Cooking Methods
Pros and cons of dry heat cooking, moist heat cooking, ovens and steamers.

Boning a Whole Turkey
Step by step photos and instructions to guide you through the process of boning a whole turkey.

Basics of Cooking Turkey
Things to plan for, dos and don'ts.

Measuring Temperature
Temperature is important for quality and safety.

Cooking Whole Body, Large Parts, Large Products
Special tips on whole body, turkey breast and roasts; comparison of cooking time and temperature for various sizes and methods.

Cooking Small Parts, Small Products
Turkey tenderloins, cutlets, ground turkey, turkey burgers, thighs, wings and drumsticks.

Heating and Holding Cooked Turkey
Methods, required temperatures and the best way to hold heated turkey.

Turkey processors offer pre-cut parts and a multitude of processed products as well as whole body turkey.

When choosing turkey parts or products vs. whole body turkey cut in the foodservice operation, it is important to carefully evaluate costs. Consider labor requirements as well as cost per pound and cost per serving. Choose the best value for your operation.

Also consider the variety of menu options readily available to you. Value-added features may make a product a better choice.

For example, ready-to-eat cooked turkey products come in a variety of forms and preparations. These different products have several practical advantages:

  • Uniform slices.
  • Minimum waste.
  • Some are cut specifically for sandwiches, others for center-of-plate presentations.

In this chapter, basic directions for preparing whole body turkey as well as a wide variety of turkey parts and products are included.

Preparation considerations.
No matter what type of turkey you are cooking, here are the basic factors to consider in preparation:


  • Is the product raw or fully cooked?
  • Is it frozen or thawed?
  • If it's frozen, how much time is required to thaw it?
  • Are there any special features that might affect the cooking process, such as cooking bags or foil wraps?
  • What cooking equipment is available?
  • Does the product call for dry or moist heat cooking?
  • What are the cooking time and temperature requirements?

In general, the information provided here should be viewed as guidelines. Times will vary with the type of turkey product and equipment in your kitchen.

For more specific directions, check with your turkey supplier and your equipment manufacturer.


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