.


    • FishTalesNC
      Club Member
      • Dec 2017
      • 1190
      • Durham, NC

      • Cookers
        • Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco
        • Weber Premium Kettle 26” w/ SNS XL
        • Weber Smokey Joe 14”
        • Pit Barrel Cooker

        • Fireboard Extreme BBQ Edition
        • ​​​​​​​Weber iGrill 2 w/ 1 ambient and 3 meat probes
        • Thermapen mk4

        • Oklahoma Joe’s Triple Grate
        • Oklahoma Joe’s Super Skewers
        • ​​​​​​​Weber Gourmet BBQ System Pizza Stone
        • Weber Gourmet BBQ System Wok
        • EasySpin Cooking Grate (26”)
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        • Frogmat cut to fit 26" w/ SNS
        • Weber Original Rib Rack
        • Pampered Chef BBQ Pizza Pan (2)
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        • PBC Ash Pan
        • PBC Hinged Grate
        • PBC Corn Hanger
        • PBC Vertical Skewers (10" & 15")
        • PBC Sausage Hanger
        • PBC Basket Hanger

      That looks so good I wish it was mid-November, thanks for the detailed write up EdF!


      • DWCowles
        Founding Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 9709
        • Smiths Grove, Ky
        • Hi, my name is Darrell. I'm an OTR truck driver for over 25 years. During my off time I love doing backyard cooks. I have a 48" Lang Deluxe smoker, Rec-Tec pellet smoker,1 Weber Genesis 330, 1 Weber Performer (blue), 2 Weber kettles (1 black and 1 Copper), 1 26" Weber kettle, a WSM, 8 Maverick Redi Chek thermometers, a PartyQ, 2 SnS, Grill Grates, Cast Iron grates, 1 ThermoPop (orange) and 2 ThermoPens (pink and orange) and planning on adding more cooking accessories. Now I have an Anova sous vide, the Dragon blower and 2 Chef alarms from Thermoworks.

        It looks fabulous!


        • RonB
          Club Member
          • Apr 2016
          • 12857
          • Near Richmond VA
          • Weber Performer Deluxe
            Pizza insert
            Smokenator 1000
            Cookshack Smokette Elite
            2 Thermapens
            lots of probes.

          That's a winner.


          • djl
            Charter Member
            • Sep 2014
            • 114
            • Western NY
            • WSM 22.5
              Weber 22.5 Kettle (2)
              Slow n Sear
              Smokenator 1000
              Cajun Bandit Rotisserie
              Weber Genesis Silver B
              Maverick ET-732 Maverick ET-732

            Great write up! Thanks for taking the time. It is very much appreciated!


            • HawkerXP
              Club Member
              • Jul 2016
              • 5666
              • Virginia
              • 2 Weber Performers, 1 kettle, 1 Smoky Joe and a PBC
                Dot and Chef Alarm with probes
                Slo n Sear
                Cold beer

              Very nice. Thanks Ed!


              • Troutman
                Club Member
                • Aug 2017
                • 7283
                • Tejas, Where Else?

                • OUTDOOR COOKERS

                  BBQ ACCESSORIES

                  WOOD & PELLET PREFERENCES

                  SOUS VIDE

                  INDOOR COOKWARE

                Wow you’re heading into cook book land with this one !! Just curious what prompted this?


                • EdF
                  EdF commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The message Huskee put out yesterday asking people to add recipes.


                  Besides, I know this one is good, based on 15+ years of Thanksgiving evolution, and sometimes you have to stuff the turkey, etc. Much as I prefer spatchcocking!

                • Troutman
                  Troutman commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Oh I see, just now catching up from yesterday. I literally cooked and did yard work all day (spring has sprung here) so I'm a little behind. Good post to drag out at the holidays, seems like a spot on method.

                • EdF
                  EdF commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks! It's really adaptable. One year I had two <10lb birds, and did one trad and the other by a Mexican spicing recipe I think I got from Saveur. Man, that was festive!

                  The only thing with this is that it takes a while to get how quickly a stuffed turkey can cook. The 2 step idea was from a guy whose name was Bob Morton (I think). It's winner!
                  Last edited by EdF; March 11, 2018, 10:16 AM.
              • jgreen
                Charter Member
                • Oct 2014
                • 2721
                • Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
                • Cookers:
                  Broil King XL
                  Broil King Smoke
                  Weber Kettle 26
                  Grilla Pellet smoker
                  Capital 40 natural gas
                  Napoleon Pro 22 kettle

                  Maverick 733
                  Thermapen (ok..4 thermapens)
                  Thermo works DOT (or two)
                  Fireboard (probably my favourite)
                  Thermworks Smoke (or two)

                  SnS (original, plus and XL)
                  DnG pans, 6 or 7 of these
                  and, maybe some other toys as well

                Gotta love people who cook Turkey other than at Thanksgiving. I usually do them a few times a year.


                • Willard
                  Former Member
                  • Apr 2018
                  • 878
                  • Leesburg, Fl.

                  Thanks EdF That makes me want to do it again...soon.


                  • Bumby
                    Club Member
                    • Oct 2017
                    • 290
                    • NYC

                    Saw the link in a different post. Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed post! I am now following.




                    Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

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