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testkitchen45
05-31-2007, 05:01 PM
I'm roasting a turkey now, & ran into my usual problem. Every turkey I've ever roasted has taken tons longer than the recipe suggests (unstuffed, except w/onion & celery, which shouldn't block heat). I pull liquid from cavity to see how far along turkey is, & it's ALWAYS bloody even when turk has cooked a long time. So I cover bird again & let it go longer; turks are always tasty but they take forever, and I don't know why! (Even fully defrosted, & having sat on counter for awhile b4 roasting--an hour or so). Usually covered for most of cook time, b/c uncovered = too-brown skin despite blood in cavity. Sometimes cavity'll still be bloody even as thigh approaches "done" temperature. What's going on? :confused: Am roasting a turkey today b/c had one in freezer, but this is also the story of my typical Thanksgiving. Thanks!

(FYI: Oven seems properly calibrated b/c no problems with baking or other recipes. All-Clad large roaster. True for birds of all sizes: 12 to 28 pounds, all sizes take forever to not be bloody anymore. Had a fresh bird one year [not prefrozen]; same problem.)

cumulus
05-31-2007, 05:46 PM
How long is "too long?"

testkitchen45
05-31-2007, 05:49 PM
Like a couple of extra hours :eek: , depending on the size of the bird. An hour or a few.

I recall reading something in Cook's Illustrated about why turkey dark meat still retains its pinkish color even when fully done, but that won't address why my turk's cavity still has red-tinted liquid when the turk's supposed to be quite ready!

funnybone
05-31-2007, 05:50 PM
How long is "too long?"

I was going to ask that too. Mine is always done sooner that I expect, so I''m not sure why yours is taking longer.


One thought, what rack level do you have it in your oven? And what temp? Perhaps your oven temp is too low.

funnybone
05-31-2007, 05:53 PM
I've been making this recipe for years and it always comes out great.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/108793

cumulus
05-31-2007, 06:03 PM
Like a couple of extra hours :eek: , depending on the size of the bird. An hour or a few.

I recall reading something in Cook's Illustrated about why turkey dark meat still retains its pinkish color even when fully done, but that won't address why my turk's cavity still has red-tinted liquid when the turk's supposed to be quite ready!

That didn't really answer my question :p

Most turkeys will take a few hours- how many lbs is the bird you're talking about, and how long do you expect it to be done in?

testkitchen45
05-31-2007, 06:11 PM
That didn't really answer my question :p

Most turkeys will take a few hours- how many lbs is the bird you're talking about, and how long do you expect it to be done in?

OK; thanks. Today's bird is just under 19 pounds. I put in a 325 oven at 11:30; it's now 6:10 and I'm hoping that the da*n cavity liquid will finally not be red any more when I take it out. I think that's excessive.

Generally, my turkeys (ranging from about 15 to 26 pounds, depending on the occasion) take two to more hours longer than any recommended time I've ever seen, either at butterball.com or in a recipe. The meat doesn't get dried out, but it takes forever to get the cavity fluid not bloody any more.

Incidentally, this happened with Ina Garten's perfect roast chicken, too: it took longer than expected, all three times I've made it. I wondered if my bird's cavity was too tightly stuffed with lemon, celery, onion, or whatever, but I can't imagine that veggies/fruits would block the heat, the way a bread stuffing would do. I e-mailed Ina & Sinead (her staffer); they didn't have a clue either, except to check oven calibration, which I already believe isn't a problem. Happened in prior house, too, and in upper and lower oven, so I find it hard to believe it's a calibration problem (confirmed w/ oven thermometer sometimes, & with successfull baking overall).

I so appreciate any help you all can give me!

ADM
05-31-2007, 06:12 PM
Keep using a turkey baster to remove that pinkish liquid from the turkey cavity. After awhile it won't be there. Always use a meat thermometer to determine when the turkey is fully cooked, then you will feel safe!

testkitchen45
05-31-2007, 06:17 PM
Keep using a turkey baster to remove that pinkish liquid from the turkey cavity. After awhile it won't be there. Always use a meat thermometer to determine when the turkey is fully cooked, then you will feel safe!

Thanks. I do remove the liquid with a turkey baster, but presumably the turk produces a little more as it cooks . . . ? And wouldn't you expect that if the meat's done, the liquid would be fully cooked also & no longer red?

Also, the odd thing is that I've had a meat thermometer hit 180 in the thigh meat when the liquid is STILL either red or a little bit red. Like today.

