time to talk turkey

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richard ritter
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time to talk turkey

#1 Post by richard ritter » November 6th, 2019, 8:25 am

Where can you get the best tasting turkey.I've recently tried a number of turkeys at thanksgiving and they don't seem to taste as good as I remember when I was young.Perhaps it is palate decay as I age.I've tried Dietsel,a heritage,numerous store young turkeys.I haven't brined one.What do you think?

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Re: time to talk turkey

#2 Post by Jay Miller » November 6th, 2019, 10:10 am

If I were going to cook a turkey (and I'm not) I'd try one of the d'Artagnan Green Circle turkeys which are fed on a mixture of grains and surplus vegetables. The diet makes a big difference for the Green Circle chickens so I'd guess the same would be same here.

My Thanksgiving meal will be at my cousins' and will be take out turkey from Wegmans. Fortunately I really like my relatives :)
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Re: time to talk turkey

#3 Post by ClarkstonMark » November 6th, 2019, 12:16 pm

Don’t know what you grew up with, but in BFE I grew up eating Butterballs.
They taste the same to me now as they did 40 years ago. YMMV
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Re: time to talk turkey

#4 Post by J. Rock » November 6th, 2019, 12:29 pm

It sounds like you're already getting high quality turkeys. I think your preparation will affect how much you enjoy the turkey more than whether you have the very best heritage / pasture raised turkey.
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Re: time to talk turkey

#5 Post by CJ Beazley » November 6th, 2019, 1:29 pm

Here’s all you need!
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Re: time to talk turkey

#6 Post by Randy Bowman » November 6th, 2019, 8:06 pm

Thanksgiving is usually celebrated at the vegetarian's house. To avoid the tofurkey, we used to cook a turkey breast and leave it in the trunk of the car, sneak out have some real turkey when ever we could. She caught us and now makes a Whole Foods brined turkey each year. For Christmas, Carrie gets a turkey breast and marinates it in liquid smoke for a day or two. It is sooooooo good and the sandwiches with left overs are even better.
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Re: time to talk turkey

#7 Post by Victor Hong » November 7th, 2019, 3:53 am

Spatchcock, cut into sections, and roast over root vegetables. Remove the faster-cooking sections from the oven, once done.
Avoids dust-like turkey meat.

Deep-fry, if you are into Youtube fame for backyard fires.
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Re: time to talk turkey

#8 Post by JoeD » November 7th, 2019, 5:45 am

Heritage turkey around 12-15lbs. Brine for 12hrs. Dry in fridge for 1 day. Dry rub and evoo. Compound butter under skin. Beer can style (pear juice goes REALLY well) on the BGE, indirect - start with some mild apple smoke, raise temp to 325ish for majority of cook, hotter to finish/crisp skin towards end. Let rest properly. Field questions from friends and family like "why don't we (you) make turkey all year long"
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Re: time to talk turkey

#9 Post by Dennis Atick » November 7th, 2019, 5:49 am

I have been doing this sous vide/deep fry method the last two years and it is outstanding. Best tasting turkey I've ever had.

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Re: time to talk turkey

#10 Post by James Lyon » November 7th, 2019, 1:07 pm

JoeD wrote:
November 7th, 2019, 5:45 am
Heritage turkey around 12-15lbs. Brine for 12hrs. Dry in fridge for 1 day. Dry rub and evoo. Compound butter under skin. Beer can style (pear juice goes REALLY well) on the BGE, indirect - start with some mild apple smoke, raise temp to 325ish for majority of cook, hotter to finish/crisp skin towards end. Let rest properly. Field questions from friends and family like "why don't we (you) make turkey all year long"
Ditto. I've enjoyed many different turkey preparations over the years, but the turkey on the BGE is the best.

