How long do you roast a turkey?
The National Turkey Federation recommends roasting a turkey in a 325 degrees F. oven until a meat thermometer indicates the internal temperature registers 180 degrees F. in the thigh and 165 degrees F to 170 degrees F in the breast. Pop-up timers are helpful as a preliminary step in judging the correct temperature, but a meat thermometer is the best final authority to determine doneness. Click here for more information:
What is the difference between a fresh or frozen turkey?
There is no quality difference between a fresh or frozen turkey. Frozen turkeys are flash frozen immediately after packaging to 0 degrees F or below and held at that temperature until purchased. Once defrosted, the meat is virtually as fresh as the day it was processed. A frozen turkey may offer a real grocery value as the bird can be purchased when supermarket sales provide extraordinary offers and coupons.
Fresh turkeys are chilled after packaging and have shorter shelf lives. Because they are perishable and require special handling and merchandising, fresh turkeys are slightly more expensive than frozen turkeys. Fresh turkeys provide convenience because they do not require thawing.
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Where should the food thermometer be placed on the turkey?
Insert the food thermometer 2-1/2 inches in the deepest portion of the turkey breast or into the inner thigh near the breast. Make sure the thermometer does not touch a bone. When inserting the thermometer in the turkey breast, insert it from the side. The thermometer is easier to read and more accurate than when inserted from the top.
The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees F to 170 degrees F in the breast or 180 degrees F in the thigh and 165 degrees F in the center of the stuffing. Both the NTF and the USDA recommend using a food thermometer to ensure a delicious and safe holiday feast.
What can you tell me about deep fried turkey?
Deep fried turkey, a concept that started in the south, is gradually
rising in popularity nationwide. It's a perfect new twist for summer barbecues
and block parties. In fact, since deep fried turkey requires special
equipment and lots of oil, groups of neighbors often get together to share the
costs and the feast.
Try one of our recipes:
Click here for more information:
Nutritional Information for 5.9 ounce serving Fried Turkey:
Nutritional Information (per serving)
What do you put in the interior cavity of an un-stuffed turkey?
There are several enhancements that can be added to the interior cavities. Fresh herbs (in any combination) such as sage, rosemary and/or thyme provide additional flavor and fragrance. Other flavor enhancements are chunks of tart apples, onions, oranges and/or lemons. The choice of which of these to add should be based on the type of gravy, dressing or side dishes that will accompany the turkey. Don't forget to sprinkle the cavities with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Can I safely roast a turkey in a slow/low (200 degrees F) oven overnight?
The overnight slow-roasting method is unsafe because it involves cooking the turkey at 190 to 200 degrees F for 12 to 14+ hours. There are several versions of the slow-cooking method but all of them put you, your family and dinner guests at risk for foodborne illness (food poisoning). The turkey will take much longer to heat and the warm oven temperature provides an ideal environment for bacterial growth. Roasting turkey at an oven temperature set below 325 degrees F allows bacteria, which may be present on raw turkey, to multiply. The risk of harmful bacteria growth will increase with the chance that toxins will not be destroyed with further cooking. The low oven temperature is simply insufficient to kill foodborne bacteria.
The National Turkey Federation joins the USDA in recommending an oven temperature of 325 degrees F for roasting whole turkeys and turkey breasts. Roasting the turkey at an oven temperature of 325 degrees F easily destroys any bacteria yet produces meat that is moist and tender.
Are turkey eggs edible?
Turkey eggs are edible and taste similar to chicken eggs. However, since most turkey eggs are used by the industry to produce turkeys, they would be quite expensive to buy for cooking. Also, there are no inspection and grading regulations set forth by the USDA regarding turkey eggs.
Another main reason turkey eggs are not sold to consumers is the size of the eggs. Recipes are designed for the amount of liquid in a chicken egg. The weight of one large chicken egg is 50 grams while the weight of one turkey egg is 70 grams. Such a difference in bakery recipes would be dreadful to the final results.
What is in turkey that makes you sleepy?