:confused: :confused: :confused:

ADM
05-31-2007, 06:27 PM
I suggest: Trust your thermometer! If it still bothers you, Kosher Jewish cooks soak their meat and poultry in salt water, to remove the blood, I have read.

charley
05-31-2007, 06:58 PM
You're cooking at a very low temp. Try 400 - 425. I use high heat for all my roasted chickens. They're moist, delicious, and done in no time.

Heat heat roasted turkey (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/15/AR2005111500338.html)

Hammster
05-31-2007, 07:25 PM
Thanks. I do remove the liquid with a turkey baster, but presumably the turk produces a little more as it cooks . . . ? And wouldn't you expect that if the meat's done, the liquid would be fully cooked also & no longer red?

Also, the odd thing is that I've had a meat thermometer hit 180 in the thigh meat when the liquid is STILL either red or a little bit red. Like today.

:confused: :confused: :confused:


If the meat is 180 degrees in the thigh with a meat thermometer, it's way over done. I've never seen any turkey, or any other poultry recipe, that says check the liquid in the cavity to ensure it's clear. Trust your meat thermometer and forget about the color of the liquid in the cavity. The color could just be red because it's leaching some color from the bones. The thermometer is the way to go.

HTH.

testkitchen45
05-31-2007, 08:09 PM
If the meat is 180 degrees in the thigh with a meat thermometer, it's way over done. I've never seen any turkey, or any other poultry recipe, that says check the liquid in the cavity to ensure it's clear. Trust your meat thermometer and forget about the color of the liquid in the cavity. The color could just be red because it's leaching some color from the bones. The thermometer is the way to go.

HTH.

Thanks. My CL recipe said to roast till the thigh reached 180; what temp do you use?

If the liquid leaches color from the bones (sounds likely), then how can you tell the diff b/w blood & that color? Or blow it off & trust the temp only?

Charley, thanks for the high-heat link. I'll look at it later when I have a bit more time; I do think I recall that some people doing high-heat roasting had a pretty smoky oven . . . ?

Hammster
05-31-2007, 08:16 PM
Thanks. My CL recipe said to roast till the thigh reached 180; what temp do you use?

If the liquid leaches color from the bones (sounds likely), then how can you tell the diff b/w blood & that color? Or blow it off & trust the temp only?

Charley, thanks for the high-heat link. I'll look at it later when I have a bit more time; I do think I recall that some people doing high-heat roasting had a pretty smoky oven . . . ?

If you cook til the thigh reaches 180 degrees, the breast will be way overdone and the thigh will be close to overdone. Go to about 160-170 in the thigh. During the resting time after the turkey comes out of the oven, the temp will rise due to carry over cooking. Let the turkey rest, covered lightly with foil, at least 15 minutes, longer is better.
Trust your thermometer, not the color of liquid in the cavity.
I'm not a fan of the high heat method because of the smoke factor and that you risk buring the outside of the bird before the inside is done. I prefer low and slow such as you are doing. Meaning 325 degrees at ~10-15 minutes per pound. So, your 19 lb turkey would need between 4-5 hours to reach the 160-170 degrees in the thigh.

lindrusso
05-31-2007, 09:30 PM
If you cook til the thigh reaches 180 degrees, the breast will be way overdone and the thigh will be close to overdone. Go to about 160-170 in the thigh. During the resting time after the turkey comes out of the oven, the temp will rise due to carry over cooking. Let the turkey rest, covered lightly with foil, at least 15 minutes, longer is better.

Trust your thermometer, not the color of liquid in the cavity.


I totally agree. Seems like 180 is the "old" recommendation. Many recipes that I read now recommend a lower temp. I think we shoot for about 165.

goofygirl
05-31-2007, 09:37 PM
I always use Alton Brown's turkey method and my birds always come out perfectly cooked in a short amount of time.

Roast at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Remove bird from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and return to the oven, reducing temp to 350 degrees. Set thermometer alarm to 161 degrees F.

A 14 to 16 lb. turkey should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting.

Rest turkey loosely covered, for 15 minutes before carving.

