Turkey is a large domesticated game bird. Native to North America, it is prized as food, especially on Thanksgiving and Christmas or other festive occasions.
Asked in Microwave Ovens, Turkey Meat
How do you cook a turkey?
Cooking a turkey is something that is not hard, but preparation is a bit time-consuming. Not everyone does it exactly the same, but the general steps are the same. Here are the steps: Check the USDA Roasting Table for Fresh or Thawed Turkey to find out how long you need to cook a turkey of your size in order to have it ready on time for the dinner. (See Timetable at the end of the answer.) Preparing the Turkey The first step when cooking a turkey is to thaw it if it is frozen. Always thaw in the refrigerator and allow 1-2 days, depending on the size of the turkey. When thawed, remove the giblet pack and neck from the body cavity. Wash thoroughly under cool water inside and out. Place in cleaned roasting pan or on a large sturdy baking pan lined with a strip of heavy-duty aluminum foil. The aluminum foil needs to be large enough to wrap the entire turkey. If you are going to stuff your turkey with dressing, prepare the dressing and spoon loosely into the body cavity. As an alternate to dressing, you can season the inside of the turkey with seasoning salt, garlic powder, and pepper (or any seasoning of your choice). You can also cut 1-2 onions into quarters and 1-2 celery stalks into 1-2 inch pieces and place them inside the neck and body cavities. Place the turkey breast-side up, being careful to keep the neck cavity closed, into the roasting pan or onto the foil. If you would like, spread butter on the outside and season the outside to your taste. There is a bar that holds the end together. Place the legs inside the bar to hold them together. Place the lid on the roasting pan. If it does not fit, place aluminum foil over the turkey. If using aluminum foil without a roasting pan, loosely wrap the turkey and secure the edges by overlapping them and pinching them together. Cooking the Turkey Place the turkey in an oven that has been preheated to 325 degrees F. Baste with the turkey's own juices every hour. To brown the outside, remove the foil for the last 1/2 hour or so of cooking. See the USDA Roasting Timetable for Fresh or Thawed Turkey at 325° F for approximate cooking time according to the size of the turkey (at bottom of answer). Some turkeys have small red pop-ups. The turkey is done when it pops up. If your turkey has no pop-up, insert a cooking thermometer into the thick part of the breast. If it reads 165 degrees F, the turkey is done. More advice from other Wikifriendus cooking contributors: Save the giblets - Save your washed giblets in a pot of water to be cut up for giblet gravy. Should not stuff the turkey - Unlike mom and grandma did it, it is considered unsafe to cook your stuffing inside the bird. Because it takes so long to heat to the center, the stuffing can become bacteria farms while the outside of the bird is cooking. My solution: I usually put a whole fresh apple and a small, yellow onion into the cavity of the bird. This allows moisture to "steam" out as the bird cooks. When it is finished, I generally take the apple and onion out and chop them up to add to my stuffing that I make and bake after the bird is finished. (I can also add juices from the bird to the stuffing.) Covered or uncovered? - Covering a bird traps moisture and, again, steams it which is faster than simply cooking in dry heat. However, the steaming also prevents browning, which most people prefer. Cooking uncovered browns is nice, but tends to end up with the drier bird we think of at holidays. I usually start with a cover, in a large roasting pan for a small bird or foil for a large one, and remove it halfway through (somewhere between 120 and 140 degrees F on a cooking thermometer pushed into the thick part of the breast). I also put bacon slices over the larger, meatier areas. It seems to add a little flavor and the bacon takes most of the drying while protecting the turkey. (I don't worry if the bacon looks a little burnt, as long as the turkey is still brown underneath.) Carving ahead - I cook my bird at 350 degrees F. If it seems to be cooking too quickly for my pre-arranged dinner time, I might turn it down to 300 F to add some time. Finally, when it is cooked, I like to carve it ahead. I know people like sitting around the table watching dad or granddad hack at it, but I like having the pieces cut and arranged by white and dark, to make selection easier. Also, if I need time to finish the meal, I'll put the cut meat into a casserole dish, add some turkey broth, and hold it. Since my oven is probably full of stuffing and rolls baking, or pies finishing off, I set the casserole dish on a VERY low burner on the stove and keep an eye on it. Cooking advice - Many formulas for roasting a perfect bird - My favorite is a combination of high temperature to give a nice golden brown crust and lower temperature to finish cooking the meat. Regardless of the technique you use, base you time on your thermometer. Let the bird tell you when it's done. A thermometer stuck in the thick part of the breast that reads 165 degrees F means it's time to get out your carving knife. For juicy legs - Truss and put foil over wings and legs to avoid them drying out. Remove foil coverings for last 30 minutes. Another way to check doneness - Check for doneness by sticking a skewer in the thickest part of the bird. Stick the thigh and deep part of the breast. If the juices run clear (not pink), the bird is cooked. USDA Roasting Timetable for Fresh or Thawed Turkey at 325° F. These times are approximate and should always be used in conjunction with a properly placed thermometer. The USDA does not recommend cooking turkey in an oven set lower than 325° F. Unstuffed 8 to 12 pounds 2 3/4 to 3 hours 12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3 3/4 hours 14 to 18 pounds 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours 18 to 20 pounds 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours 20 to 24 pounds 4 1/2 to 5 hours Stuffed 8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3 1/2 hours 12 to 14 pounds 3 1/2 to 4 hours 14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4 1/4 hours 18 to 20 pounds 4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours 20 to 24 pounds 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hours (Also see all the Related links below.) Contributor Tips I cook my turkey upside down, and keep it covered until the last hour. If you use a roasting rack, the breast will brown and you will still get the benefit of the upside down roasting. The most usual setting to bake a turkey is 325F.
