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Well, that was odd

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
We had our big Christmas dinner this evening, basically a rehash of Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving turkey turned out great, today's had some trouble.

I started the bird at 500F, the cavity lightly stuffed with some oranges, a lemon, garlic cloves, sage and, wait a minute, I didn't put the rosemary in. No big deal. After 30 minutes I took the bird out, turned the oven down to 350 and inserted the temp probe, covered the breast with foil to keep it from getting too brown. A couple - maybe three hours later the probe was saying the bird had already hit 160. Neat, I thought, that 500 degree start cut down on the cooking time. I pulled it out, covered it and let it rest, went about finishing up the rest.

Went to carve the turkey, starting with cutting off a leg quarter. It was RAW under there. I don't mean just a little bit rare. Anyway, I removed the leg quarters and one side of the breast, stuck them back in the oven for about an hour while we ate everything else. Folks loved the stuffing with the maple and sage sausage, thought the yellow corn kernels with the red and green bell pepper looked festive and was quite tasty. Eventuall enough of the turkey was cooked to the point where it could be eaten. Tasted great.

And a couple other things. The rolls I did took quite a bit longer than I thought to bake to a good color, and they turned out a little oddly textured. And at one point I put a frozen pumpkin pie ( we made a pecan from scrath the night before, got lazy with the pumpkin ) in the oven. It should have been done in an hour and 15 minutes or so. A little over two hours later it looked about ready.

The turkey I thought was just a case of a badly placed probe, but the pie and the rolls have me thinking I need to do some serious checking on what the oven says it is doing and what is actually happening in there.

In spite of the problems, no one left hungry, they all enjoyed the food, when it finally did arrive in front of them. That part was good.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #2 of 14
Sounds like oven needs to be calibrated. And you did not mention raw weight of the bird.
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #3 of 14
Seems like you overworked your oven to the point of wrecking its health. You're an insenstive brute. I'm calling the SPCO.

BDL
post #4 of 14
I've often had this problem on christmas day. I have a gas oven and xmas is when everyone is cooking in our building (and in the city) and i think the oven never really gets up to the right temperature. Same for the burners on top- to boil the water in the big pot for the ravioli it would normally take ten, fifteen minutes, but on xmas it can take over half hour. There is just not that much gas pressure available for every family to be cooking so much.
Not sure if this is your problem teamfat - maybe not - also you used a meat thermometer which said it was done. But then again, i've never been able to figure out meat thermometers, i never get the probe in the right point, not ever ever ever, and i';ve stopped relying on them. I wiggle the joints, i pierce various places, test the temp of the knife, look at the juices, turn the bird so the juice inside the cavity runs out and look at the color. But for sure on christmas there is not enough gas to go around.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #5 of 14
Hi TeamFat :),

What oven do you have? Like you say, you may want to verify that it's getting up to temperature and that it's holding that temp. I didn't see you mention if it is gas or electric. Try it out again and let us know how it does.

Another thing that could help keep your recovery times low is keeping one of the large square baking stones in the bottom. You may already have one of these in your oven...but I just thought I'd mention it.

take care,
dan
post #6 of 14
It does sound as if the thermostat is not functioning as it should...not bringing oven to desired temp. I had an opposite experience about 10 years ago. Just before Thanksgiving, I made batter for 2 banana breads. They burnt to a crisp, nearly catching fire in the oven. Bad thermostat. The stove wasn't very old, so I called the company about the warrantee. They told me the warrantee was for only one year on everything except...get this...the knobs, which are guaranteed for life! I said "you're joking, right?". No, she was serious. We replaced the thermostat and it's been fine ever since...but come on...a lifetime warrantee on the knobs? :lol:
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #7 of 14
Teamfat - glad it worked out alright in the end. All of the above about the oven. Question: how often did you open the door? But yeah mainly I'd be looking at having the oven checked out.

We did a couple of chooks for Christmas, and I always put the meat thermometer in the thigh. It got to temp in about the right time, but I thought I'd double check the breast and it was 30 deg lower. Cooked it longer after foiling the thighs, foil shiny side out. Once the breasts got to temp, the birds were done and tasty.

They were fresh and I had them out for a short while to warm a bit before cooking. Just thought of another thing - fridges get overloaded at this time. Did you lower the temp in the fridge (I do cuz it gets opened and closed a lot) and have one side of the turkey closest to the back? It may have ended up more chilled along that side. Actually I think I had my birds breast side pointing to the back of the fridge...

Anyhow, glad it was a good day, even with those probs :)
 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 #8 of 14
If your oven thermostat usually works ok, and if you use it after christmas and it works ok, then it was something else.
Do you have a gas or electric oven???

But none of this explains why your meat thermometer registered that it was cooked. An oven can not work well, but it seems the thermometer was off too.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #9 of 14
Sounds like the meat thermometer was in a bad spot.
post #10 of 14
Well its kinda odd if you cook with a defective stove or apparatus. But good thing that they able to eat and I think your thermo has a problem as they all mentioned.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
They are all gone now, back to their homes, no more holiday festivities. It was nice to have family and friends in the house over the last week. A lot of effort, but it was good, honest effort from the heart that brought a little happiness into the world for a short while. That's the bottom line.

Enough sentimetality. A fairly quick test showed that my not so old Hotpoint gas stove is showing 350F on the control display, but the oven temps are actually 50 - 75 degrees less than that. I used a digital thermometer stuck through a carrot to check the temps. It isn't a real oven thermometer, so it can't deal with 400F + but it was enough to point out problems. Might be time for a new thermocouple or whatever sensor this oven uses as part of the control circuit..

As far as that honking big 19 pound turkey is concerned I should have listened to my instincts about 4.5 hours not being enough time, even with the "500" degree start. The probe was certainly in a bad location.

Oh well.


mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #12 of 14
Hi TeamFat,

Is your oven consistently off, or does it fluctuate?

With a gas oven you're going to have some fluctuations. If you want to minimize these fluctuations you can get the rectangle baking stone and leave it in the bottom. But if you're oven is consistently off by 50-75f degrees you can try adjusting the oven thermostat, most ovens you can do this yourself.

If you're oven fluctuates up/down/up/down then you may have another problem. Get yourself an oven thermometer, set it on the rack and see just what/where your problem is. Some of the websites like ApplianceGuru or Fixya can be helpful if your problem is larger than a thermostat adjustment.




Your gas oven may be similar to this Hotpoint, when adjusting the thermostat.


good luck!
dan
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the instructions on resetting the oven, worked like a charm. We'll see how the next few oven-based meals turn out. Still dealing with leftovers, but a fresh batch of gravy is in order for dinner tonight.

My lovely bride and I are planning to just stay home this New Year's Eve, we had our fill of festivities while the family was in town.

Good luck to you and yours in the coming year.



mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
By the way for those of you who suggested keeping a baking stone in the oven, I do store a 12" cast iron skillet on the oven floor. It keeps on - off - on fluctuations to a minimum. For the Christmas dinner, however, it was being used as a skillet on the stovetop, not a thermal buffer in the oven.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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