(This may not be exactly as Alton wrote it. I took this from my notes, but it works great.)

margeslp
06-01-2007, 04:09 AM
Other factors not mentioned yet:
1. Fresh vs. frozen turkey. We raised turkeys when the kids were in 4-H. They cooked much faster, even the ones we froze. They had a wonderful flavor that wasn't quite gamy like duck but reminded me of it. There was no extra external fat but I wondered if they weren't better "marbeled." I always use a meat thermometer and keep a close eye on a fresh turkey
2. What altitude do you live at? I still remember cooking in a mountaintop dreamhouse for my son's mountain bike team at a race in Snowshoe, WVA and couldn't figure out what was wrong with the brand new kitchen appliances........duh, Marge!
3. Stuffed or unstuffed? Sounds like unstuffed since you have juices running in the cavity.

testkitchen45
06-01-2007, 08:32 AM
Other factors not mentioned yet:
1. Fresh vs. frozen turkey. We raised turkeys when the kids were in 4-H. They cooked much faster, even the ones we froze. They had a wonderful flavor that wasn't quite gamy like duck but reminded me of it. There was no extra external fat but I wondered if they weren't better "marbeled." I always use a meat thermometer and keep a close eye on a fresh turkey
2. What altitude do you live at? I still remember cooking in a mountaintop dreamhouse for my son's mountain bike team at a race in Snowshoe, WVA and couldn't figure out what was wrong with the brand new kitchen appliances........duh, Marge!
3. Stuffed or unstuffed? Sounds like unstuffed since you have juices running in the cavity.

I am so grateful to everyone who's responding. This problem has plagued me with every bird I've made; it's a miracle that with the long cooking times, they've actually tasted quite good. Dumb luck, I guess! :o

To answer these questions: I've had super-long cook times with the fresh turkey I got once; the fresh one that had ice crystals in the cavity anyway & had to be rinsed repeatedly to warm up the cavity; supposedly fully defrosted frozen turkeys; and big chickens. Always, I've followed Mom's advice to check the liquid in the cavity. Maybe someone has a CI membership and can check CI's research on why turkey dark meat stays pink even when it's fully cooked; I'd really appreciate hearing what CI has to say about this! I know they researched the meat-color question (not the cavity-liquid-color question, but surely they're related) b/c it was in an old issue of CI, but I'm not a member so I don't have access to the info. Hammster mentioned that the liquid could be reddish b/c of leaching color from the bones (or maybe from the dark meat that stays pink anyway?); I wonder if CI has commented on this, b/c everyone is saying that I should trust the temp & not the liquids' color.

Altitude: Standard. Not an issue.

Unstuffed, always, except crammed with veggie/fruit items, depending on the recipe: celery, onions, maybe lemon. No bread stuffing, ever.

Thanks so much, everyone! :)

Hammster
06-01-2007, 08:43 AM
Unstuffed, always, except crammed with veggie/fruit items, depending on the recipe: celery, onions, maybe lemon. No bread stuffing, ever.


Wait, how crammed? If it's crammed tight enough it could be the same as bread stuffing as far as filling the cavity.

Not sure mom's advice is valid. It's good that it has worked out for you, but things have changed a lot since mom's day. (No disrespect intended, but some moms still cook pork til it's shoe leather. Things have changed)

Thigh and leg meat stay red because they are the type of muscle fiber that are used a lot and retain the coloring of the red blood cells. (I think it's called Myoglobin?)
Breast meat is unused in the turkey, as far as a mode of transport, and so the muscle tissue is used very little and therefore has less myoglobin coloring.
Any muscle in poultry that is used more will be more red than one that is used less. Birds that fly such as doves, which is good eating as well, have red breast meat.
The juices run clear method that most people use is in reference to the intramuscular juices. Not the juices in the cavity. The idea is to stick a probe, knife, what have you into the thickest part of the muscle and see if the juices run clear. But, again, that can be misleading because even if the juices are just tinged with pink, the meat can be fully done. (Remember that the resting time will allow the meat to continue to cook)
That's why I prefer the temperature method.

testkitchen45
06-01-2007, 08:57 AM
Wait, how crammed? If it's crammed tight enough it could be the same as bread stuffing as far as filling the cavity.

Not sure mom's advice is valid. It's good that it has worked out for you, but things have changed a lot since mom's day. (No disrespect intended, but some moms still cook pork til it's shoe leather. Things have changed).

No disrespect assumed! :) You're right. Pretty crammed, to answer your question--but do you really think that veggies can block the heat as efficiently as bread stuffing? If so, then that could be a culprit, but it sounds like the bigger problem is that I've been waiting till my turk's cavity juices are pretty clear (sending my birds to he!!, basically :o ; it's a miracle they've been edible).


Thigh and leg meat stay red because they are the type of muscle fiber that are used a lot and retain the coloring of the red blood cells. (I think it's called Myoglobin?)
Breast meat is unused in the turkey, as far as a mode of transport, and so the muscle tissue is used very little and therefore has less myoglobin coloring.
Any muscle in poultry that is used more will be more red than one that is used less. Birds that fly such as doves, which is good eating as well, have red breast meat.
The juices run clear method that most people use is in reference to the intramuscular juices. Not the juices in the cavity. The idea is to stick a probe, knife, what have you into the thickest part of the muscle and see if the juices run clear. But, again, that can be misleading because even if the juices are just tinged with pink, the meat can be fully done. (Remember that the resting time will allow the meat to continue to cook)
That's why I prefer the temperature method.

