Author Topic: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?  (Read 13833 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #180 on: November 30, 2013, 02:52:40 PM »
I bought a leave-in probe thermometer for this year, and I wasn't happy with it on the turkey!

It beeped a 170d in the thigh (I'm pretty sure it wasn't right next to the bone), but the juices were a little pink.

I tested the breast with it, and got a too-low reading.

So I got out the instant-read thermometer, and *it* said 164, which would have been perfect. But the probe one just would NOT read that high, and the temps of each subsequent reading were dropping, and the juice was pink, so I stuck it back in the oven.

I think it was probably fine at the first beeping, but it didn't get too dried out--everyone commented how moist it was (though I think it could have been moister).

Dindrane

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #181 on: November 30, 2013, 09:00:35 PM »
I've had a great deal of success with probe thermometers...while they lasted. We destroyed our first one when my husband overheated a pan of oil (it burst into flames, he sprayed down everything with a fire extinguisher, and we were cleaning that stuff up for weeks). The second one worked great until the wire of the probe got burned by touching the oven's heating element. The third we bought at IKEA, and it never worked so we threw it away.

We also kind of had the opposite problem with our turkey this year. The juices were all running clear when the temperature was way too low to be done (like 130). It wasn't until we went to carve it that we saw pink meat and pink juices.

Every year at Thanksgiving, I tell myself we need to roast more chickens, just to gain some confidence with roasting whole poultry. It's a good idea, since it seems to be as much an art as a science, but we don't always do it. :)


TootsNYC

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #182 on: November 30, 2013, 09:31:53 PM »
Having just roasted somewhat-small chickens as practice during the run-up, I'm not sure that it's as useful as one might expect. Maybe roasting big chickens would be more analagous.

I wish I'd trusted the first probe alarm.

sparksals

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #183 on: November 30, 2013, 10:49:47 PM »
Having just roasted somewhat-small chickens as practice during the run-up, I'm not sure that it's as useful as one might expect. Maybe roasting big chickens would be more analagous.

I wish I'd trusted the first probe alarm.

I learned the hard way...I questioned the probe with a big prime rib.....always trust the probe.   Lol. You need a good quality digital instant read.  Oxo has a good one  where the probe slides inside and the cord wraps around. Polder is another good brand.   

That is what I tried to explain earlier in the thread about chicken vs Turkey.  It is hard to do a test run on a bird that is considerably smaller than a turkey.  The internal temp is the same when done, but the time to get there us completely different.

Dazi

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #184 on: December 01, 2013, 07:47:39 AM »
I'm sort of having trouble seeing how it seems a lot of people have such problems with cooking turkey.  The cooking time for poultry is 20 minutes per pound at 350 F regardless if it's chicken turkey, duck, or goose.  So a 20 lbs bird would take about 6 hrs and 40 ish minutes, 15 lbs bird would take 5 hours, a 6 lbs one takes about 2 hrs, a 3 lbs one about an hour.  If your not sure of the time, the easiest method I've found is to take the poundage and divide by 3, this gives you the hours easily.

You just have to make sure that 1. the bird is completely thawed before you prep it the way you want without over stuffing it, then it goes in the oven, 2. that you cover it up and leave it the heck alone (repeatedly checking on it lowers the temp of the oven and the bird), 3. about 10-30 minutes before the time is up (depending on the size) uncover, give a quick baste or I like to rub a stick of butter over it quickly, 4. pop it back in the oven for the remainder of the time, 5. take out, cover it back up and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, 6. you're ready to carve.

I rarely use a meat probe. I can usually tell if it's done just by looking at it/smell or I pop a very small hole in the bottom of the thigh skin, if it is still even slightly pink, it goes back in the over for 20 more minutes.  I've never had dry turkey, but if you do end up with some that is drier than you like just arrange the meat on a plate, spoon some of the juices on/or warmed up chicken broth, and let it sit for a couple minutes.