Like many protein foods, turkey contains the essential amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is used to produce the B-vitamin, niacin, which is used to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that exerts a calming effect and regulates sleep.
There are other protein foods that contain a larger amount of tryptophan:
100 grams of roasted turkey contains .333 grams of tryptophan
100 grams of Swiss cheese contains .401 grams of tryptophan
100 grams of roasted pork loin contains .341 grams of tryptophan
While turkey often receives the blame for making people sleepy after the Thanksgiving feast, it is actually a carbohydrate-rich (not protein-rich) meal that increases the level of tryptophan and this leads to serotonin synthesis. Carbohydrates stimulate the pancreas to secrete insulin. Some amino acids that compete with tryptophan leave the bloodstream and enter muscle cells. This causes an increase in the relative concentration of tryptophan in the bloodstream. Serotonin is synthesized and the familiar sleepy feeling is the result.
In addition, a large holiday meal usually includes alcohol (which is a central nervous system depressant), overeating and a higher level of fatty foods (which all require a lot of energy to digest). Each of these factors contributes to after-dinner fatigue. In summary, the unusually large, multi-coursed, carbohydrate-rich meal eaten on Thanksgiving is more likely the cause of drowsiness. After all, in March, one does not get sleepy after eating a turkey sandwich.
How do I determine the correct size turkey to purchase?
We recommend 1 pound to 1-1/4 pounds of uncooked turkey per person for a whole bird presentation. Buy 1/2 to 2/3 pound of bone-in turkey breast per person. Calculate the amount using the larger number if you have hearty eaters or want plenty for leftovers for the much loved turkey sandwich.
Can we successfully deep fry a 25 LB turkey? If not then what's the maximum size you would suggest?
Smaller turkeys, 8 to 10 pounds and turkey parts such as breast, wings, drumsticks and thighs, are best for frying. Size does matter as a 12-14 pound turkey is the maximum size bird that can be successfully deep-fried. In addition to the obvious safety concern of lowering and lifting a big turkey into a vessel of boiling oil, larger birds simply cook longer. The extra cooking time results in overexposure to the skin, which will likely be over cooked.
If the 25-pound bird has already been purchased, follow these steps for the best results. Detach the dark meat (leg and thigh portions) from the breast and fry the two turkey parts separately. Fry the leg/thigh sections first in oil that has been preheated to 365-375 degrees F. Cook to an internal temperature of 175 degrees F. Remove the dark sections and reheat the oil to 365-375 degrees F. Then fry the turkey breast to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
What is the best way to thaw a frozen turkey?
The most fool proof method of defrosting a turkey is to thaw it in the refrigerator.
The key to this method is to plan ahead and allow approximately 24 hours
for every four to five pounds of bird weight for thawing in the refrigerator.
This method is the safest and will result in the best finished product. Place
the bird, in the original wrapping, on a shallow baking sheet in the refrigerator.
The following chart provides good guidelines for thawing times.
Turkey Thawing Time (40° F)
||Days to Allow
for Thawing Turkey
|8 to 12 pounds
||2 to 2.5
|12 to 16
||2.5 to 4
|16 to 20 pounds
||4 to 5 days
|20 to 24 pounds
||5 to 6 days
The most important thing to remember is NEVER to thaw the turkey at room temperature.
If time is more critical, refer to the following link for additional instructions
about safely thawing the turkey. http://www.eatturkey.com/consumer/cookinfo/turthaw.html
Other factors also affect this general thawing formula:
a. The internal temperature in your refrigerator. If the refrigerator door is opened frequently, the internal temperature will rise with each opening and the time frame might be a bit quicker.
b. Refrigerator glass shelving could prohibit the airflow and result in a longer thawing time frame.
How long can an uncooked turkey be stored in a freezer for future consumption?
A whole uncooked turkey can be stored safely (at 0 degrees F) for up to one year in the freezer while turkey parts (including turkey breast) can be stored for 3 months. Remember, if you are not planning to use a whole turkey or any other turkey products before the expiration date stamped on the package, freeze it! Click here for more information: http://www.eatturkey.com/consumer/cookinfo/codes.html
Can you cook a whole turkey on the grill?