Asked in Turkey Meat
How did the pilgrims cook turkey?
The historical record is fairly vague, it does not specify turkey, or any other bird for that matter. It only lists fowl which could be turkey, duck, goose, or almost any other bird. It also specifies that it was boiled fowl. There is nothing that indicates what it was boiled with. It may have been boiled alone but a very popular European custom of the time was to boil everything in one big pot.
Asked in Turkey Meat
What is the accompaniment for roasted turkey?
Can a frozen turkey be left out for 18 hours?
NO! Not at room temperature. To do so is to risk food poisoning as the exterior warms to room temperature while the inside is still frozen. To safely thaw a turkey you may thaw it in the fridge (this can take a few days), submerge it in cold water in a sink, or slowly run cold water over it for an extended period. Ensure that it's chilled so that the outer portion does not get warm.
How long do you cook a turkey?
Unstuffed 8 to 12 pounds 2 3/4 to 3 hours 12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3 3/4 hours 14 to 18 pounds 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours 18 to 20 pounds 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours 20 to 24 pounds 4 1/2 to 5 hours Stuffed 8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3 1/2 hours 12 to 14 pounds 3 1/2 to 4 hours 14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4 1/4 hours 18 to 20 pounds 4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours 20 to 24 pounds 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hours Different cooking methods: I like to cook it slow and have the day to do other things method -Salt and pepper the inside, put in some stuffing, cover with foil and cook it at 375 F for 1/2 hour, then turn down to 225 and go to sleep. Check it in the morning; if it's pretty much done, the leg will move easily - then take the foil off the top and brown it at about 375 and call it good. Of course, I've always cooked 20-25 lb turkeys, but they are moist and tasty that way. Above all, make sure you use a meat thermometer to ensure your turkey is thoroughly cooked through to 170 degrees. The best way is to figure approximately 15-18 minutes per pound AND use a thermometer. Either an oven safe one in thickest part of thigh that stays in the bird while cooking or an instant read and check the temp occasionally, again in thickest part of thigh. Start approx. 3/4 of the way through cooking and remove from oven when thermometer reads 160' F. Tent lightly with foil and let rest a minimum of 20 minutes. It will continue to cook after removal from oven and reach the desired 170'. Roasting times for whole turkeys Preheat your oven to 160°C (325°F) and use these cooking times to prepare roast turkey that's moist, tender and delicious 10 to 12 lb Un Stuffed Turkey 3 - 3 Â¼ hrs 10 to 12 lb Stuffed Turkey 3 Â½ - 3 Â¾ hrs Turkey is fully cooked and safe to eat when the meat thermometer reads 77Â°C or 170Â°F for an un-stuffed turkey and 82Â°C or 180Â°F for a stuffed turkey. The length of time may vary depending on the size and whether you have stuffed it (stuffed turkeys take longer), but the important thing is to cook it to an internal temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit. You will need a meat thermometer to ascertain this. I suggest getting a thermometer that goes up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can use the thermometer for both meat cooking and candy making. Insert the thermometer into the meat in a way that it does not hit the bone. Don't leave the thermometer in the whole time the turkey is cooking; insert it when you think it's getting close. A good rule of thumb is 20 minutes per pound at 375 F, but temperature testing is still imperative. Un-stuffed 4 to 8 pounds (breast) 1Â½ to 3Â¼ hours 8 to 12 pounds 2Â¾ to 3 hours 12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3Â¾ hours 14 to 18 pounds 3Â¾ to 4Â¼ hours 18 to 20 pounds 4Â¼ to 4Â½ hours 20 to 24 pounds 4Â½ to 5 hours See related link below for more information . Unstuffed 8 to 12 pounds 2 3/4 to 3 hours 12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3 3/4 hours 14 to 18 pounds 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours 18 to 20 pounds 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours 20 to 24 pounds 4 1/2 to 5 hours Stuffed 8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3 1/2 hours 12 to 14 pounds 3 1/2 to 4 hours 14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4 1/4 hours 18 to 20 pounds 4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours 20 to 24 pounds 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hours Roasting times for whole turkeys Preheat your oven to 160Â°C (325Â°F) and use these cooking times to prepare roast turkey that's moist, tender and delicious 16 to 22 lb Un Stuffed Turkey 3 Â½ - 4 hrs 16 to 22 lb Stuffed Turkey 4 - 4 Â½ hrs Turkey is fully cooked and safe to eat when the meat thermometer reads 77Â°C or 170Â°F for an un-stuffed turkey and 82Â°C or 180Â°F for a stuffed turkey.