And a *lower* temperature method, it seems: 165 in the thigh instead of 180, based on the fact that the temp will keep rising as the tired birdy rests :) on the cutting board. Right?

Hammster
06-01-2007, 09:11 AM
No disrespect assumed! :) You're right. Pretty crammed, to answer your question--but do you really think that veggies can block the heat as efficiently as bread stuffing? If so, then that could be a culprit, but it sounds like the bigger problem is that I've been waiting till my turk's cavity juices are pretty clear (sending my birds to he!!, basically :o ; it's a miracle they've been edible).



And a *lower* temperature method, it seems: 165 in the thigh instead of 180, based on the fact that the temp will keep rising as the tired birdy rests :) on the cutting board. Right?

Perhaps you can give an indication of how "crammed" the cavity is? How much of each veggie, item, you use? It's likely not as efficient at "blocking" heat as stuffing, but it could be having some effect. If I'm doing a whole turkey, I don't use much more than a stalk of celery, an onion, maybe a lemon and some herbs such as parsley or whatever I have. Very coarsely cut into 4ths maybe and loosely placed in the cavity. I also don't truss the open end of the bird, but I do cross the legs and tie the knobby ends of the drumsticks together just to get a bit of even roasting in that area. And the wings get tucked under the back of the bird.

Current "turkey doneness wisdom" is to stop at around the 165 mark, remove from oven, loosely cover with foil on a cutting board and let rest a minimum of 15 minutes. The carryover cooking will allow the temp to rise ~10 degrees if I recall correctly.

testkitchen45
06-01-2007, 09:35 AM
Perhaps you can give an indication of how "crammed" the cavity is? How much of each veggie, item, you use? It's likely not as efficient at "blocking" heat as stuffing, but it could be having some effect. If I'm doing a whole turkey, I don't use much more than a stalk of celery, an onion, maybe a lemon and some herbs such as parsley or whatever I have. Very coarsely cut into 4ths maybe and loosely placed in the cavity. I also don't truss the open end of the bird, but I do cross the legs and tie the knobby ends of the drumsticks together just to get a bit of even roasting in that area. And the wings get tucked under the back of the bird.

I'm doing what you do, and using the same amount of veggies you are: a quartered onion, a stalk or two of celery, a lemon only if there's room. So I think I'm doing everything just fine except for checking the cavity liquid, which I need to stop doing (sorry, Mom! :) ). I don't think the veggies are blocking the heat. I think my turkeys are heating just fine; it's just that I've been checking the wrong indicators of doneness.

Hammster
06-01-2007, 10:41 AM
it's just that I've been checking the wrong indicators of doneness.

Agreed. :D

LaraW
06-01-2007, 02:35 PM
I'm a bit late to this thread, but I am wondering if you were checking the cavity liquid b/c the recipe said "until juices run clear". When I do this, I look at the liquid that is released when I stick my thermometer in the turkey (or chicken) and when that liquid is clear, that's my "barometer". I've never checked the cavity for liquid.

LakeMartinGal
06-01-2007, 03:55 PM
If speed, as well as doneness, are your problems, perhaps you should use the foil-wrap method... It's another high-heat one. I preheat the oven to 450 -- as high as mine will go -- and totally wrap my turkeys in buttered foil, crimped at the top and the ends. Then, I stick a thermometer through the foil, making sure the foil is crimped around the thermometer. Bake at 350 for ~3 hours for a 15 lb bird. 1/2 hour before it is due to be done, uncover the turkey to brown, if desired. When done, re-wrap it in foil and let stand, out of the oven for 15 to 30 minutes, while you finish up the other items (we always leave the rolls in the oven at this point...:rolleyes: ). The turkey should be perfectly done and easy to carve!:D

testkitchen45
06-02-2007, 08:36 AM
If speed, as well as doneness, are your problems, perhaps you should use the foil-wrap method... It's another high-heat one. I preheat the oven to 450 -- as high as mine will go -- and totally wrap my turkeys in buttered foil, crimped at the top and the ends. Then, I stick a thermometer through the foil, making sure the foil is crimped around the thermometer. Bake at 350 for ~3 hours for a 15 lb bird. 1/2 hour before it is due to be done, uncover the turkey to brown, if desired. When done, re-wrap it in foil and let stand, out of the oven for 15 to 30 minutes, while you finish up the other items (we always leave the rolls in the oven at this point...:rolleyes: ). The turkey should be perfectly done and easy to carve!:D

