View Full Version : dumb question: are you supposed to turn the turkey over?

11-17-2001, 10:20 AM
i'm making Tg for the 1st time this year. it will also be my 1st time making a turkey. i picked out a recipe (orange-sage roasted turkey from CL dec '00) and it says to bake a 15lb turkey at 325 for about 3 hours (i don't remember exactly right this second).

my mom, who usually makes TG, is trying to help me w/ some advice...she said to ignore the recipe and bake at 350 instead, turning the turkey over mid-way. i asked why, since i haven't seen a single recipe that calls for turning over a turkey. she said this way it will brown on both sides.

what do you think? should i attempt to do this?


marisa :)

11-17-2001, 10:30 AM
I just recently heard this from a friend that they had always turned the turkey but I have never turned one (in fact, I think attempting such a feat with a 22 lb bird is just asking for trouble). I have made a turkey dinner for the past 22 years and never once turned a bird.

11-17-2001, 03:47 PM
I just made my first turkey today and it was an 11 pounder-I turned it with about 45 minutes left in the cooking time. This allows the breast meat to stay moist. (dh: and it was good!)
If you are roasting a larger bird you can leave it breast side up the whole time if you cover the breast section with foil. Happy Thanksgiving.

11-17-2001, 05:03 PM
mine is about 11.5 lbs. maybe i will try to turn it. now there's one vote for turning, and one for 'it doesn't matter'. anyone else have an opinion?


marisa :)

Shirley Panek
11-17-2001, 07:08 PM
I usually turn my turkey. I think I start it breast side down, and it's usually at a higher temperature (425 (?) - don't have the recipe near me as I'm currently in Australia), but then I turn it over and turn the temperature down.

One word of advice, however, make sure you get turkey forks! I don't have any, and it's pretty difficult trying to turn a bird over (mine are usually 12-16 pounds) with a carving fork and dinner fork! LOL! This year I'm getting those forks, so hopefully I won't have as much of a problem.

Good luck with your Thanksgiving!


11-18-2001, 12:29 AM

I'm for Roasting the Turkey Breast Side Down. I've done it this way for years, when I'm roasting a Turkey on the Grill, The Turkey comes out with the most tender and juicy white meat that way.

I use a Weber Roast Rack to hold the Turkey with the Breast Down because it stays where I put it that way. The Roast Rack can fit inside a regular roaster to roast it in the oven that way too, and it works just as well in the oven as it does in the Weber.

Whether you turn it mid-way or after you're done roasting, you need to use Turkey Lifting Forks, (which are available in most kitchen shops for just a few bucks,) to make the job of turning the Turkey a little bit easier.

I agree a turkey on the table with a nice Browning of the Breast sure looks nice, but if you carve it in the kitchen and set platters of Turkey meat out on the Tables it really doesn't matter what it looks like, as long as the Breast meat is as juicy as it can be.

Recently I was at a Turkey Dinner where every table had its own Roasted Turkey, they were beautiful, nice and browned, and I had the honor of Carving for our table. The Meat was nice and tender and just right, they may have turned it during the cooking process.

That Turkey Dinner reminded me of my time at Military School, when at the Holidays there was a Roasted Suckling Pig prepared for each table. The Upper Classmen would do the Carving there and that roast pork was wonderful.


11-18-2001, 08:54 AM
I have never turned a turkey during roasting. I roast a big bird, 24 lbs., and there is no way I could turn it. My mom never did either. What if it sticks or the stuffing starts falling out? Whaat a mess! Vicky

11-18-2001, 10:40 AM
LOL -- Nor would I want a hot 20+ lb anything on my foot, which is where it would likely land with my luck!

My mom never turned the bird, and I have carried on the tradition on no-turning. I roast in the oven and on the grill, and I have done 9lbs up to 24 lbs the same way. I heat the oven (or grill) to about 400 and turn it down to the roasting temp as I put the bird in. That seals the juice in and makes a very moist turkey, but it may make less gravy than you are used to. I always throw half the gravy away, so that's okay in this house.

BTW, I would be somewhat concerned that using the turkey forks and puncturing the bird mid-roasting would let out a lot of juice and may defeat the purpose.

11-18-2001, 11:06 AM
I always make my turkey in a v shape roasting holder and I do spray with Pam first. I just asked mom to remind me if we turn it she says yes. 325 breast down then loosely cover with foil, baste and I definitelly need a big guy like Dh to turn the bird (DH always gets this big turkeys) and he turns it toward the last hr or so. Yes you do get then in the breast a fine indentation line but the bird is golden all over. My brother makes his bird at 350 but mom taught me 325 so thats how I do it. Maybe thats why it stays juicy. Also I don't close the bird openings with thise gadgets they sell I actually use thread and needle....DH always says its like I am doing cosmetic surgery on the bird :)