Absolutely. The indirect method of grilling is best for grilling a whole turkey or bone-in turkey breast. Indirect grilling is similar to roasting with circulating heat inside the closed grill. Grilling time depends on many factors: the size and shape of the turkey, the distance from the heat, temperature of the coals and the outside air temperature. Allow more time on cold or windy days and at high altitudes. Allow less time in very hot weather. Use a disposal drip pan to catch the drippings.
When purchasing a whole turkey to be cooked on a grill, the structure is as important as the weight. Generally, a turkey that is broad and flat will fit better under the covered grill than one that protrudes too high in the breast area. There should be at least one-inch of space between the turkey and the grill lid. Turkeys weighing 16 pounds or less are the recommended size for the most successful grilling. When grilling a whole bird, check the turkey when it is about two-thirds done. Cut the band of skin or string holding the legs together, allowing the heat to reach this critical portion of the bird.
It is also helpful to use a V-rack to stabilize the turkey so that it does not tip over and to allow for more even heat distribution. If the base of your V-rack is not sturdy when placed on the outdoor grill rack, add another layer of stability by also using a wire cooling rack (the type used for cooling cookies).
Position the wire cooling rack on the grill rack, place the V-rack on the wire cooling rack and then add place the whole turkey or turkey breast in the V-rack.
The indirect method of grilling is achieved by turning off the burners directly beneath the food, while the burners on either side of the food are turned to the same heat setting (medium to low). The circulating heat cooks the food.
After the coals have turned gray, with a long handled utensil, carefully push the hot coals evenly to the edge of the grill. The coals should be piled as far as possible to the outside of the grate. Place a disposable foil drip pan, between the charcoal piles, in the center of the grill, beneath the area where the food will be set. Position the top rack on the grill and place the turkey on the rack. Cover the grill to achieve a uniform and even heat.
For more helpful grilling hints, please click on the following link: http://www.eatturkey.com/consumer/aturn/grilling.html
What is the best way to stuff a turkey?
Stuffing should be prepared and placed in the turkey just before the turkey is placed in the oven for cooking. When making stuffing ahead of time, wet and dry ingredients should be refrigerated separately and combined right before stuffing the turkey. Turkeys should be stuffed loosely, with about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of stuffing per pound of turkey. Stuff both neck and body cavities of a completely thawed turkey. Do not pack stuffing too tightly, as it may promote uneven cooking.
Stuffing should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Use only cooked ingredients in stuffing (i.e., sautéed vegetables, cooked sausages or seafood, etc.). It is also important to remember to use pasteurized egg products instead of raw eggs.
Do not stuff turkey if cooking on an outdoor grill or when using a water smoker. Do not stuff the turkey if using the fast-cook/roast method in which case the turkey will be done before the stuffing reaches a safe internal temperature.
For additional tips on stuffing a turkey, check the following link: http://www.eatturkey.com/consumer/cookinfo/stuffing.html
Today's trend is to cook the stuffing/dressing separately from the turkey, the reason being safety and speed. Stuffing must reach a temperature of 165º F. Keep in mind that stuffing adds mass to the turkey, extending required roasting time. By the time enough heat has reached the stuffing to reach the desired 165º F, the delicate turkey breast may have exceeded the desired internal temperature.
What is Turducken?
Turducken, the Cajun specialty from the south central part of Louisiana, contains three boned birds and three stuffings: a 20-25 pound turkey stuffed with a 4-5 pound duckling, stuffed with a 3-4 pound chicken with a dressing inside the chicken, dressing between the chicken and the duck and a third dressing between the duck and the turkey. Typical dressings include cranberry, shrimp, oyster, a variety of sausages including andouille and/or cornbread.
It takes about 12 hours to prepare including preparation time for deboning the birds and preparing the stuffings.
The Turducken is available from several commercial purveyors in the south as well as local butcher shops throughout the U.S. Local cost are about $70-$170, but dry ice shipping to parts of the United States increases and/or doubles the price.
