The first step to a memorable Christmas turkey is to buy a quality bird, such as a Kelly Bronze. Not only do you get incredible flavour from their slow-growing turkeys, but they are plucked and hung in such as a way as to prevent any bacteria getting in. Amazingly, this means that they could — technically — be enjoyed pink!
GET THE TURKEY FROM THE FRIDGE
To ensure even cooking, make sure your turkey is at room temperature before you put it in your EGG. This means at least 2 hours out of the fridge before you want to cook.
LOAD AND LIGHT YOUR EGG
Load and light your EGG with our 100% Organic Lumpwood Charcoal. You'll need to set up your EGG for indirect cooking using a ConvEGGtor — with your target EGG temperature set to 180˚C.
CUT THE VEG
Roughly chop some root vegetables and place them in the bottom of a Roasting Pan. We use celery, red onion, and carrots but feel free to experiment with other ingredients. This will give you a complex base flavour, and will catch your meat juices for the perfect gravy.
SEASON YOUR TURKEY
Season your turkey generously with Maldon sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Remove any turkey giblets, and add them to the vegetables in the roasting pan. The EGG will keep the bird nice and moist throughout the cooking process but for extra indulgence, massage it all over with butter.
PLACE THE TURKEY UPSIDE DOWN
With the Roasting Rack in the Roasting Pan, place the turkey breast-side down. Doing it this way will keep the turkey moist and means you won't have to baste it at all. This is because the layered back fat and marrow in the bones slowly drips through the bird into the breast.
NOW ADD WATER
Add cold water to the pan. These will turn your root vegetables and giblets into the perfect stock and keep your bird succulent throughout the cook.
COOK FOR ONE HOUR
Place the roasting pan, turkey and all, into your pre-heated EGG at 180˚C. Make sure the turkey is positioned towards the back of the EGG as you don't want to skew the thermometer's temperature reading. Leave it for 1 hour, and as tempting as it may be, don't open the EGG!
FLIP THE TURKEY OVER
After the first hour, make sure to safely burp your EGG and then remove the Roasting Pan. With Silicon EGG Mitts, pick the turkey up by the legs and carefully flip it over, so the breast faces upwards. Take a large chef's knife and pierce the skin between the legs of the turkey and the body, releasing the juices. Return the turkey and roasting pan to the EGG.
CHECK THE TURKEY
After a further 30 minutes, burp your EGG again. With a thermometer take a temperature reading at the deepest part of the breast. Temperatures at this point will vary, but your target temperature at the end of the 2 hours will need to be 60˚C. This reading is just a guide to give you a base temperature.
KEEP ON CHECKING
At this point, take regular temperature readings at 10-15 minute intervals. You'll notice the internal temperature of your bird increases as the skin starts to brown up.
Once the internal temperature reaches 63˚C in the thickest part of the leg (this will take around an hour after you've flipped it over), remove the turkey from the EGG and rest on a wooden board, uncovered.
Whilst resting, the bird's internal temperature will continue to rise; you're aiming for a final temperature of 63˚C in the breasts and 70˚C in the legs.
Once it's there, you're ready to carve! For maximum juiciness, we recommend completely removing the breast from the turkey and slicing it on a board against the grain.
Top 10 Turkey Tips
Not all turkeys are created equal. Always invest in a slow-growing, free-range bird. Not just because it will have had a better quality of life, but because it will have had time to develop a depth of flavour a million miles from the dry blandness of industrially reared turkeys.
Cold turkeys will seize up when cooked. Take yours out of the fridge 2 hours before you intend to cook it, so that it can reach room temperature.
Flavour starts with the fuel. Make sure you choose a quality lumpwood charcoal, free from accelerants and chemicals that will taint the flavour of your turkey.
Consider adding a handful of woodchips or chunks. Pecan or Apple work particularly well. Simply soak them in water and add to the coals at the start of your cook.
Place your turkey in the EGG on a roasting rack so the heat can circulate all around it and the skin is able to crisp up.
Cook the turkey breast-side down at first. The juices from the bones will run down into the breasts, keeping them nice and moist. Flip the bird over half way through.
Add a roasting tray underneath with chopped veg and 2 litres of water, so that you can catch all the cooking juices and make delicious gravy.
Once your turkey is cooking, leave it alone as much as possible. Try to resist opening the lid of your EGG as this will affect the internal temperature. Just set it to 180°C, and walk away.
Always cook to temperature, not time. Invest in a thermometer so that you can take your turkey out when the legs reach 70°C and the breasts reach 63°C.
For tender meat, be sure to rest, rest, rest. If you cut into a very hot piece of meat, all the juices will come pouring out of it. By allowing your turkey to rest for 30 minutes to an hour, you give it time to relax and retain its juices. Removing the breast from the turkey and slicing it on a board against the grain will also do wonders.