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How do you roast a turkey?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Best way to roast a turkey?
post #2 of 13
We'll need a little information first.
  • Do you plan to roast a whole turkey or parts?
  • Are you going to use an oven, a grill or smoker?
  • How many people are you planning to feed?
You'll get good answers here, some of which have been posted in earlier threads on this topic. Try using the search tool here to find them; I suggest typing in "roast turkey" in the search box.

Brining (marinating in a salt/sugar solution sometimes with other flavorings) for 4-24 hours seems to be a favorite. "Brining" can also be a search term.

Using a thermometer while roasting is also popular. Try to get one of those electronic ones with a probe that goes into the flesh and is attached to the timer/thermometer that you leave outside the oven.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

More info....

I'll be cooking for 5 people. Probably a whole turkey, although I don't know if I'll really "need " one. It's nice to have leftovers though.

Using an oven.

I'll check out the other posts too! :roll:
post #4 of 13
The Good Eats recipe on Food Network is a great basic recipe that covers brining and roasting. I like to mix it with a recommendation I got from a cooking mag that recommended brining two nights before & than removing from the brine the night before & storing in the fridge. It dried out the skin & gave the crispiest skin I've ever had out side of pecking duck.

Jim
post #5 of 13
Gotta be honest -I don't often cook turkey, but the best result I've had (cheat's method!!) was getting it to room temp, coating in seasoned flour (added powdered cup-a-soup cream of chicken to the flour!!), cut an apple and a lemon in half, stuffed it in the cavity. Put it in a baking/roasting bag in moderate oven until done.

Result was great! Moist, golden, flavoursome, enough juice in the bag to make gravy.

I will note I made it this way - reluctantly (I would never cook a bird like this normally) - on recommendation from a friend who farms turkeys, and this was her idea. I was pleasantly surprised with the results.

We took the turkey thru from walking and squawking to golden brown - it was an education in itself.

DC
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #6 of 13
My mother-in-law always roasts turkeys in an oven bag. And it's a respectable turkey. I prefer mine, but I won't turn my nose up at hers.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #7 of 13
It seems like we had a long thread last year with many tips and techniques in it. Have you searched the forums?
I'm back and I apoligize.
I just did a fast search, we were obsessed with brining and injecting last year, then talked ovens. It may not be very helpful for your first year.
post #8 of 13
The way I do it is really simple. I thaw the turkey and then stuff it with loads of salted butter. I massage it in under the skin, rub it all over outside, and then salt and pepper it. Then I put it in a large roaster breast side down. I cook it according to the package directions (including the time per pound). When it's about halfway through the cooking time, I flip it breast side up so they can brown. That's it! Sorry, I can't remember temps and time per pound. I only roast a turkey once or twice a year.

I saw Martha Stewart do it this way about 11 or 12 years ago and have been doing it ever since. It's alway moist and turns out beautiful.
post #9 of 13
Like Allie i believe in copious amounts of salted butter. There the similarity ends. I would never buy a frozen turkey. I know it costs more, but it's special... Order from your butcher in plenty of time. I then fill the cavity with 2 halved garlic bulbs, a halved lemon, a sprig of fresh thyme and lemon balm if i can get it, an onion and a tbsp of bruised peppercorns and a couple of tbsps of maldon salt. i place 6 slices of thick cut pancetta over the breast meat
2 cups of water go into the roasting tin along with a halved onion that you've browned really well cut side down in a frying pan and a large sprig of fresh thyme and slap it in at hottest heat for 20 mins (I use gas and cant caculate Degrees f & C)Down to gas 5 for 1/2 the cooking time, then take off the pancetta & throw it into the roasting pan.
Turn the bird upside down for the last 1/2 cooking time so the juices run back into the breast.
Btw i cant state cooking times... your bird, you suss it out.
Once it's done it's time, pour off the juices and cover upright tightly in foil for at least 45mins before carving.
Make gravy while you munch on the pancetta, onion and garlic bruchettta. Chefs perks:)
You dont get a crispy skin this way, but you do get a succulent, tasty bird.


I do enjoy the whole Christmas, festive food thing, but i thank goodness on thanksgiving day that we only do the catering thing once a year in Scotland

Slainte
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #10 of 13
Several years ago I started de-boning the bird (Not to do the Chicken/Duck/Turkey recipe tho) and stuffing it that way. Fresh is always prefered and usually about a 20lb'er.

Stuffing is a mixture of wild mushrooms, sage sausage, chestnuts, fresh herbs and cornbread. I typically make a compond butter (unsalted) of parsley, garlic, s&p and force it under the skin on almost the entire bird. Then I place the bird in a roasting rack in a pan, add a couple cups of water diluted with stock that is usually simmering on the stove, cover with cheese cloth and begin the 6 hour process of roasting. Only high heat at the beginning an the end of the process. First to shock the bird and last to brown the skin. Basting happens frequently throughout the day and I haven't had a dry or under/over cooked bird ever!:look:

This is making me look forward to November since this year we'll not be in a hothell nor have to rely on Cracker Barrel for dinner. :blush:;):D
post #11 of 13
A few years ago I started hating this last minute rush in the kitchen to cut the bird, make the gravy, finish the vegetables, especially after a few glasses of wine. And the kitchen would have the last minute, huge pans left dirty and waiting till after dinner in the rush to get every thing hot to the table.

So, I started roasting my bird very early in the day. I let it cool a long time, so the juices are very set in the bird. Then I carve and place it attractively on the platter, stage the drippings for making the gravy later and clean up the huge roasting pan. When it's time for dinner I finish the vegetables, make the gravy and gently heat my turkey in the microwave.

You are never waiting on the turkey to get done, dinner happens as scheduled, and the house still smells of turkey when your guests arrive.

It makes the day so sane for me, a little more relaxing, and the turkey is very moist as it cooled with out loosing it's moisture. And afterall, how many times is somebody saying, "We need to warm up the turkey, it's too cool," and then you must warm it up anyhow?
post #12 of 13
Over the last few years, I've written out a schedule for Thanksgiving cooking that has made the whole affair much easier and less hectic. There are a couple of crunch times, but nothing extreme.

Desserts tend to get made the day before. The stuffing is prepped the day before and ready for cooking. Just have to slip it into the oven.

One thing I did last year made a big difference. I cooked a medium turkey a couple of weeks before hand. My wife is a turkeyholic as bad as the father in Christmas Story so she loves having an extra turkey. But I then have plenty of good turkey stock on hand for cooking at Thanksgiving (I freeze it of course). This helps with the gravy, the mashed potatoes, the stuffing and with the turkey itself for good flavorful liquid in the roasting pan with the mirepoix.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #13 of 13
I guess I would call myself a trdationalist. I havent tinkered much with a turkey but.

I like to roast my birds on the grill. I love my weber attachment.

but for regualr roasting.

I like to pop the bird up on a rack and have a nice mirepoix mixed with other veggies in the pan (awseome later for the gravy) , I make a nice compound butter and throw that under the skin and roast it covered with some foil for about 1/2 way then uncover to let the skin get nice and crisp.
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