Using peanut oil for deep frying, how many turkeys can be fryed before changing the oil out?
The answer to your question about the number of turkeys that can be fried depends partly on the rub or marinade that is used.
Peanut oil is more perishable than other oils and must be stored in the refrigerator if kept longer than one month.
According to the Texas Peanut Producers Board, peanut oil may be used three or four times to fry turkeys before signs of deterioration begin.
However, when using heavy dark spices such as those in most Cajun rubs, the life of the oil may be diminished. If you are frying more than two birds, it would be wise to use a seasonings with less cayenne, chili peppers, etc.
When the oil begins to break down, indications include foaming, darkening or smoking excessively and the oil must be discarded. Other signs of deteriorated oil include a rancid smell and/or failure to bubble when food is added.
Please read all about deep frying turkeys at the following Web link:
The How-To on Deep-Frying a Turkey
How do I know the turkey is done when deep frying?
Cooking times are different for whole turkey and turkey parts. Whole turkeys require approximately 3 minutes per pound to cook. Turkey parts such as the breast, wings and thighs require approximately 4 to 5 minutes per pound to reach the desired internal temperature.
The best method of checking for doneness is with a food thermometer. Remove the turkey from the frying vessel and check the internal temperature with a food thermometer. The temperature should reach 165 degrees F to 170 degrees F in the breast and 180 degrees F in the thigh.
I would like to know how to prepare a rub for the deep-frying a turkey.
The following recipe has a Cajun rub that is a popular choice for deep fried turkeys.
- Cajun Deep-Fried Turkey
Or for a completely different flavor, try the following recipe.
AROMATIC RUB FOR POULTRY
This recipe will yield about 1/2 cup, enough to coat a 12 pound turkey.
1 1/2 tablespoon cardamom
Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for two-three weeks.
1 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
What is the name for a baby turkey?
A baby turkey is called a poult and is tan and brown.
What is the formula to determine the amount of marinade to use to inject a turkey?
We recommend about one ounce of marinade per pound of turkey. Remember, turkey should always be marinated in the refrigerator.
Is it safe to cook a turkey in a slow-cooker?
Do not use the slow cooker for a whole turkey or a large turkey breast. These large pieces of turkey will cook too slowly and remain in the bacterial "danger zone" (40-140 degrees F) too long.
Instead, select turkey recipes with a high moisture content such as chili, soups, stews or entrees with a sauce. Cut raw turkey into chunks or small pieces to ensure thorough cooking. Ground turkey is a wonderful ingredient to use with slow cookers. Check some of our favorite slow cooker recipes at the following links:
Do you have recipes for homemade turkey sausages?
Please click on the following links for healthy turkey sausage recipes.
Try one of our recipes:
What is the best way to dispose of non-reusable cooking oil generated by frying turkeys?
When the oil can no longer be used, it is important to dispose of it correctly. Place the cooking oil in rigid plastic containers and seal the container with a screw top lid so the oil will be secure while it is transported. Check with your local government to see if and where you can drop off the oil for recycling. Many jurisdictions allow consumers to recycle the cooking oil at transfer stations and/or landfills. A final word of caution…do not pour the oil down the drain as it could lead to clogged sewer lines as well as diminished water quality.
What suggestions do you have for getting enough protein into the diet without a lot of saturated fat? My son does not get enough exercise. He is overweight and I would like to alter our meals to include foods that have less fat.
Your son certainly needs adequate protein for growth and repair during his critical growing years. Not only is turkey a complete protein, providing all the amino acids needed to construct new proteins, it provides these essential amino acids with very little of the fat and calories normally accompanying other animal proteins. Switch to lean ground turkey that provides less fat than ground beef. Use turkey cutlets on the grill and offer them as entrées or as flavorful sandwich fillers with soft flour tortillas. Offer turkey bacon in the summer with fresh tomatoes for a low calorie/low fat BLT.
It seems my whole turkey cooks faster than when my mother prepared the holiday meal. Is there really any difference?
