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Thread: Help! What does a raw turkey smell like?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN USA
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    244

    Help! What does a raw turkey smell like?

    This year I'm trying out brining my turkey, so I had it in the fridge to thaw starting on Saturday. When I went to put it in the brine this morning, it was totally thawed-- and usually when I am prepping a turkey on Thanksgiving morning, there's usually ice around the cavity and so I never wonder if it is "good" or not.

    So, I'm not sure what a raw turkey is supposed to smell like? This one has a little smell, a raw smell, and now I'm wondering... could it be bad? I did let it sit out a bit on the counter, maybe 2-3 hours yesterday because usually turkeys thaw so slowly for me. But is could be that I just don't know what raw poultry smells like.

    And is the brining kind of preserving it too? I'm using a very basic brine of 1 c salt to 1 gallon of water.

    Of course, DH is ALWAYS accusing me of thinking everything has gone bad, and I know I tend to be a bit paranoid.

    So if anyone can describe a raw-turkey smell to me (I know, I know, an impossibly weird question)... go at it!

    TTIA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    NC
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    2,357
    You may not know what raw poultry smells like, but I am SURE you would recognize the odor of spoiled poultry. That smells really foul. (No pun intended )

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    IL
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    12,505
    Originally posted by Goin' Coastal
    I am SURE you would recognize the odor of spoiled poultry. That smells really foul. (No pun intended )

    LOL

    As long as you cook it to the right temp, you should be fine anyway.

    I found this link which answers turkey questions.
    http://www.rce.rutgers.edu/pubs/pdfs/e234.pdf

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    I thought the same thing last year! I pulled the turkey out to brine, and I thought it smelled a little off, but proceeded anyway, because I honestly didn't have much of a choice. My turkey was wonderful- and no one got sick. My guess is that you will be just fine. I agree that a rotten turkey will most likely be extremely obvious.
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  5. #5
    This is completely unscientific but "a little funky" is pretty normal for a defrosted bird.

    Believe me, if it was spoiled you'd have no question! Ditto advice on cooking to full temperature for all meats.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Ontario
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    2,198
    I find brine has a "funny" smell. Maybe it's the brine you smell.

  7. #7
    SLFlyt Guest
    I remember my first Thanksgiving I bought home a turkey and when I unwrapped it it stunk to high heaven. My mother was there to show me how to clean and stuff a turkey and we had such a fit of laughing over this ROTTEN turkey we almost peed ourselves. Needless to say, a bad turkey is very obvious. We took it back to the butcher - Mom wanted to tie it to the bumper it stunk so bad.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN USA
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    244
    Thanks, everyone! I feel better now. It wasn't noticeably "foul" (heh!) but just a bit funky. So I'm going to cook it well, and I'm looking forward to seeing what this brining craze is all about!

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

  9. #9
    You never told us if your turkey ended up okay??

  10. #10
    I think it does have a bit of an "off smell" sometimes. I get chicken at Whole Foods and know what you mean. I used to worry that is was "bad". But I think you really really smell a foul oder when it is.
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  11. #11
    I agree. Most defrosted turkeys have a little smell. On the opposite end, last year in December we defrosted a turkey and the whole refrigerator started to smell as soon as it started to thaw. It got so bad it brought tears to my eyes and I had to take it outside to throw it away immediately, then clean the whole refrigerator out. So, if it was that bad, you would definitely know it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    San Francisco
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    19,680
    This thread is six years old. I have no idea why it's being bumped up now - though I could guess.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN USA
    Posts
    244

    The Turkey Was Great!

    Okay, very strange. I went to read this post and thought "wow, this person is a little paranoid but I can kind of relate to some of the things she's saying. My husband thinks I'm paranoid too..."

    Um, that's when I realized I'd written the post! Long ago!

    Very strange to read your own writing and not realize that it was. Anyway, I remember the turkey being great and being impressed with the flavor and texture. But I didn't brine this year and the turkey was great too.

    Thanks for the blast from the past...

  14. #14

    turkey smells like spray paint

    Hi. I found this link when googling around trying to find my answer. I tried to start a new thread but it wouldn't let me. Anyway, I just unwrapped a thawed 21 pound Butterball and noticed the tiny hole in the wrapper matched up with the middle of a 6 inch diameter yellowish spot on the turkey's back. I rubbed the spot fairly firm under the running water and the skin and fat all came off in that area fairly easily. I smelled it to see if it smelled rotten, but it smelled more like a chemical smell or kind of like fresh spray paint. I smelled the opposite side of the turkey and it had some of that smell, but not nearly as strong. Is this kind of what Butterballs smell like or should I just throw it away? Any thoughts? I was going to start cooking it in about 8 hours. Thanks for any help.

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