« Last Edit: December 01, 2013, 07:50:28 AM by Dazi »
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jaxsue

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #185 on: December 01, 2013, 11:13:50 AM »
I can cook a turkey in my sleep (my best advice: loosely drape tin foil over the breast so it doesn't dry out, until the last 1/2 hour or so). But, I did have to test a recipe this year. Since Chanukah began this week, my Thanksgiving host asked if I would make latkes - a variation on the normal recipe, with sweet potatoes and turnips rather than regular potatoes. Since I didn't grow up with Jewish food, I was new at this. I did a test run a few weeks before Thanksgiving, and I'm proud to say they turned out well, and I got great reviews at the Thanksgiving dinner.  8)

Hmmmmm

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #186 on: December 01, 2013, 11:57:19 AM »
I'm sort of having trouble seeing how it seems a lot of people have such problems with cooking turkey.  The cooking time for poultry is 20 minutes per pound at 350 F regardless if it's chicken turkey, duck, or goose.  So a 20 lbs bird would take about 6 hrs and 40 ish minutes, 15 lbs bird would take 5 hours, a 6 lbs one takes about 2 hrs, a 3 lbs one about an hour.  If your not sure of the time, the easiest method I've found is to take the poundage and divide by 3, this gives you the hours easily.

You just have to make sure that 1. the bird is completely thawed before you prep it the way you want without over stuffing it, then it goes in the oven, 2. that you cover it up and leave it the heck alone (repeatedly checking on it lowers the temp of the oven and the bird), 3. about 10-30 minutes before the time is up (depending on the size) uncover, give a quick baste or I like to rub a stick of butter over it quickly, 4. pop it back in the oven for the remainder of the time, 5. take out, cover it back up and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, 6. you're ready to carve.

I rarely use a meat probe. I can usually tell if it's done just by looking at it/smell or I pop a very small hole in the bottom of the thigh skin, if it is still even slightly pink, it goes back in the over for 20 more minutes.  I've never had dry turkey, but if you do end up with some that is drier than you like just arrange the meat on a plate, spoon some of the juices on/or warmed up chicken broth, and let it sit for a couple minutes.

Dazi, I can't imagine cooking a 18 lb bird for 5 hrs at 350. How is it not completely dried out? The breast must be way over 165 degrees. Even the government food safety charts say an 18 -20 lb bird at 325 should be 4.25 to 4.75 hrs if stuffed.

sparksals

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #187 on: December 01, 2013, 02:44:15 PM »
I'm sort of having trouble seeing how it seems a lot of people have such problems with cooking turkey.  The cooking time for poultry is 20 minutes per pound at 350 F regardless if it's chicken turkey, duck, or goose.  So a 20 lbs bird would take about 6 hrs and 40 ish minutes, 15 lbs bird would take 5 hours, a 6 lbs one takes about 2 hrs, a 3 lbs one about an hour.  If your not sure of the time, the easiest method I've found is to take the poundage and divide by 3, this gives you the hours easily.

You just have to make sure that 1. the bird is completely thawed before you prep it the way you want without over stuffing it, then it goes in the oven, 2. that you cover it up and leave it the heck alone (repeatedly checking on it lowers the temp of the oven and the bird), 3. about 10-30 minutes before the time is up (depending on the size) uncover, give a quick baste or I like to rub a stick of butter over it quickly, 4. pop it back in the oven for the remainder of the time, 5. take out, cover it back up and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, 6. you're ready to carve.

I rarely use a meat probe. I can usually tell if it's done just by looking at it/smell or I pop a very small hole in the bottom of the thigh skin, if it is still even slightly pink, it goes back in the over for 20 more minutes.  I've never had dry turkey, but if you do end up with some that is drier than you like just arrange the meat on a plate, spoon some of the juices on/or warmed up chicken broth, and let it sit for a couple minutes.


I think turkey can be very intimidating, especially to someone who hasn't made one before.  Add to that the importance of the holiday.  I get a bit stressed doing TG just b/c I don't ever want to undercook it!  It is so big that it is easy to miss a few spots that might be underdone.


I always use a probe.  Ovens vary.  I do mine at 325 and a 20 pound bird takes about 4 huors b/c I have a convection oven.  This past US TG, I did the bird in the smoker and a 13 lb bird took over 5 hours! 


While there are guidelines, I don't think that it is hard and fast for everyone b/c ovens do vary alot!