When you said "bake at 350," did you mean "bake at 450"? I may try this sometime if I have about a 15-pound bird. I'm a little leery of doing it with a huge bird, b/c of the conventional wisdom (or maybe it's just me :o ) of a large, dense item needing longer time at a lesser temperature to cook through w/o overcooking the outside. For T'g, I usually have a monster turkey that's about 10 pounds more than you're using in this recipe. :)

From all the posts, I think what I need to do is proceed as usual, but ignore the cavity juices & just look for a thigh temp of 165 to 170 (assuming that the residual heat will bring the thigh temp up to 180 b4 eating?--but how can residual heat of a turk at room temp cause the meat temp to *rise* when it's in a room-temp room?). :confused:

One side question: Mom's gravy is really high-fat, with a 1:8 ratio of fat or flour to liquid. So, for a huge bird, she might get 1 cup fat from the drippings, browned with 1 cup flour, and needing 8 cups drippings and stock to cook into gravy. Tasty, but it's like Turkey Alfredo. :eek: What ratio do you all use for a lower-fat but still tasty brown gravy?

Hammster
06-02-2007, 09:03 AM
From all the posts, I think what I need to do is proceed as usual, but ignore the cavity juices & just look for a thigh temp of 165 to 170 (assuming that the residual heat will bring the thigh temp up to 180 b4 eating?--but how can residual heat of a turk at room temp cause the meat temp to *rise* when it's in a room-temp room?). :confused:


Don't worry about it reaching 180 degrees even during resting. 180 is old wisdom, not a valid doneness temp anymore.

Why does meat continue to heat once it's pulled from a hot oven even though the meat is sitting at room temp?
Because the meat is a huge piece of thermal mass that has a lot of energy in the form of heat stored in it from the heat of the oven. It takes awhile for the stored energy to dissipate. So, since the heat in the meat was rising when you took it out of the oven, it can't instantly reverse direction and start cooling. It has to finish the direction it was heading and then start cooling down. Ain't physics fun? (Or maybe it's thermal dynamics?)
HTH :)

sneezles
06-02-2007, 09:18 AM
Having recently taken the food handling course for restaurant employees the rule for poultry is 165 degrees for when to remove from heat. The bird will continue to cook as it rests.

Did a quick check over at CI and didn't see anything about pink dark meat but wanted to post the roasting instructions for their recipe:

TO PREPARE THE TURKEY: Adjust oven rack to lowest position; heat oven to 400 degrees. Line large V-rack with heavy-duty foil and use paring knife or skewer to poke 20 to 30 holes in foil; set V-rack in large roasting pan. Remove turkey from refrigerator and wipe away any water collected in baking sheet; set turkey breast side up on baking sheet. Tuck wings behind back and tuck tips of drumsticks into skin at tail to secure.


8. TO ROAST THE TURKEY: Place turkey breast side down on prepared V-rack in roasting pan. Roast 45 minutes.
9. Remove roasting pan with turkey from oven (close oven door to retain oven heat). Using clean potholders (or wad of paper towels), rotate turkey breast side up. Continue to roast until thickest part of breast registers 165 degrees and thickest part of thigh registers 170 to 175 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 50 to 60 minutes longer. (Confirm temperature by inserting thermometer in both sides of bird.) Transfer turkey to carving board; let rest 30 minutes. Carve turkey and serve.
10. If roasting a 14- to 18-pound bird, increase all of the ingredients for the herb paste (except the black pepper) by 50 percent; follow the instructions for applying the paste under the skin, in the breast pockets, and in the cavity; use the remaining paste on the skin. Increase the second half of the roasting time (breast side up) to 1 hour, 15 minutes.
11. If roasting an 18- to 22-pound bird, double all of the ingredients for the herb paste except the black pepper; apply 2 tablespoons paste under the skin on each side of the turkey, 1 1/2 tablespoons paste in each breast pocket, 2 tablespoons inside the cavity, and the remaining paste on the turkey skin. Roast breast side down at 425 degrees for 1 hour, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, rotate the turkey breast side up, and continue to roast for about 2 hours. Let rest 35 to 40 minutes before carving.

testkitchen45
06-02-2007, 09:18 AM
Thanks, Hammster. I wasn't sure that the heat would rise enough after the turk's out of the oven; I thought the room-temp surroundings would bleed it off faster.

