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Thanksgiving Stuffing: In or Out? - Page 2

post #31 of 53

While I would like to see the studies that show bacterial risk to be a real problem. Considering how many years people cooked dressing inside birds, it's always struck me that this was another of the USDA/FDA over-reactions.

 

More immediately: Does anybody here know of any bonafide case of illness that can be traced to dressing cooked inside a bird?

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #32 of 53

This article doesn't specifically say that it was the stuffing, but if the turkey has salmonella, then the stuffing, by extension, does as well. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00044559.htm

 

My view is, what is the benefit of cooking it inside the turkey? To get turkey juice in it? Just make a turkey stock, as others have mentioned, and add before or during baking. If you don't like dressing to be crispy, here's a novel idea: don't take an edge piece. I just don't think cooking dressing (or stuffing) inside the bird is worth it. But like I said, I like dressing that doesn't taste like turkey.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #33 of 53

No, it doesn't say specifically that it was the stuffing. And the investigators  conclude it was probably other factors:

 

Factors probably associated with the outbreak described in this report included inadequate thawing, use of raw eggs in the stuffing, and undercooking; in addition, the browned color of the turkey may have caused the cook to believe that the turkey and stuffing were thoroughly cooked. Although the original source of the Salmonella is unknown, the raw eggs used in the stuffing probably contained SE, and these eggs probably were incompletely cooked; undercooking may occur more commonly in turkeys that contain stuffing (J. Carpenter, Ph.D., University of Georgia, personal communication, 1996).

 

So, what we see is a combination of poor food handling and preparation, combined with the presence of the SE bacterium.

 

The problem with the "don't stuff the bird" advisory is typical of the paternalistic attitude of fda/usda. Their approach is that if there is a possibility of doing something wrong, you and I probably will do it wrong, and, therefore, we have to be protected from ourselves.

 

In other words, most of us are too stupid to cook safely.

 

I grew up on turkey made with the dressing inside, and dislike it for the same reasons Koukouvagia gave. When I make it I do it separately from the bird. But I'm taking that approach for taste and textural reasons, not because I buy into the nonesense that stuffing a bird is inherently less safe.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #34 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

The problem with the "don't stuff the bird" advisory is typical of the paternalistic attitude of fda/usda. Their approach is that if there is a possibility of doing something wrong, you and I probably will do it wrong, and, therefore, we have to be protected from ourselves.

 

In other words, most of us are too stupid to cook safely.

 

I think the government basically assumes that we are too stupid to do most things. While this may be the case for some people, I have to agree that the health concerns aren't as high as they would lead you to believe. However, if I was to cook stuffing in the bird, it would have to reach 165, and why go through the trouble of trying to get both the bird and the stuffing properly cooked when they can be cooked separately with (what I think are) better results.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #35 of 53

Yes Koukouvagia, certainly it is just a question of taste.  But my point is that everyone was saying that stuffing should be cooked outside, and that makes no sense to ME, and is not what I like, and I believe the health reasons for it are due to SOME people acting stupidly.  The flavor you get from roast turkey drippings is not the same as the broth from turkey, which I also put in the stuffing.  But you have to like soft even if not goopy.  I have a big party for about 50 people at christmas (I never do thanksgiving, never liked the holiday - no tree, no eggs, no presents!) and i put out a turkey and stuffing.  It disappears completely and if i want to try some i have to elbow my way forward, so i think some people do like it. I can say honestly that I have never liked a stuffing I had that anyone else made.  So either i'm a stuffing snob or there are really different tastes out there, as anyway, we all know there are. 

"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 #36 of 53
I've been in the cook outside camp for a while. I think that loosely stuffing the bird with fresh herbs like rosemary or sage, garlic and citrus infuses more flavor into it. And I do like the toasty crispness one can get baking the "stuffing" outside the turkey. But then I drench the toasty parts with gravy that makes them soggy if you don't eat it soon enough.

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 #37 of 53

In the bird for me, always, or why bother?  Every year I do one pan outside the bird for my idiot brother and his idiot GF that won't eat onions (surprised.gif).  To me that pan is pretty bland, but of course that's partly because it has no onion!lol.gif  The egg/raw onion thing is a non-starter with me...why would you ever make stuffing without at least sweating the mirepoix?  And there's no egg in my stuffing, ever.  The base is homemade croutons, seasoned with herbs and freshly made stock.  Lastly, if you've never seen Alton Brown's method of cooking stuffing in the bird you may find it illuminating.  Check it out at Hulu.com.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #38 of 53

I can't keep quiet on such a wonderful tradition, it's our favorite family holiday, because everyone shows up for Thanksgiving, at least for our family.  I'm almost 60, and maybe out of those years only 3 or 4 were turkey-less, and 5 or 6 with out genuine stuffed turkey stuffing.  Our family has one recipe for turkey stuffing, and EVERYONE loves it, including the new members of the family through marriage, who didn't grow up eating Thanksgiving dinner with that dressing.

