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Tips for Perfectly Smoking a Turkey Breast on the Big Green Egg

Maybe Santa is bringing you a Big Green Egg for Christmas, so I wanted you to be armed and ready with a great recipe to impress your crowd. Hopefully Santa’s elves delivered a bit early so you can use it during the holidays. 

Owning a Big Green Egg is like being in a cult. Those of us who own them are passionate and love to share our cooking tips and experiences. Feel free to send me yours at saffie@bubblelife.com

I have had mine a couple of years, and I love it. My husband almost fell over when I told him I wanted a Big Green Egg for Mother’s Day. “This, instead of jewelry? Let me get it loaded in the car,” he said.

Cooking on a Big Green Egg is a science, and it all revolves around controlling your fire. Being organized with the right tools will make all the difference in the world. 

Here are a couple of tips:

Meat Thermometer

It’s all about your fire, so invest in a good thermometer or two.

I am really into smoking, so I have a remote thermometer that has two probes, one to monitor my fire temperature and the other to monitor the meat. Trust me, I have done the research — this is the one you want. It is wireless and you can keep watch from inside the house. I also have an instant read and have included one as well. 


Drip Pan

You can buy a foil pan from the grocery store, but for some reason I always forget so I typically use an aluminum-baking pan lined with foil for easy clean up. 

Rib Rack

I have a rib rack that I invert. This is a must-have for a Big Green Egg owner.

Smoking Chips and Chunks

When smoking ribs, pork roast or turkey, I suggest fruit woods like apple or cherry. I have experimented with buying chunks and chips but don’t have a preference. I do recommend that you soak the wood for a minimum of 12 hours. Longer is better, and I have soaked mine for a few days.

Recipe

  • 8-10 lb. Turkey Breast
  • Cherry Wood Chips (soaked in water for a least 12 hours before cooking)

  • Apple Juice
  • Water
  • ½ cup salt
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons peppercorns crushed (put in a zip lock bag and lightly pound with the bottom of a glass)
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons sage (or 6-8 sprigs fresh)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 10-15 cloves of garlic (one head)

 

The key to successfully smoking a turkey is brining. The turkey will absorb some of the water, keeping the meat moist.

12-24 hours in advance:

  1. Put the turkey breast in a stock pan. Cover with water (or half water/half apple juice) and stir in salt, maple syrup, brown sugar, garlic, onion, bay leaves and sage. Put in the refrigerator.
  2. Soak the smoking chips or chunks. I soak the bag. My guess is that it’s about 4-6 cups. 

Cooking Day

  1. Set up your Green Egg to cook with charcoal and mix in half of your wet smoking chips.
  2. Set up to cook with indirect heat (stone platter) and get your temperature stabilized at 250 degrees.
  3. Tip: I typically take mine to 350 degrees first and then reduce it down.
  4. Take your turkey out of the brine and place on a rack in your drip pan.
  5. Set up your probe if using remote thermometer

When your fire is stable at 250 degrees, take the rest of your chips and put them on the fire and let them burn for about 5 minutes. Then put your meat on. I like to get the heavy smoke down a bit before I start the cooking process. 

Close the lid and cook your turkey to 160 degrees. My last turkey breast was 10 pounds and he was ready in 6 hours. Some estimate 1 hour per pound but I think that is too long. 

You can place it on the counter covered in foil for 15 minutes to rest before serving.  It is fine on the counter for a while, just don't cut it until you are ready to serve.

 

Saffie Leedy Farris
Founder & Publisher • saffie@bubblelife.com

 




 

 

 

 

Thursday, December 18, 2014