You're not the only OP who said use 165 to 170 for the thigh temp. Here's what Butterball says:

If unstuffed, the turkey is done when the meat thermometer reaches the following temperature: 180F deep in the thigh; also, juices should be clear, not reddish pink when thigh muscle is pierced deeply [I know they're talking thigh juices, not cavity juices].

Do you think B'ball is just doing a CYA instead of saying 165, ensuring that cooks don't say, "Eh--it's 155; that's close enough to 165"? ;)

Any gravy experience to share, based on my earlier question?

I *really* appreciate your help (and the OPs!). It's so relaxing to be figuring all this out when I'm not expecting 20 people at dinner the next day! :)

Hammster
06-02-2007, 09:34 AM
Thanks, Hammster. I wasn't sure that the heat would rise enough after the turk's out of the oven; I thought the room-temp surroundings would bleed it off faster.

You're not the only OP who said use 165 to 170 for the thigh temp. Here's what Butterball says:

If unstuffed, the turkey is done when the meat thermometer reaches the following temperature: 180F deep in the thigh; also, juices should be clear, not reddish pink when thigh muscle is pierced deeply [I know they're talking thigh juices, not cavity juices].

Do you think B'ball is just doing a CYA instead of saying 165, ensuring that cooks don't say, "Eh--it's 155; that's close enough to 165"? ;)

Any gravy experience to share, based on my earlier question?

I *really* appreciate your help (and the OPs!). It's so relaxing to be figuring all this out when I'm not expecting 20 people at dinner the next day! :)


I do believe Butterball's statement is a CYA statement. They don't want any lawsuits. Although 155 is dangerously low for poultry. There would definitely be uncooked parts at that temp.
I have to admit I pretty much use similar ratios for gravy. :eek: :o It's not like I'm going to put a whole ladle full on my slice or 2 of turkey. ;)

Seeing Sneezle's post, her food handling course confirms what we have been saying and CI uses very similar temps. Perhaps just a smidge higher in the thigh, but similar enough and still below the old 180 degree technique. Also I notice CI ignores the "until juices run clear" advice.

testkitchen45
06-02-2007, 09:38 AM
I have to admit I pretty much use similar ratios for gravy. :eek: :o It's not like I'm going to put a whole ladle full on my slice or 2 of turkey. ;)

You know, this whole thread tells me *why* we've needed ladlefuls on our turkeys . . . ;) ! Actually, the turkeys have all been pretty good, but admittedly I can't wait to see just how moist the breast meat can be if I haven't roasted as before!!! (My family will be so sick of turkey by Thanksgiving. We'll be doing a crown roast or ham at this rate. :D )

testkitchen45
06-02-2007, 09:42 AM
Having recently taken the food handling course for restaurant employees the rule for poultry is 165 degrees for when to remove from heat. The bird will continue to cook as it rests.

Did a quick check over at CI and didn't see anything about pink dark meat but wanted to post the roasting instructions for their recipe:

TO PREPARE THE TURKEY: Adjust oven rack to lowest position; heat oven to 400 degrees. Line large V-rack with heavy-duty foil and use paring knife or skewer to poke 20 to 30 holes in foil; set V-rack in large roasting pan. Remove turkey from refrigerator and wipe away any water collected in baking sheet; set turkey breast side up on baking sheet. Tuck wings behind back and tuck tips of drumsticks into skin at tail to secure.


8. TO ROAST THE TURKEY: Place turkey breast side down on prepared V-rack in roasting pan. Roast 45 minutes.
9. Remove roasting pan with turkey from oven (close oven door to retain oven heat). Using clean potholders (or wad of paper towels), rotate turkey breast side up. Continue to roast until thickest part of breast registers 165 degrees and thickest part of thigh registers 170 to 175 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 50 to 60 minutes longer. (Confirm temperature by inserting thermometer in both sides of bird.) Transfer turkey to carving board; let rest 30 minutes. Carve turkey and serve.
10. If roasting a 14- to 18-pound bird, increase all of the ingredients for the herb paste (except the black pepper) by 50 percent; follow the instructions for applying the paste under the skin, in the breast pockets, and in the cavity; use the remaining paste on the skin. Increase the second half of the roasting time (breast side up) to 1 hour, 15 minutes.
11. If roasting an 18- to 22-pound bird, double all of the ingredients for the herb paste except the black pepper; apply 2 tablespoons paste under the skin on each side of the turkey, 1 1/2 tablespoons paste in each breast pocket, 2 tablespoons inside the cavity, and the remaining paste on the turkey skin. Roast breast side down at 425 degrees for 1 hour, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, rotate the turkey breast side up, and continue to roast for about 2 hours. Let rest 35 to 40 minutes before carving.