Recent studies indicate today’s turkeys do cook faster than roasting time charts published several decades ago. This is due, in part, to the fact that current breeding practices produce turkeys with more white meat. The white meat cooks faster, so the birds are fully cooked sooner. Be sure to follow the directions in newer cookbooks and charts. The best measure is to use a food thermometer and cook the whole bird until the internal temperature measures 165 degrees F to 170 degrees F in the breast and 180 degrees F in the thigh.
How long can cooked turkey be kept in the refrigerator and freezer?
Care should be taken to properly store leftover cooked turkey. All leftovers should be stored in shallow containers and refrigerated or frozen within two hours of cooking.
The maximum storage time for cooked turkey in the refrigerator (temperature of 35-40 degrees F) is 3 to 4 days. The maximum storage time for cooked turkey in the freezer (temperature of 0 degrees F) is 3 to 4 months.
What is the term for the paper booties placed on the ends of the turkey drumsticks that makes a nice buffet presentation?
The products are called "paper frills" or turkey frills. They are available at upscale supermarkets or through gourmet stores and/or their respective web sites. Be sure to purchase the large size paper frills to fit the turkey drumstick.
What does “tent with foil” mean?
To diminish the oven's direct heat to the turkey, aluminum foil is lightly placed over the turkey. A sheet of foil, large enough to cover the breast, should be folded in half and gently placed over the breast, making a tent. To further reflect the heat, the foil should be placed shiny side up. Do not tuck the foil around the roasting pan edges, simple allow it to float on top of the breast.
Are there any items in the giblet package that shouldn't go into the stock or gravy?
Liver is the product that is temperamental. If overcooked, liver will add a bitter flavor to the stock and gravy. Therefore, our turkey broth recipes and gravy recipes typically provide directions for adding the liver to the stock pot within the last 15 minutes of cooking.
What does "truss" mean?
“Truss” means to secure the turkey with string, skewers or clamps/pins so that it maintains its shape during oven roasting. Many of the turkeys produced for today's market feature a band of skin or a metal or plastic clamp to hold the legs together. If this feature is not offered on the turkey you purchase, the legs may be tied together using oven-safe kitchen string.
However, a turkey does not have to be trussed before it is roasted. It takes longer for the dark meat in the inner thigh area to reach its proper doneness of 175°F-180°F when it is trussed. If it is important the bird keeps its shape while roasting, the turkey may be truss. If it is not as important, it is generally better not to truss the bird, because the white and dark meat will cook more evenly when not trussed.
The new USDA recommended internal temperature for cooked turkey is 165 degrees F. Why do your recipes still recommend internal temperatures of 170 degrees F in the breast and 180 degrees F for the dark meat?
The new internal temperature recommendation was made due to research by the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods. Their research shows bacteria and viruses are destroyed at 165 degrees F. However, we believe many consumers may wish to continue cooking many products to the higher internal temperatures to achieve the desirable firmer texture and to ensure that all juices run clear, without traces of any pink color.
I purchased a fresh turkey but it is partially frozen.
Turkeys freeze at a lower temperature than water and the turkey probably has ice crystals in the cavity. Place the unwrapped turkey in a large clean stockpot or bowl and run cold water through the turkey cavity. You might need to gently pry the wings and/or legs free from the body as the cold water continues to run.
Is there a difference in the roast time if I use a covered roasting pan?
Yes, the roast time is altered when using a covered roasting pan. The type of covered roasting pan can also be an important time factor. Turkey cooked in the old-fashioned speckled covered roasting pans will take less cook time than a turkey cooked in a shiny stainless steel covered roasting pan. Stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat and heat will be reflected from the pan. Be sure to use a food/meat thermometer to ensure the turkey reaches the internal temperature of 165 degrees F to 170 degrees F in the breast.
Are there substitutes for the metal rack that is suggested when oven roasting turkey breasts and whole birds?
You have two choices to substitute for the metal rack:
A. Coarsely chop carrots, onions and celery and place them in a mound in the center of the roasting pan. Place the turkey on top of the vegetables. In addition to keeping the turkey out of it's drippings, the added benefit of this method is a rich and flavorful gravy.