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Re: time to talk turkey

#11 Post by John Davis » November 7th, 2019, 3:34 pm

Also use a BGE ad do Turkey (or just a breast) a few times per year.
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Re: time to talk turkey

#12 Post by T. Williams » November 10th, 2019, 3:46 am

Am I the only one that things the best way to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey is to slowly put it back onto the shelf and walk over to the beef and pork section of the store? I seriously dislike Turkey, but will oblige our Thanksgiving day host and eat a few bits. For me Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes anyway.

I was just in an argument with my sister and wife about this earlier in the week. My stance is that of all the fowl, turkey ranks at the bottom of the pack. It is too large to cook effectively, the white meat is dry no matter what, and the flavor on the dark meat isn't nearly as good as other birds. I even tried to propose roasting 3 chickens and was shot down (and called un-American).

In an attempt to keep this post at least somewhat on topic, and not a complete rant...Here is what I do on years our house hosts:
1. dry brine. Mix salt, thyme, pepper, lemon zest together and very generously coat a thawed (buy fresh not frozen) and dried bird with the brine. Put into a fridge on on a baking sheet with a cooling rack insert, uncovered, for a day or two. This lets the salt work its magic, and give you a place for the juice runoff to collect.

2. rinse off brine and pat your bird dry again. Fill the cavity with cut lemons, springs of thyme, rosemary, and sage. Truss the legs (this helps with the whole different parts get done sooner than others). rub the skin of the bird in baking powder (you want crispy skin right?). Sometimes I get frisky and smear some butter between the skin and the meat, but I don't ever see a discernible difference when I do this.

3. Place on the rack of a roasting pan. Take a 12''x12'' piece of tin foil and make an anti-government mind reading hat for your bird. Put it over the breasts. Leave it on for the first hour to help with dry breast issues.

4. Roast at 325 until you hit 160* internal temp. If you aren't crispy enough on the skin, blast it at 425 for 10-15 minutes to get you the rest of the way to crispy skin. Rest for 20 minutes before carving, unfoiled if you want to maximize your crisp skin, foiled if you want to maximize juiciness.

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Re: time to talk turkey

#13 Post by Victor Hong » November 10th, 2019, 3:40 pm

I steam the seasoned but unstuffed turkey for three hours, and then roast at high heat for thirty minutes.
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Re: time to talk turkey

#14 Post by Bdklein » November 28th, 2019, 5:00 am

This is my bird . 32 pounds .Got it from a local butcher shop that we use . First time getting a full turkey from them (did get do a half spatchcock turkey earlier this year that was great). Turkey is organic , free range, and not frozen. From Amish country in Pennsylvania .


Put onion , orange, and lemon, and fresh herbs in the cavity . Rub of garlic , oil, butter , and various seasonings on top . Cook breast side down -will attempt to flip it with an hour to go or so. In pan is some chicken broth and orange juice . And I will turn it 180 degrees halfway through .

I thought about using roast/convection setting but just chose not too. Not too familiar with the process and not the day to test it .
Happy Thanksgiving!!
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Re: time to talk turkey

#15 Post by Joe B » November 28th, 2019, 5:09 am

Butterball. Hopefully bleached. Brined overnight with salt, brown sugar, allspice pods and rosemary.

I use Alton Browns method to cook it. Stuff turkey with apples, oranges, lemons and rosemary. 30 minutes at 500 degrees then reduce to 350 degrees

Looks like this after 30 minutes
14EDFEF2-D7E1-42CC-8278-21BA25647D59.jpeg
Last edited by Joe B on November 28th, 2019, 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: time to talk turkey

#16 Post by cjsavino » November 28th, 2019, 7:27 am

81DB5E3A-9AB0-49CF-B7FC-E2E3EDE583B7.jpeg
Roasting away, keep a butter soaked cheese cloth on top till the last 45 minutes. Started at 425, dropped to 325 once in the oven.
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Re: time to talk turkey

#17 Post by Andrew Kotowski » November 28th, 2019, 12:37 pm

32 pounds? FFS, that ginormous.

