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Recipe File: Classic Roast Turkey
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Jay Harbath

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:00 pm    Post subject: Roast Turkey Reply with quote

When I roast a turkey in the oven, I always use one of those clear plastic, disposable cooking bags. I stuff the turkey and set it on top of a bed of carrots, sweet potatoes, baby redskin potatoes, onions and mushrooms. Basically, it becomes a meal in a bag. I add about a half inch of water to the bottom of the bag and the juice becomes a great soup base. You will never have a dry turkey that way, it is steamed as it cooks.

I also admit that I haven't cooked a turkey like that in a while since I started using Mr. Ronco's Showtime™ Professional Rotisserie. Shake some cajun seasoning on the skin and you will have a fabulous bird. It is on a par with deep frying in peanut oil, without the mess involved with that process. Mr. Ronco also does a fabulous job with those big 8-10 pound chickens, and you get more wings and legs for the hungry troops than a single 14 pound turkey.
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Laily (guest)

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:30 am    Post subject: Bags large enough to brine Reply with quote

I just saw that the Williams-Sonoma website is selling plastic bags made specifically for brining turkeys up to 23 lbs (If I remember it right). The bag is food-safe and resembles a huge ziploc bag, also has a special shape in the bottom so the bag can stand upright in your fridge. Sounds like a pretty good idea, except it's not exactly cheap. The bags cost $15USD for a pair.

(Am not a spokesperspon for WS, but I simply thought you might want to see it, after reading that you've been using all kinds of things to contain turkeys in brine).

If someone uses one, please post your experience!! (I'd love to give it a try, except I live in Mexico and WS doesn't deliver here...).

Here is the link for the Brining Bags

Huge CFE fan in Mexico
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:31 pm    Post subject: Food Safe Plastic Reply with quote

I cringe whenever I hear someone brining a turkey in a garbage bag, new wastebasket, or paint bucket. In the past I have done them in a crock, my canner, or an ice chest.

Now you can find turkey brining bags in stores. Williams-Sonoma sells two large zip lock brining bags for $10. Otherwise I would suggest lining the container with a food safe plastic bag. I am all for minimizing consumption of leached chemicals.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Roasting Turkeys Reply with quote

I was interested in reading the comments on this forum. I have been roasting turkeys for 50+ years and I have stuffed almost every one of them. I am careful in preparation of the stuffing, make sure it is room temperature when I stuff and cook to temperature. I have never had a sick person yet and the turkey is very flavorful.

Just my opinion, but I do not like brined turkeys at all. We tried it two years ago and said we would never do it again. I really do not like undone appearing turkey that is very moist, it always tastes raw to me. But that is just my personal preference. GOod helps here for roasting. Thanks. Moey
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Gus Smith

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:59 am    Post subject: roasting a REALLY big bird Reply with quote

Although I've been roasting turkeys successfully for years I wondered what you all thought about REALLY big birds. I mean 45 # big. We grow our own and though I've handed them off to friends, I've never done one of the big toms myself. Any thoughts? Obviously flipping becomes a problem but that is my prefered method and I'll have some beefy family members help with welder's gloves or something.

Any thoughts on time? Oh, and yes, I did measure the oven, this time~ been there, done that one.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 2:29 am    Post subject: What type of turkey is best? Reply with quote

What type of turkey is best to buy? Hoka? All natural? Fresh? Frozen? Do they all benefit from brining?
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:14 am    Post subject: roasting turkey Reply with quote

When I roast my turkey breast down, the v-shape rack makes my turkey looks funny when I turn it over. Any suggestions?
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Bryce from PA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:47 pm    Post subject: Cooking one today Reply with quote

Looks like this thread picks back up in November (I wonder why)...

Anyways, thanks for all the Grassroots tips on the roasting of Turkeys. I am having a few friends over tonight for some turkey, and needed some ideas. After reading this thread, it made me realize something...

I forgot the aluminum foil...

Thanks for the ideas.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i am so stinking confused. Disbelief this will be my first turkey, for the whole family - 20 of us - and i'd really like to NOT screw it up. baste, don't baste, breast up, breast down, cover, don't cover. AHHH! maybe i'll just grill turkey burgers. All kidding aside, while i am not an engineer, i do tend to think like one and this site has been the MOST helpful so far! Do any of you poultry experts out there have that "set it and forget it" mentality that i keep running across??? Will it work or will the sucker dry up and evaporate leaving a small pile of bones?
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 6:02 am    Post subject: re: food-safe plastic Reply with quote

Shock Nooo.. don't use plain old garbage bags to brine the turkey!

Last year, I put a big roasting bag in my sink, and loaded the bird into it. Once it was settled, I poured in the brine, squeezed all the air bubbles out, and sealed the bag. I packed ice around the whole thing and let it sit the whole morning, then roasted it like usual, and it came out great. Good luck with all your turkeys! -K3
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 7:06 am    Post subject: Bird for friends Reply with quote

Wow!! This site make me rethink how I have cooked turkeys the past few years... I have always used the foil method and put butter and a few seasoning under the skins method.. I also like to put good smelling things in and around the turke.. What can I say... the smell is what gets me!!!!! I love the look when company walks in and starts drooling!! This year I have noticed the v shaped rack.... Dont know if I will try it or not?
I hope every one has a great Turkey Feast!!
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:31 pm    Post subject: Stuffing Reply with quote

Here is a different way to incorporate stuffing and reduce the likelihood of drying out the breast. If you separate the skin underneath the breast with your fingers or a long spoon and then put some of the stuffing underneath the breast will cook slower and also not dry out. The bird looks a little funny (like it's on steroids) but this has worked very well for me the last 10 years. I've also noticed that everyone wants the stuffing underneath the skin than the stuffing cooked separately. It's more moist and tasty. I still brine the turkey though.

I've also tried cooking upside down and turning after about 45 minutes but you'll end up with a very funny bumpy looking turkey as the stuffing compressing under the v grate bars. But if you don't care about looks this is also possibility.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:54 am    Post subject: organic, flash-frozen bird--do I need to brine? Reply with quote

I have a 15 lb. organic turkey that was flash-frozen. I'm told that flash-frozen birds should taste like a fresh bird, and I understand that an organic bird should have a different flavor than a non-organic bird. I want this turkey to be very special, and I'm afraid that brining may be too much flavor (or too much moisture). What are your thoughts?
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:04 am    Post subject: brined fresh turkey Reply with quote

The fresh birds (flash frozen for shipping) are the best. I agree with previous posters that all birds can benefit from brine. The bird can defrost during the overnight brining time.

I use one of those turkey roasting bags, place the turkey in, pour in the cold brine with some ice cubes and twist it closed. Then I place it in its roasting pan in the fridge.

This year I am making my turkey at my grandparents, 7 hours away. I'm going to try to drive and brine. I think an ice chest filled with ice and the turkey bag snug in the middle will work great.

Great in the brine: fresh rosemary sprigs, sliced oranges and peppercorns.

For my first turkey I made herbed olive oil with fresh herbs and orange zest and juice and rubbed it between the skin and meat. I think that made a big difference in the flavor.

Good luck with your special turkey!
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:51 am    Post subject: roaster ovens Reply with quote

I have not seen anything about using a roaster oven for TG turkeys on this site. Is it a taboo to use one? I just purchased one for a steal and was excited to have my oven for other foods. But now I am apprehensive. What do you think? Also, I am under the impression that the bird wil be more moist but less brown. I sure like a crispy skin. Do you think removing the juices the last 1/2 hour and turning up the temp wil accomplish this?
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