B. Make a circle of foil as a rack substitute. Tear a large length of foil and crumble it into a long strip. Form a circle with the foil and place it in the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the turkey atop the foil circle to keep the turkey out the pan juices.
What is the preferred basting product, butter or vegetable oil?
Many cooks prefer vegetable oil as it produces a more evenly golden-brown turkey. Use of salted butter may result in tiny brown specks on the skin.
The power went out as we were oven roasting the turkey, any suggestions?
If this unfortunate event occurs in the middle of the roasting cycle, immediately turn to an outdoor covered grill, either charcoal or gas. Please refer to the following web link for important directions about grilling a whole turkey or turkey breast using the indirect grilling method. http://www.eatturkey.com/consumer/aturn/grilling.html
If your source of oven cooking is a gas oven and the gas is cut, then turn to a microwave to complete the cooking process. Typically the time frame for microwaving a whole bird is 10-15 minutes per pound. Select the 50% or Medium power level. This formula can be of assistance in determining the remaining cook time.
In either event, act quickly to place the partially cooked turkey in another hot cooking environment and use the food/meat thermometer to ensure the final internal temperature is 165 degrees F to 170 degrees F in the breast.
How should I dispose of the turkey drippings or cooking oil/fats?
Never pour turkey drippings or cooking oils down the sink drain, even if you think you are “washing it down” with water. Sanitary commissions and water departments strongly advise consumers to pour cooled pan drippings into an empty can (soup cans or jars with lids work well) and place the can/jar into the trash. Scrape greasy plates and bowls containing food scraps with a rubber spatula or paper towel and place it in the trash. If you do not have a garbage disposal, put baskets/strainers over the sink drain to catch food scraps. Place vegetable scraps into the trash or compost and place protein scraps into the trash.
Drippings that are poured down the drain can clog anywhere in a system resulting in expensive backups. Help the environment by properly disposing of drippings and any unused gravy.
Why is a turkey supposed to “rest or stand” after cooking and what happens if you are in a hurry to put the turkey on the table?
If a whole turkey is sliced immediately after it is cooked, its juices will flow out and be lost on the cutting board. By waiting for the juices to return to the interior of the bird, the turkey will be much more moist, firm and even easier to slice.
What are some garnishing suggestions for the turkey platter?
Examples of garnishes include fresh fruit slices that do not discolor after they are cut.
Use citrus fruits, such as lemon or orange slices or wedges, especially if the glaze includes the same ingredient. For an extra touch, prepare citrus roses from the peel of lemons or oranges.
Small bunches of whole green and red grapes provide attractive color and are an easy garnish to place.
If the recipe includes any herbs, use the same herbs on the serving platter. Sprigs of fresh sage and rosemary will also cover any imperfections in the turkey skin that occurred during cooking. Both of these fresh herbs will withstand the heat from the presentation.
If using leafy greens, select greens that will withstand the heat from the turkey. Kale and curly endive are especially suitable for garnishing the platter.
If the turkey recipe incorporates hot peppers or any hot flavorings found in Southwestern or Cajun cuisine, the addition of small red peppers on the platter will provide excellent accent color.
A final thought on garnishes - prepare, cover and chill the garnishes ahead of meal time so the final moments of preparation will flow more smoothly.
Lots of your recipes call for using a grill, but I live in an apartment and can't grill on the balcony. Can these grill recipes be adapted for oven use?
The oven broiler can be easily substituted for a grill. The heat from a broiler comes from above the food while the heat from a grill is below the food. Broiling and grilling are both dry heat cookery methods and are typically interchangeable for turkey cuts such as turkey cutlets, steaks, medallions, burgers, sausage links and other small thin (1-inch tall) turkey products. The distance the turkey product should be from the heating element is typically 4 inches to 5 inches, so it may be necessary to adjust the broiler racks. The time frame for broiling should be about the same as for grilling, but the best way to determine doneness is through the use of a food thermometer.