 

Comments:

I totally agree with KYHeirloomer on the food safety thoughts, however if I was a pro chef, serving food commercially I would rather be safe than sorry thus the stuffing would be Outtie style.  I also appreciate the KyH uses logic, and shares the logic even if that isn't the method or food the way he cooks it. 

siduri - has my kind of taste and food sensibility, plus shares these thoughts with such passion you just know the turkey and dressing will taste GREAT.

 

Yes IN, good dressing in the bird, why?  It simply makes another great dish accompaniment, provided it has good taste, texture, etc, if done right.

 

We use the roasting bags for turkey, why?  They work!  No dry over cooked turkey especially if you use meat probes.  We make the stuffing and dress the bird immediately then it goes into the oven.  So our bird and its stuffing doesn't stay in the danger zone very long.  My mom, her mom, and all the women of our family have made the dressing the night before, and no one has gotten sick in my nearly 60 years.  That doesn't mean it will not happen, it just means our small test sample covering 100 years + of turkey cooking with same stuffing recipe and maybe 300+ people eating that sinful stuffed bird and dressing never got sick.  Hell I even under cooked two turkeys 30+ years ago when first learning to do them in my Weber Kettle (didn't own a thermometer then) and still no one got sick.  Like siduri, your lucky to get seconds on stuffing at our table.   We have two turkey dinners for thanksgiving, one with the most of the relatives on turkey day, and then on Saturday of that week, we cook another turkey just for our immediate family of 5 not 6 since our son's recent marriage, while we all love our turkey, the stuffing is a star at our table.

When my wife of 33 years and I first got married I cooked the turkey/stuffing, however my wife for the last 20+ years really cooks a super turkey and the stuffing is perfect.  The key besides ingredients is the texture going in, and since we all love the stuffing, we pack  the bird cavity/neck.  You would think it would be that awful stuff everyone complains about, but it isn't.

 

For our family it isn't thanksgiving without stuffed turkey stuffing....

post #39 of 53

I agree with everything deltadude except the roasting bag.  Mayb i just had it cooked in one by someone who didn't really know how to cook and it was not cooked right, but it was like the bird was steamed.  I didn't like it.  I want moist, but not steamed.  I cook mine at the highest or near the highest (450-500) temp and tent it if it gets too browned before being finished.  It gets a great crust and the turkey is moist inside.  If the drumsticks show signs of being about to shrivel, i cover them with foil completely. 

"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 #40 of 53

I, like Siduri, always put the stuffing inside the bird. Only in the U.S. have I heard that this could be a health hazard (I don't count how many things we do daily in Europe that are pointed out as health hazards in the U.S. - and yet the other way around is true too, for example, in France I've never, ever seen anyone from my friends or family buy pre-ground meat). Also I'm not sure why you'd call "stuffing" something that cooks in muffin pans.. maybe a wink-of-an-eye to an ancient tradition?

 

In France I was taught to stuff bigger birds in order to make them cook more evenly. For the same reasons you'd truss a bird, you stuff it so it doesn't have a big empty hold in the middle, and roasts as one big whole thing.

 

Stuffing inside the bird is definitely much more flavorful than stuffing outside the bird. I mean, it'll exchange flavors with the bird, whereas the stuffing outside the bird just tastes like.. whatever you put into the stuffing, period.

 

That's easy to understand with a stuffed tomato, for example. The stuffing has baked in the tomato juices, and is moist and flavored with the tomato juices. The tomato also absorbed some of the flavor of the stuffing. Now cook them separately, and you'll have baked tomato with baked "stuffing" - and ok your stuffing will be crispy, but you won't have any of the flavor exchange that is the magic of stuffed items.

post #41 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by siduri View Post

I agree with everything deltadude except the roasting bag.  Mayb i just had it cooked in one by someone who didn't really know how to cook and it was not cooked right, but it was like the bird was steamed.  I didn't like it.  I want moist, but not steamed.  I cook mine at the highest or near the highest (450-500) temp and tent it if it gets too browned before being finished.  It gets a great crust and the turkey is moist inside.  If the drumsticks show signs of being about to shrivel, i cover them with foil completely. 