How long will an uncooked turkey last in the refrigerator?
Thawed raw turkey--1-2 days. Cooked turkey--3-4 days in the refrigerator. In the freezer, up to 3 months Foods that are left out in room temperature for more than an hour can begin bacteria growth. Our stomach acids can kill some of these bacterias but not all and some can make you very sick. Keep foods OUT of the danger zone- Above 45 degrees and Below 145 degrees. Between these temperatures bacteria lives and breeds on our foods.
Asked by Frederik Thompson in Turkeys, Turkey Meat, Thanksgiving
Is it true that eating turkey meat can make you tired?
The theory that turkey makes you sleepy stems from the fact that turkey contains an amino acid called tryptophan. Our bodies use tryptophan to produce the vitamin B3 or niacin, which is essential to creating serotonin, a neurotransmitter thought to contribute to feelings of well-being and happiness. Serotonin is also the precursor to the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. The truth is that turkey doesn’t contain any more tryptophan than many other meats, and it even contains slightly less than most cheeses. That means it’s unfair to blame your post-dinner coma on turkey alone. So, why do we specifically associate Thanksgiving dinner with feeling sleepy? Probably because we’re eating many foods high in tryptophan during the course of the evening, and that tryptophan is amplified by the carbs from rolls, potatoes, and other savory starches. Not to mention the fact that overeating gives the body more digestive work to do, thus using more energy.
How long should you cook a 12 pound turkey and at what temperature?
How long does it take to thaw a 18 lb turkey in refrigerator?
How long is baked turkey good for in refrigerator?
From past experience, I would say a week. I recommend removing the meat from the carcus and refrigerate what you think you will eat in the next few days. Freeze the remaining meat in freezer bags, a few days worth per bag. Freeze the carcus to make delicious soup in the coming months. Don't forget to saute your vegetables before adding them to the soup to give them extra flavor.
How long do you defrost a frozen turkey in the refrigerator?
According to the Iowa State University Extension: "Defrost the turkey in its original wrapper on a tray in the refrigerator 24 hours for each five pounds. Never thaw a turkey at room temperature. You may also place the wrapped turkey in the sink and cover it completely with cold water. This method requires about 30 minutes per pound. If the wrapping is torn, place the turkey in another plastic bag, close securely, and then place in water. The National Turkey Federation recommends every 30 minutes as a rule of thumb." It is very true that you can not count on a turkey to be defrosted on time. It is, however, safe to have a thawed bird in the refrigerator a day or two before cooking, so plan accordingly. But You Don't Have the Time Or Space? Here's Another Choice: Brining Defrosting a turkey not only takes up a lot of room in your refrigerator, but can take up to 2 days or even longer. I get a large clean tub and put cold water and salt in it. I keep changing the water approximately every 4 hours and putting a little more salt in it (not too much.) If you put it in the water with salt in the morning it should be thawed by the next morning. Take the turkey out and put it into a clean kitchen sink and run cold water over it and be sure you rinse it VERY well. Then take paper toweling and pat dry INSIDE AND OUT! Wikifriendus contributors share their turkey tips: Basting is a big no-no. It does nothing for the flavor or juiciness of the turkey, and it adds hours on to cooking. You can tell if the turkey is done checking your leave-in meat thermometer (which you can get at most grocery stores for a few bucks), which is stuck into the thickest part of the thigh or breast (without touching the bone). It's done when it's at 165 degrees F. Take the turkey and put it on a warm platter and cover with foil and let sit 20 minutes to 1/2 hour before carving. DON'T put your turkey into the refrigerator while it is warm. Wait until it cools (approximately 40 - 45 minutes) and then cover it and put it into the fridge. NEVER leave turkey out for hours. Many people will not stuff their turkey (and shouldn't since it's a breeding ground for bacteria in the cavity and the stuffing needs to be cooked longer than the turkey, resulting in over-cooked, dry meat), but make it separately and put it in a sack (you can buy them in a grocery store) or cheese cloth and tie off the top of the sack. Some people use Uncle Ben's Turkey stuffing which is delicious and I always add dried cranberries to the stuffing and wow! It's delicious and gives the stuffing a nice taste. For a great, quick (yes, quick) recipe look for Alton Brown's Brined Turkey recipe from his show "Good Eats." You'll never make turkey the same again.