I’m running an 18 lb Mary’s Heritage that’ll I’ll cooK in the oven using a recipe from Adam Noble. Family coming up from CA had to turn around because of snow at Redding, so we opened up dinner to Facebook... and I ended up with 10 more people and a smoked, spatchcocked turkey to boot :) Will post some pics.
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Re: time to talk turkey

#18 Post by Rick Bollig » November 28th, 2019, 12:52 pm

Well, I ordered a smoked turkey from Greenberg in Texas. Was supposed to be delivered Nov 25-27 but, due to the big storm here in Denver, was delayed and won’t be delivered until tomorrow (Friday). Luckily, I was able to call Ted’s Montana Grill and pick up some turkey from them to go with all my homemade sides. Guess we’ll have two Thanksgivings in this household.

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Re: time to talk turkey

#19 Post by Rick Bollig » November 28th, 2019, 1:08 pm

Bdklein wrote:
November 28th, 2019, 5:00 am
This is my bird . 32 pounds .Got it from a local butcher shop that we use . First time getting a full turkey from them (did get do a half spatchcock turkey earlier this year that was great). Turkey is organic , free range, and not frozen. From Amish country in Pennsylvania .


Put onion , orange, and lemon, and fresh herbs in the cavity . Rub of garlic , oil, butter , and various seasonings on top . Cook breast side down -will attempt to flip it with an hour to go or so. In pan is some chicken broth and orange juice . And I will turn it 180 degrees halfway through .

I thought about using roast/convection setting but just chose not too. Not too familiar with the process and not the day to test it .
Happy Thanksgiving!!
Wow, that’s a monster. Good luck flipping it, you’ll need a couple of drunk relatives to help.

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Re: time to talk turkey

#20 Post by Siun o'Connell » November 28th, 2019, 9:59 pm

First for us .. we ordered a turkey from the wonderful Chinese bbq restaurant SunWah and it was amazing. Great deal for a huge bird which was so tasty. Sides by my daughter and son in law, both chefs, were a neat mix (fry bread, mashed potatoes, wild rice with cranberries, Brussels sprouts with guanciale, purple carrots roasted, stuffing with sausage and chestnuts, interesting charcuterie and cheese ... all amazing)

When cooking turkeys ourselves, we roast at a low temp ... I stick to herbs and olive oil but my daughter one year basted until lacquered with a local bourbon infused maple syrup ... highly recommended.

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Re: time to talk turkey

#21 Post by Michael Sopher » November 29th, 2019, 8:40 am

Turchetta prepped.jpg
Turchetta cooked.jpg
Tur-chetta
A bit of work upfront but a breeze at dinner, perfect for a small group. Cooked sous vide for 2 1/2 hours and then browned in a pan (thought about a deep fry finish but opted against the mess)

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Re: time to talk turkey

#22 Post by Andrew Kotowski » November 29th, 2019, 9:51 am

Tried something new - turkey with a butter/Thai chili paste baste. Loved the red color of the bird and gravy was spectacular. Going to have to try spatchcock and smoke before next Thanksgiving to see if i can pull it off in prime time.
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Re: time to talk turkey

#23 Post by PeterH » November 29th, 2019, 11:28 am

This year I got one of my best results ever with a pasture raised heritage breed turkey. The shape is different than modern top heavy turkeys, giving a higher proportion of the dark meat I like better. To counter the firmer meat I brined 16 hours and slow roasted at 250 degrees for five hours. I upped the oven temperature right at the end because the skin still wasn't crisp. Final temperature was 160 degrees, a little cooler than the overly cautious recommendations. I stuffed it loosely with a buttery, onion packed, herb packed dressing, and pushed butter under the skin. I kept adding sage and rosemary to the olive oil rubbed skin throughout the cooking process.
The only thing lacking was that there were almost no drippings for gravy. It was a lean bird in the first place, and the brining helps keep the juices in.
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Re: time to talk turkey