Sneezles, thank you so much for sharing your expertise and these recipe notes! I really appreciate it--and again it's confirming that my 180-degree thighs (well, not personally ;) ) have really been sent to he!!. :)

Have you ever tried CI's method with a monster bird that'd be difficult to flip, such as a 26-pounder? (I'm thinking, "turkey on the kitchen tile.")

Actually, related to that, I've discovered (not the hard way--yet) that when I'm messing with a heavy bird in my 11-pound All-Clad roaster, the roaster tries to creep forward on the oven rack. :eek: I actually put a warning in my turkey recipe in MasterCook, to be aware of that, so that I don't have a loaded roaster moving forward, right off the rack & onto my feet!

sneezles
06-02-2007, 11:34 AM
I do remember flipping at 23 pound bird one Thanksgiving and found no difference in the end result so I don't do that anymore. I do prefer to soak cheesecloth in butter and olive oil and drape it over the bird then once it's nice a brown and crispy I tent with foil.

Now I'm hungry for turkey!:p

Hammster
06-02-2007, 11:37 AM
I do remember flipping at 23 pound bird one Thanksgiving and found no difference in the end result so I don't do that anymore. I do prefer to soak cheesecloth in butter and olive oil and drape it over the bird then once it's nice a brown and crispy I tent with foil.

Now I'm hungry for turkey!:p

I do the cheesecloth method also. But I make garlic butter with which to soak my cheesecloth. :D

LakeMartinGal
06-02-2007, 12:46 PM
When you said "bake at 350," did you mean "bake at 450"? I may try this sometime if I have about a 15-pound bird. I'm a little leery of doing it with a huge bird, b/c of the conventional wisdom (or maybe it's just me :o ) of a large, dense item needing longer time at a lesser temperature to cook through w/o overcooking the outside. For T'g, I usually have a monster turkey that's about 10 pounds more than you're using in this recipe. :) :o Yes, I meant 450 -- just a fat finger mistake!

I have used this method with birds of 25 or more pounds, too, and it never fails, though it takes longer (of course!) to get it done. I have an old Betty Crocker cookbook with the timetable for cooking turkeys in foil, which I could copy for you, so you'd have it too, if you like... They assume a stuffed bird, so a little less time for unstuffed.

By the way, one reason the temperature of the bird rises is that you have it covered in foil to keep the heat in.;)

testkitchen45
06-02-2007, 02:37 PM
I do the cheesecloth method also. But I make garlic butter with which to soak my cheesecloth. :D

Oohhh . . . the plot thickens. Something new to try. Do you cover the turkey for the whole cooking time w/ cheesecloth instead of using any foil? Mom and I have always covered our buttered or oiled turks with foil, & then removed the foil when the turkey's pretty done, so that the skin can brown nicely.

LakeMartinGal, thanks; I probably have the same Betty Crocker cookbook--I appreciate your offer, though. Mom's timing has always overruled the BCrocker timing, but not any more! :)

sneezles
06-02-2007, 02:59 PM
Oohhh . . . the plot thickens. Something new to try. Do you cover the turkey for the whole cooking time w/ cheesecloth instead of using any foil?


I do prefer to soak cheesecloth in butter and olive oil and drape it over the bird then once it's nice a brown and crispy I tent with foil.



Well it seems quotes don't count towards length of message...:rolleyes: though it so much easier just to quote myself!:p

Hammster
06-02-2007, 03:06 PM
Oohhh . . . the plot thickens. Something new to try. Do you cover the turkey for the whole cooking time w/ cheesecloth instead of using any foil? Mom and I have always covered our buttered or oiled turks with foil, & then removed the foil when the turkey's pretty done, so that the skin can brown nicely.

I only cover the breast with cheesecloth that has been drenched in Garlic butter. I baste the bird with the drippings from the pan about every 30 minutes to 45 minutes as I remember to do it. I don't remove the cheesecloth until the bird comes out of the oven. The breast skin crisps up and browns just fine with the cheesecloth on it. If the knobs of the drumsticks start to brown a bit too much I cover those with foil, but I generally don't have that issue using the 325 degree (low and slow) method.

testkitchen45
06-02-2007, 03:14 PM
Thanks, Sneezles. I was actually trying to get a second opinion from Hammster on the foil :) , & I know you use foil . . . am trying to be sure I know what I'm doing b/c my family will only stand so many "practice turkeys"! :D Mom's so big on using foil for awhile, that if I switch to cheesecloth, I want to be clear on what the more experienced cooks are doing. In order to change only one thing at a time, I expect to do it Mom's way but roast until the thigh reaches 165 w/ no regard to cavity-liquid color, & see how it improves my bird. That's the June turkey. :p Then I'll try the cheesecloth method also, on the next bird. You don't want to know how many turkeys I have in the freezer; my family will be begging for beef by autumn!

