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What size green egg for a turkey?

Deciding what size Big Green Egg to buy for cooking a turkey can be confusing. There are several sizes to choose from, and you need one big enough to cook your holiday bird, while also considering how many people you need to feed. In this article, we’ll go over the factors to consider when deciding what size Big Green Egg is best for cooking turkey.

What are the different sizes of Big Green Eggs?

Big Green Egg comes in 7 sizes:

Size Cooking Area
MiniMax 133 sq in
Small 155 sq in
Medium 177 sq in
Large 262 sq in
XL 314 sq in
XXL 452 sq in
3XL 693 sq in

As you can see, the sizes range from 133 square inches of cooking space for the MiniMax, up to 693 square inches for the 3XL. The most popular sizes are the Large and XL.

What size turkey will fit in each Big Green Egg?

The size of turkey that will fit depends on the dimensions of each specific model. Here are some general turkey size guidelines for each Big Green Egg:

Big Green Egg Size Turkey Size
MiniMax Cornish hens
Small 10 lb turkey
Medium 12-15 lb turkey
Large 16-18 lb turkey
XL 20-24 lb turkey
XXL 26-30 lb turkey
3XL 30+ lb turkey

As you can see, the Small can accommodate up to a 10 lb bird, while the XXL and 3XL can hold turkeys over 30 lbs. The most common Large size can hold a 16-18 lb turkey, which is sufficient for most Thanksgiving gatherings.

How many people will you need to feed?

The number of people you need to feed should factor into what size Big Green Egg you choose. As a general rule of thumb, plan for 1-1.5 lbs of turkey per person.

So for example, if you’re cooking for 10 people you’ll need a 10-15 lb turkey, which would fit in a Medium or Large Big Green Egg. Here’s a breakdown:

Number of People Turkey Size Suggested Big Green Egg Size
4-6 6-9 lbs Medium
8-12 12-18 lbs Large
14-18 20-24 lbs XL
20-24 26-30 lbs XXL

Keep in mind you can always cook a smaller turkey in a larger Big Green Egg if needed. But you can’t fit a 20 lb turkey in a Medium model that’s designed for a 15 lb bird.

Choosing the Right Size Big Green Egg for Turkey

Now that you know the size options and capacity of each Big Green Egg model, here are some tips for choosing the right one for your holiday turkey:

Consider the Large or XL for most families

The Large model has 262 square inches of cooking space, which can accommodate a 16-18 lb bird to feed 8-12 people. The XL has 314 square inches and can hold a 20-24 lb turkey, serving 14-18 people.

For many families hosting Thanksgiving dinner, the Large or XL Big Green Egg is just right for cooking a turkey along with sides. The extra room is nice for adding a roast or other meats too.

Get the XXL or 3XL for large gatherings

If you plan to host extended family and friends for the holidays, cooking for 20+ people, the XXL or 3XL is a great choice. These larger models can hold turkeys up to 30+ pounds to feed a crowd.

The XXL provides 452 square inches of cook space and the 3XL has 693 square inches. These super-sized Big Green Eggs let you smoke multiple turkeys and other meats at once.

Consider the Medium for small gatherings

For Friendsgiving or intimate holiday meals for up to 6 people, the Medium Big Green Egg could work well. With 177 square inches of space, it can accommodate a 12-15 pound turkey.

Keep in mind you can only fit one smaller turkey in the Medium, with limited room for adding sides. But it’s a good portable and budget-friendly option for small groups.

Don’t size down too small

While you can technically fit a 10 lb turkey in the Small Big Green Egg, it doesn’t leave much room for circulation and adding sides. Go too small, and you could end up with uneven cooking and not enough capacity.

It’s better to size up if you’re between two sizes. Give yourself some extra breathing room in the Big Green Egg for the best results.

Tips for Cooking Turkey in a Big Green Egg

Once you’ve selected the right size Big Green Egg for your holiday turkey, here are some tips to ensure perfect results:

Cook at a low temperature, 325°F

The indirect heat and infrared cooking abilities of the Big Green Egg allows turkey to cook low and slow for optimal moisture and tenderness. Cook at 325°F for the juiciest results.

Place turkey on a vertical roasting stand

Using a vertical poultry roaster allows air to circulate under the turkey for even cooking. Place a drip pan underneath to catch drippings.

Maintain consistent heat

The ceramic material and precisely controlled air flow of the Big Green Egg keeps temperatures steady, no big swings. Monitor to keep it at 325°F.

Allow 15-20 minutes per pound

Figure around 15-20 minutes of cook time per pound of turkey. So a 16 lb turkey will take 4-5 hours at 325°F in the Big Green Egg.

Use a meat thermometer

For food safety, always cook turkey to an internal temperature of 165°F in the thigh and breast. Use an instant-read thermometer to check doneness.

Let turkey rest before carving

As with any meat, letting the turkey rest for 15-30 minutes after cooking allows juices to reabsorb for more tender results when carving.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you cook a turkey in any size Big Green Egg?

You need to match the turkey size to the appropriate Big Green Egg model. Cook times will be thrown off and it won’t fit properly in sizes too small. Use the size guidelines when choosing an Egg for turkey.

What is the minimum size Big Green Egg for turkey?

The Medium Big Green Egg is the smallest size recommended for turkeys, accommodating up to a 15 lb bird maximum. Anything smaller doesn’t allow enough circulation and space.

What size Big Green Egg do most people buy for turkey?

The Large Big Green Egg is the most popular choice for turkey. It can hold a 16-18 lb bird which feeds 8-12 people, perfect for most Thanksgiving gatherings.

Can you cook a turkey and sides in a Large Big Green Egg?

Yes, the 262 square inches of cooking space in the Large Big Green Egg is sufficient for a turkey and sides like vegetables, cornbread and more. Just place items carefully.

How big of a turkey can you cook in an XL Big Green Egg?

The XL model can accommodate turkeys up to 24 pounds. Its 314 square inches of capacity provides enough room for large birds.


Deciding what size Big Green Egg is best for cooking your Thanksgiving turkey depends on the number of people you need to serve and size of bird. While the Medium can fit a small turkey, the Large and XL are ideal for most gatherings. Go XXL or 3XL if cooking for very large parties.

Be sure to match the size of your turkey to the appropriate Egg model. Allow 15-20 minutes per pound at 325°F for the juiciest results. Rest the turkey before slicing, and your holiday meal will be perfectly cooked in your Big Green Egg!