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 Turkey 101

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Biscuit

  • Total Posts: 73
  • Joined: 6/3/2003
  • Location: Denver , CO
Turkey 101 Wed, 11/12/03 12:35 PM (permalink)
Ok, I'm a bachelor and I've never roasted a turkey before, but I am having a few friends over this Thanksgiving and I'm cooking a turkey.
I need help! I've looked up a few recipes on the 'net, but I thought I would ask here, too.
What's the simplest way to roast the turkey?
What temperature is best to cook it at, and for how long?
Should I baste the thing at all?

Any tips, or ideas, anyone has for this complete novice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Biscuit
 
#1
    Michael Hoffman

    • Total Posts: 17837
    • Joined: 7/1/2000
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    RE: Turkey 101 Wed, 11/12/03 12:40 PM (permalink)
    Try this website: http://www.butterball.com/en/index.jsp

    And good luck. Really, roasting a turkey is not a big deal, hard-to-do-thing.
     
    #2
      Texicana

      • Total Posts: 185
      • Joined: 7/19/2003
      • Location: Ashland, KY
      RE: Turkey 101 Wed, 11/12/03 12:46 PM (permalink)
      I read the Bon Appetit annual Thanksgiving edition and found a great Turkey 101 article by Alton Brown, and learned that basting is completely unecessary, since all you are doing is lowering your oven's heat levels when you pop it open.
       
      #3
        Spudnut

        • Total Posts: 655
        • Joined: 6/30/2003
        • Location: New York, NY
        RE: Turkey 101 Wed, 11/12/03 1:29 PM (permalink)
        In my bachelor days, I always made Thanksgiving dinner for a group of friends. It's not that hard. One tip, in addition to all the good stuff that I'm sure is on the Butterball site: before sticking the turkey in the oven, lightly coat the whole thing with mayonaise. It disappears quickly enough, but helps the turkey brown even better.
         
        #4
          EdSails

          • Total Posts: 3581
          • Joined: 5/9/2003
          • Location: Mission Viejo, CA
          RE: Turkey 101 Wed, 11/12/03 1:58 PM (permalink)
          I found that the best way to do a turkey was with brining it. Here's a primer on it--------everyone last year said it was the juiciest, most delicious turkey they ever had. This site includes everything from buying to roasting it.

          http://www.melindalee.com/recipearchive.html?action=124&item_id=95
           
          #5
            howard8

            • Total Posts: 355
            • Joined: 5/12/2003
            • Location: randolph, NJ
            RE: Turkey 101 Wed, 11/12/03 2:08 PM (permalink)
            There are a lot of opinions on the best way to cook a turkey. One of the conundrums is getting the dark meat cooked to a temp of 170 to 180 without drying out the white breast meat. I do it simply and it usually turns out great. I use either a kosher turkey or I will brine for 24 hours for a non-kosher. Let the bird come to room temperature. I cook relatively low and slow in a 300 degree oven. Simply salt and pepper inside and out. Place turkey breast side down, allowing more of the heat to get to the dark meat. No need for basting but there is a need for an electronic thermometer to monitor the internal temperature. Stick the probe in the breast. Pull the turkey out when the breast registers 165 degrees. Let rest for 30 minutes. The temp should raise to 170 plus. Remove the breasts and place in oven to continue cooking the dark meat. Once again pull out when the probe shows 165 to 170 and let rest. Thats it.
             
            #6
              Texicana

              • Total Posts: 185
              • Joined: 7/19/2003
              • Location: Ashland, KY
              RE: Turkey 101 Wed, 11/12/03 2:11 PM (permalink)
              If ya don't want to go to the trouble of brining, get a Kosher turkey, the work is done for you.
               
              #7
                Biscuit

                • Total Posts: 73
                • Joined: 6/3/2003
                • Location: Denver , CO
                RE: Turkey 101 Wed, 11/12/03 5:22 PM (permalink)
                Thanks for all the suggestions and links, guys!
                Looking at the web pages, and your ideas, I guess it's not too complicated to cook the turkey. I was mainly concerned about over, or under, cooking it. But using the weight-times- hours method, it should be a cinch.

                Thanks again for your thoughts!

                B
                 
                #8
                  Texicana

                  • Total Posts: 185
                  • Joined: 7/19/2003
                  • Location: Ashland, KY
                  RE: Turkey 101 Wed, 11/12/03 5:53 PM (permalink)
                  You are very welcome Biscuit! One last thing I might add, is to cover the turkey with a loose tent of foil, which u can remove for the last hour or so of roasting, so it doesn't brown too much or too soon. I've got a fantastic stuffing I'll let you in on if you would like it.
                   
                  #9
                    Sundancer7

                    RE: Turkey 101 Wed, 11/12/03 8:39 PM (permalink)
                    My intent is smoking the turkey. I am going to do the big bird on the electric smoker. My family will enjoy the bird fresh and hot after about 6 hours on the smoker. I use a lot of herbs, citrus, onions and BBQ sauce in the water. I plan to do the bird and have it hot off the smoker right before dinner.

                    Paul E. Smith
                    Knoxville, TN
                     
                    #10
                      Biscuit

                      • Total Posts: 73
                      • Joined: 6/3/2003
                      • Location: Denver , CO
                      RE: Turkey 101 Thu, 11/13/03 12:02 AM (permalink)
                      Thanks for the stuffing recipe offer, Tex! But I already have one; Stove Top! I can't get too fancy, I'm not a good cook at all, and if I try and do too many things at once, I'll screw them all up and end up with a smoked turkey like Sundancer, only mine will be smoked from the fire in the oven.

                      I appreciate the thoughts, though!

                      B
                       
                      #11
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