 

My wife started with the bag, and if you brush the skin with oil it will brown nicely.  Even though the directions say not to open and brown, we have done that too.  If I am cooking the turkey I don't use a bag.  The big relative Thanksgiving get together is at my sister's house, she is NOT a good cook, my Mom called me last night and asked if I would cook this year?  NO, I have a great relationship with sis and want to keep it.  We do about 4 or 5 family get together meals a year, 3 or 4 are usually BBQs and two sit down dinners, sis does the turkey day meal, I do all the rest. It will be interesting to see what happens this year for our 2nd turkey which is cooked at our house.  We just bought a new home (new to us foreclosure) and added new appliances including a gas range.  We have been cooking for the past 17 years in an electric oven.  At least with our new gas range compared to our previous electric there is a significant difference in how fast things heat up.

 

Comparing a Roasted turkey to a Oven Bag turkey, if both are cooked and seasoned properly, would there be a big difference in taste besides the skin? 

post #42 of 53

Siduri. Keep in mind that most of the things I talk about are for commercial food service only. You in your house are not inspected or governed by a local city or state health department. We are, and I prefer to listen to them and not get a citation or have them give me a hard time..EdB

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #43 of 53

The crisp skin is one of the best parts!

post #44 of 53
Thread Starter 

It seems like everytime I go for Thanksgiving at someone else's house they never ever serve the skin.  Why is that?  Should I complain?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #45 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

It seems like every time I go for Thanksgiving at someone else's house they never ever serve the skin.  Why is that?  Should I complain?



    When my family has turkey we never serve it with the skin on.  If you want to partake in a little skin you better help out with the prep work and be in the kitchen when we're carving the bird!  licklips.gif

 

  dan

post #46 of 53
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonefishin View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

It seems like every time I go for Thanksgiving at someone else's house they never ever serve the skin.  Why is that?  Should I complain?



    When my family has turkey we never serve it with the skin on.  If you want to partake in a little skin you better help out with the prep work and be in the kitchen when we're carving the bird!  licklips.gif

 

  dan


Is there a reason you don't serve it with the skin?  It better be a good reason mad.gif
 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #47 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post



 



    When my family has turkey we never serve it with the skin on.  If you want to partake in a little skin you better help out with the prep work and be in the kitchen when we're carving the bird!  licklips.gif

 

  dan


Is there a reason you don't serve it with the skin?  It better be a good reason mad.gif
 

 

   Don't tell anyone redface.gif  But we eat the skin before the bird ever hits the serving table tongue.gif
 

post #48 of 53


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

Is there a reason you don't serve it with the skin?  It better be a good reason mad.gif
 

Yeah, the reason is as "good" as it simple, turkeys do not have enough skin!

 

So, by the time I get the turkey carved, I've EATEN all the skin! talker.gif Especially when I "deep fry" the turkey.
 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
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post #49 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Buchanan View Post

Siduri. Keep in mind that most of the things I talk about are for commercial food service only. You in your house are not inspected or governed by a local city or state health department. We are, and I prefer to listen to them and not get a citation or have them give me a hard time..EdB


Yes, i was thinking that might be the case, and that is a whole 'nothter story!  I would, however, try to find some turkey skin and encase the stuffing in it!  (I REALLY don't like stuffing outside the turkey).

"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.'"
Reply
"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.'"
Reply
post #50 of 53
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonefishin View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post



 



    When my family has turkey we never serve it with the skin on.  If you want to partake in a little skin you better help out with the prep work and be in the kitchen when we're carving the bird!  licklips.gif

 

  dan


Is there a reason you don't serve it with the skin?  It better be a good reason mad.gif
 

 

   Don't tell anyone redface.gif  But we eat the skin before the bird ever hits the serving table tongue.gif
 


This is not a good reason and a major pet peeve of mine!!!  I hate it when people invite me to their house for a meal and then keep the best bits for themselves.  At my house I would rather not eat than not share.
 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #51 of 53

     Oh no eek.gif  The skin is available for all who want it...but you better get it while the turkey is being carved.  I'll save you a piecethumb.gif

 

dan

post #52 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

This is not a good reason and a major pet peeve of mine!!!  I hate it when people invite me to their house for a meal and then keep the best bits for themselves.  At my house I would rather not eat than not share.
 

Ah, but "guests" are ALWAYS informed of the "tradition" before it takes place"!

 

Actually, I do not really "eat all of the skin", just the really good parts laser.giflike the "pope's nose", the crunchy wing tips, and, when I can get away with it, the "oysters". Saves "fights" in the dining room...

 


 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #53 of 53
I love the pope's ( or parson's ) nose. I consider it a reward for the efforts of the cook.

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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