#24 Post by ClarkstonMark » November 30th, 2019, 7:52 am

Here is my Honeysuckle white 18 lb turkey that cost $6.66, stuffed with Pepperidge Farms stuffing (recipe on the bag).
Just like mom used to (well, still does) make.
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Re: time to talk turkey

#25 Post by Bdklein » November 30th, 2019, 12:59 pm

Rick Bollig wrote:
November 28th, 2019, 1:08 pm
Bdklein wrote:
November 28th, 2019, 5:00 am
This is my bird . 32 pounds .Got it from a local butcher shop that we use . First time getting a full turkey from them (did get do a half spatchcock turkey earlier this year that was great). Turkey is organic , free range, and not frozen. From Amish country in Pennsylvania .


Put onion , orange, and lemon, and fresh herbs in the cavity . Rub of garlic , oil, butter , and various seasonings on top . Cook breast side down -will attempt to flip it with an hour to go or so. In pan is some chicken broth and orange juice . And I will turn it 180 degrees halfway through .

I thought about using roast/convection setting but just chose not too. Not too familiar with the process and not the day to test it .
Happy Thanksgiving!!
Wow, that’s a monster. Good luck flipping it, you’ll need a couple of drunk relatives to help.
It cooked way too quickly so never had a chance to flip it . Probably better off!! Tasted great but no chance at any sort of nice presentation
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Re: time to talk turkey

#26 Post by Nola Palomar » November 30th, 2019, 1:57 pm

I smoked two turkeys this year. The first we donated to my daughters school who had arranged a traveling Thanksgiving for the Dayton PD. I heard they liked it. The second was for us, and it's 100% gone. My older children all took hefty to go containers of food home and left me with a fair amount... then the youngest daughter took the rest for a carry in her a cappella group had today... not even a turkey sandwich...
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Re: time to talk turkey

#27 Post by AlexS » November 30th, 2019, 2:25 pm

Not even enough turkey left for one sandwich??

I feel like that's both an amazing compliment and a ridiculously tragic situation.
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Re: time to talk turkey

#28 Post by Nola Palomar » November 30th, 2019, 2:37 pm

AlexS wrote:
November 30th, 2019, 2:25 pm
Not even enough turkey left for one sandwich??

I feel like that's both an amazing compliment and a ridiculously tragic situation.
IKR? That's my favorite part of turkey... It was easy though and I can smoke another or a breast and some thighs. I'll take it as a compliment!
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Re: time to talk turkey

#29 Post by J. Rock » November 30th, 2019, 4:26 pm

I deep fried a turkey breast for the first time. I dry brined it first for a day and served it with a homemade compound herb butter (rosemary and sage). It was good, but I am not used to frying something quite that large and need to better regulate the temp of the oil next time. Also, it wasn't nearly as good as the rack of lamb I served for the following course.
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Re: time to talk turkey

#30 Post by Lee Short » December 3rd, 2019, 6:49 pm

Over the past few years I've vacillated between smoking my turkey and cooking it on my Weber Kettle rotisserie. The rotisserie not only makes a moist, tasty bird -- but it cooks so quickly, too! And because it's spinning on the rotisserie, it's essentially self-basting. Just give it a good coating of oil before you begin, and baste once in the middle of cooking. Gives such perfect crispy skin and the meat is still moist. Just be sure to pick the skin off the bottom of the bird before you put it down on the board to cut.

Turns out I don't have to choose between smoking and using the rotisserie.

That rotisserie recipe calls for a bed of charcoal started with a chimney, but it works just fine with a bunch of split cherry that you start with a chimney full of charcoal. Not as smoky as the overnight smoke in the bullet, obviously, but you do get some smoke flavor. Best turkey I've made yet. And with an old beat-up small roasting pan to catch the drippings, it makes a great gravy.

Just had a hot sandwich from the leftovers. Mmmm. Many more leftovers to come, too -- the market misplaced my order and I ended up with a 23-lb bird. Good thing the rotisserie cooks it quickly.

Sorry, Nola -- I'd give you sandwich fixings if you were local.

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