I received a gift of smoked turkey. It was packaged without dry ice or frozen gel packs and was not cold. However, the label read, “keep refrigerated.” Since it is smoked, will it be safe to eat?
Poultry is smoked for flavor, not preservation. If the turkey is labeled “keep refrigerated”, that is a warning. Smoked turkey, just like all other turkey products, must be kept cold (between 32 degrees F and 40 degrees F) to be safe.
How can I keep a brined turkey cold if there isn’t adequate space in my refrigerator?
"Cook’s Illustrated" recommends the following procedure for maintaining the proper temperature of 40º F or below while brining a turkey. The key to this process is a short brining time combined with a large quantity of salt. Dissolve either 4 cups of kosher salt or 2 cups table salt in 2 gallons of icy cold water. Line a large stockpot or clean food safe bucket with a turkey-size (capacity - 12 to 24 pounds) oven bag. Place several large, clean, frozen ice-gel packets in the cold water brine with the cold turkey. Close and tie the bag. Cover the container and place it in a cool place for no more than four (4) hours.
When the turkey is removed from the brine, be sure to rinse off the salty brine by placing the bird under cool running water. Pat the turkey dry with clean paper towels. Proceed with an oven roasting or grilling recipe.
What is a good way to hold a turkey steady on an outdoor grill?
Place a whole turkey or turkey breast on a V-shaped rack to stabilize the bird while grilling. For additional steadiness, position a cake cooling rack across the heavier grill rack making sure the wires are perpendicular to the grill rack. Then place the V-shaped rack atop the cake cooling rack to ensure a steady grilling procedure.
How do I slice turkey cutlets from a turkey breast?
Separate the breasts by cutting through the center of the rib cage. Gently pull and separate the two breast sections from the turkey bones. Trim any fat or bones where the wing or ribs were attached. Remove the skin and discard. Square the ends of the breasts.
Remove the tenderloin from the underside of the turkey breasts and reserve for other uses. Place turkey breasts on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes until just firm but not frozen.
Place the chilled turkey breast, smooth-side up, on the cutting board. Place one hand on top of the breast and, with a sharp knife held parallel to the work surface, carefully slice through the breast, horizontally to yield 1/4- inch cutlets.
How do you recommend reheating sliced turkey leftovers?
To maintain the most moisture in leftover turkey slices, arrange the leftover turkey in a steamer basket. Place the basket in a saucepan or skillet over an inch of water. Cover the saucepan/skillet with a tight fitting lid. Bring the water just to a simmer and heat the turkey until it is hot.
Should the netting be removed from a frozen boneless turkey roast?
The inner string netting should remain on the roast until after the turkey is cooked. Simply remove the gravy packet and place the turkey roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush the turkey with oil and season with herbs and salt and pepper, if desired. Cook the turkey roast in a preheated 325°F to 350°F oven (depending on package instructions) until the internal temperature reaches 165°F to 170°F in the breast. For easier net removal after roasting, wrap turkey in foil and let stand 10 minutes. Remove netting and slice turkey roast.
Add the pan drippings to the gravy packet for extra flavor.
What different cooking techniques are used when cooking a turkey in an oven bag?
1. Based on the size of the turkey breast or whole turkey, select the suitable oven bag.
2. Always shake 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour in an oven bag before adding other ingredients. The flour will help blend the juices and protect the bag from bursting. If making turkey gravy, add extra flour to thicken the gravy.
3. The inside of the bag should be sprayed with nonstick cooking spray to prevent the turkey skin from sticking to the bag.
4. The addition of 1 medium sliced onion and about 1/2 cup of roughly cut celery or carrots will add flavor to the gravy and should be added to the bag before the turkey is placed in the bag. This step also slightly elevates the turkey so it is not sitting in the juices. (Even with these extra steps, the gravy typically has less full flavor due to the lack of browned bits from the open roasting pan.)
5. After brushing the turkey with oil or melted butter, sprinkle paprika over the turkey to help provide the desired browned appearance. Or sprinkle the exterior with a combination of dried sage, rosemary, and thyme to add a subtle flavor.