Lynnv

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #188 on: December 01, 2013, 02:47:51 PM »
I'm sort of having trouble seeing how it seems a lot of people have such problems with cooking turkey.  The cooking time for poultry is 20 minutes per pound at 350 F regardless if it's chicken turkey, duck, or goose.  So a 20 lbs bird would take about 6 hrs and 40 ish minutes, 15 lbs bird would take 5 hours, a 6 lbs one takes about 2 hrs, a 3 lbs one about an hour.  If your not sure of the time, the easiest method I've found is to take the poundage and divide by 3, this gives you the hours easily.

You just have to make sure that 1. the bird is completely thawed before you prep it the way you want without over stuffing it, then it goes in the oven, 2. that you cover it up and leave it the heck alone (repeatedly checking on it lowers the temp of the oven and the bird), 3. about 10-30 minutes before the time is up (depending on the size) uncover, give a quick baste or I like to rub a stick of butter over it quickly, 4. pop it back in the oven for the remainder of the time, 5. take out, cover it back up and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, 6. you're ready to carve.

I rarely use a meat probe. I can usually tell if it's done just by looking at it/smell or I pop a very small hole in the bottom of the thigh skin, if it is still even slightly pink, it goes back in the over for 20 more minutes.  I've never had dry turkey, but if you do end up with some that is drier than you like just arrange the meat on a plate, spoon some of the juices on/or warmed up chicken broth, and let it sit for a couple minutes.

Dazi, I can't imagine cooking a 18 lb bird for 5 hrs at 350. How is it not completely dried out? The breast must be way over 165 degrees. Even the government food safety charts say an 18 -20 lb bird at 325 should be 4.25 to 4.75 hrs if stuffed.

I have cooked 20+ pound birds (using a probe to ensure that it is fully done).   It has never taken anywhere near 7 hours to cook.   It has been a while since I did a huge one, but I seem to recall something more like 4 hours, unstuffed.  And that was before I had the convection oven.    6 hrs and 40 min would have been way, way overdone.   

 
Lynn

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jpcher

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #189 on: December 01, 2013, 03:23:59 PM »
Toots -- I am very happy for you that your dinner turned out so well! I give you an A+ for effort and especially for doing your homework and practice ahead of time. I'm sure your guests were well pleased. ;D

I'm hoping that you found this experience to be an enjoyable one rather than "I'm never doing that again!" Hosting an event like this can be daunting, but you persevered and succeeded. Major kudos to you!



That being said, are you ready to do it again next year? ;D

Venus193

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #190 on: December 01, 2013, 03:46:17 PM »
I've never bought or received a turkey that didn't come with instructions and now that we have the internet, there is nothing to worry about.

Unless you really hate to cook in which case why would you be hosting TG?

jpcher

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #191 on: December 01, 2013, 05:22:01 PM »
I've never bought or received a turkey that didn't come with instructions and now that we have the internet, there is nothing to worry about.

Unless you really hate to cook in which case why would you be hosting TG?

LOL! Now that we have the internet there is sooooo much more to worry about! ;D

Because everybody out there says that their recipe/method is the best! It's fail-proof! You gotta do it THIS way!


It's been many years since I've roasted a turkey (SIL has taken over Tgiving day dinner :'() and I used to use a cheese cloth over the breast part and baste every 30-40 minutes or so to keep in the moisture. I've also done turkey on the webber grill (Major Yum! but there is a technique to this) SIL does her turkey in a counter-top roaster oven which is always tender and juicy but the skin doesn't brown.

Other posters mentioned brining and then there's always the deep frier method . . .

So, even though the turkey comes with instructions there are so many other options out there on the internet which can easily cause confusion for the first-time turkey cooker. As was seen in this thread. What is the best method?

Venus193

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #192 on: December 01, 2013, 08:15:16 PM »
For me it was in the oven, tented until the last 30 minutes, with bacon on the top.

PastryGoddess

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #193 on: December 01, 2013, 09:01:31 PM »
bacon makes everything better.

TootsNYC

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Re: How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?
« Reply #194 on: December 01, 2013, 09:27:39 PM »
I've never bought or received a turkey that didn't come with instructions and now that we have the internet, there is nothing to worry about.

Unless you really hate to cook in which case why would you be hosting TG?

LOL! Now that we have the internet there is sooooo much more to worry about! ;D

Because everybody out there says that their recipe/method is the best! It's fail-proof! You gotta do it THIS way!

Yep, that was my problem last year!