Hammster, why do you bother with cheesecloth if you're basting a buttered bird anyway? Does the cheesecloth reduce the basting needed? :confused: One advantage of foil (removed later so the skin browns) is that you don't have to babysit the bird & baste every 30 minutes; you can let it go for a few hours & do other cooking, & save the basting for the last stretch.

(too many questions, I know, but I don't exactly want to screw up a 16-pound bird . . .)

Hammster
06-02-2007, 04:25 PM
Hammster, why do you bother with cheesecloth if you're basting a buttered bird anyway? Does the cheesecloth reduce the basting needed? :confused: One advantage of foil (removed later so the skin browns) is that you don't have to babysit the bird & baste every 30 minutes; you can let it go for a few hours & do other cooking, & save the basting for the last stretch.

(too many questions, I know, but I don't exactly want to screw up a 16-pound bird . . .)

As I mentioned I baste as I remember to baste it. So, it's not a real regular thing. Since I'm around anyway, I go ahead and do it when I remember to. I'm not about to leave the house when a turkey is in the oven! Anyway, yes, the cheesecloth helps keep the breast moist as it is prone to dry out faster than the darker meat. (Belt and suspenders, I suppose) Foil is a good option, but I don't care for it as it promotes steaming (any water generated can't evaporate through the foil) and I don't want that going on with my turkey. DW's stepmom uses those plastic roasting bags for turkeys, blech.

Honestly, I think whatever method you employ, just remember the 165 degree measurement at the thigh (and breast if you want) and forget about 180 degrees or cavity juices and you will be quite successful.
Everything else we do, cheesecloth, foil, starting out high temp and reducing the temp, or starting out low temp and keeping it low, flipping the bird over, not flipping it, all achieve the same end result. It's just personal preference.

I suggest, whatever new methods you use, don't wait til it's time to impress the family and relatives. Master if first before trying that.

Oh, be sure the bird sits out of the fridge for awhile, (half hour?) to get close to room temp before putting it in the oven. And make sure there is no ice or frozen areas in the bird.

Ok, onto grilled turkeys and deep fried turkeys. ;) Just Kidding!!!! :D

testkitchen45
06-02-2007, 05:33 PM
I suggest, whatever new methods you use, don't wait til it's time to impress the family and relatives. Master if first before trying that. . . . Ok, onto grilled turkeys and deep fried turkeys. ;) Just Kidding!!!! :D

No, I won't wait till T'giving--I have several frozen turkeys now from last year, so I have lots of practice turkeys. Too many, in my family's view :D ; guess I'll be searching those "leftover turkey" threads all summer!

I have no interest in deep-frying a turkey. I'm too cheap to blow the bucks on peanut oil, and the whole standing-over-boiling-oil thing is too medieval for me. ;) As for grilled . . . now that you mention it, have you ever grilled a turkey? :)

(the Endless Thread continues . . .)

Hammster
06-02-2007, 05:47 PM
As for grilled . . . now that you mention it, have you ever grilled a turkey? :)

(the Endless Thread continues . . .)

ROFLMHO.....I sure have. But, let's leave that one to a new thread at another time.
My suggestion for grilling turkeys, is to get on Weber's website and download the instructions for indirect cooking and for doing turkeys on the grill. Note that they use the 180 degree doneness temp as well.

Link to Direct/Indirect cooking methods. http://www.weber.com/bbq/pub/recipe/grilling101/directindirect.aspx

Poultry Grilling guide. Includes times for indirect method for whole birds.
http://www.weber.com/bbq/pub/recipe/grilling101/guide/grilling/poultry.aspx

And a recipe. Although pretty much any recipe/technique will work.
http://www.weber.com/bbq/pub/recipe/view.aspx?c=poultry&r=273

testkitchen45
06-02-2007, 07:27 PM
But, let's leave that one to a new thread at another time.

*snort*

Thanks, Ham, & thanks for the links! I agree; I even searched the BB, and grilled-turkey threads abound. But I bet this was a first for supposedly-bloody-cavity threads. ;)

Gee, ya think I should grill the next one, since it'll be, oh I don't know, 105 degrees out? :eek:

Appreciate the wisdom and generosity of this BB so much! My turkeys (and family members) thank you also. I made a great turkey salad for dinner tonight; may post it as a hot-weather l/o recipe. Have a nice rest of the weekend, all! :)