6. After placing the turkey in the bag on top of the vegetables, close the bag with the nylon tie and cut six 1/2-inch slits in the top of the bag. Insert a meat thermometer through the thickest part of the inner thigh, but not touching the bone.
7. The recommended 350 degree F oven temperature is slightly higher than the standard 325 degree F oven temperature.
8. The combination of a higher oven temperature and moist heat speeds cooking.
The oven bag method takes about one hour less roasting time than the traditional open pan method. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 170-175 degrees F in the thigh.
9. For easy slicing, allow the turkey in stand/rest in the oven bag for, at least, 15 minutes.
What size oven bag should I use?
Cooking bags are available to two sizes.
A. For a turkey breast or other turkey parts that weigh up to eight (8) pounds, use the Large size (16" x 17-1/2") bag.
B. For a turkey breast weighing more than eight (8) pounds and for whole turkeys up to 24 pounds, select the Turkey size (19" x 23-1/2") bag.
Please provide a sample holiday dinner menu and recipes.
Thanksgiving with All the Trimmings
Appetizers: Select one, two or all three of these appetizers to welcome your guests.
Mushrooms Caps Stuffed with Pepperoni
Herb Cheesecake Appetizer
Bacon-Wrapped Peaches with Cranberry Glaze
Turkey and Gravy: Choose the turkey recipe that bests suits your guest list.
Herb-Roasted Turkey with Citrus Glaze
Southern Deep Fried Turkey
Turkey Breast with Honey-Mustard Glaze
Basic Turkey Gravy
Vegetables and Sides: Colorful sides and tempting flavors to add to the plate.
Dressing from the Heartland
Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
Green Beans with French Herbs
Orange-Spiced Sweet Potato Casserole
Mother’s Cranberry Sauce
Fresh Hot Rolls and Butter
Desserts: Select one or both of these popular pies for our national holiday.
Spiced Pumpkin Pie
Southern Pecan Pie with Toffee Crunch
What is the best way to grill turkey cutlets?
To flavor the delicate white turkey cutlets, we recommend a half-hour brine time.
3/4 cup kosher salt (or 1/3 cup table salt)
1/3 cup sugar
4 TURKEY CUTLETS (about 4 to 5 ounces each)
Ground black pepper
Assorted fresh or dried herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano)
Dissolve salt and sugar in 1 quart cold water. Add the cutlets. Cover and refrigerate only about 30 minutes.
Remove the cutlets from the brine, rinse well and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Season with pepper and other herbs, if desired.
Place the cutlets on the grill rack, about 4 to 5 inches from the heat source, directly over the heat. Cook the cutlets, uncovered, over the hottest part of the grill until browned, 2 minutes per side.
Transfer the cutlets to a cooler part of the grill and cook over indirect heat. Cover with a disposal foil roasting pan and continue to grill until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F. Serve warm.
If using barbecue sauce, prevent flame flare ups, by adding the sauce during the last 2 minutes of grilling. Brush cutlets with some of the sauce, cook about 1 minute, turn over, brush again, and cook 1 minute more. Discard any leftover sauce.
Do you have any tips for grilling turkey tenderloin?
To flavor the delicate white turkey, we recommend an hour brine time to ensure a moist tenderloin.
3/4 cup kosher salt (or 1/3 cup table salt)
1/3 cup sugar
1 TURKEY TENDERLOIN (plain - without a marinade)
Ground black pepper
Dissolve salt and sugar in 1 quart of cold water. Add the turkey. Cover and refrigerate only about 1 hour.
Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse well and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Season with pepper.
Place the tenderloin on the grill rack, about 4 to 5 inches from the heat source, directly over the heat. Cook the turkey tenderloin, uncovered, over the hottest part of the grill until browned, 2 minutes per side, rotating to cover all sides.
Transfer the tenderloin to the cooler part of the grill and cook by indirect heat. Cover with a disposal foil roasting pan and continue to grill until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F. Transfer to a serving platter and allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing. Serve warm.