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Chef’s Holiday Turkey Tips

| Tips Even Grandma Might NOT Know | Lessons Learned

Today is the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The Turkey Is Purchased & Thawing in the Refrigerator

Chef level turkey cooking tips that have come from hard lessons learned. Some of these tips will be new to some of you. Grandma might even learn a thing or two.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, or 4 days before the event is a very good and safe day to start the natural thawing process in your refrigerator.

Last minute thawing under warm, or even worse HOT water is a fail.

The turkey doesn’t cook as well, and you change the protein texture. Think like this for a moment….What already happens to meat when you apply heat?…Aka, cooking…texture changes.

If the turkey isn’t fully thawed when you’re ready to start prepping, that would be a case where running the turkey under COLD to room temperature water for a while is just fine. Never HOT.

14 Chef Turkey Cooking Tips

1) Point the turkey legs to the back of the oven. Hottest part of the oven is the back of the oven, plus the dark meat finishes cooking at a higher internal temperature.#ovencooking #roastingturkey

Turkery Cooking Doneness Tempetures

  • White Meat – Done @ 160 internal temp
  • Dark Meat    -Done @ 170-175

 

2) Make sure the turkey is very dry before adding any butter or Olive oil. #majorturkeytip

This is key to getting crispy nicely cooked turkey skin and color. Wet skin only steams #nocolor

Use a paper towel to pat dry. If the turkey sits on the counter before you begin buttering, be sure to pat the turkey dry once again. I cannot understate the importance of this turkey RULE. #perfecturkey

Add butter under the skin with your hands to keep the turkey extra moisture during cooking.

3) MASTER TURKEY TIP – New To Most People

Soak cheesecloth in melted butter and drape it over the top of the turkey starting at 450 degrees, after about 20 to 30 minutes. Keep basting with the butter, or seasoned butter. After the 30 minutes, turn the temperature down to 325 and roast for another 30 minutes. Then remove the cheesecloth and continue roasting until done.

Frying a Turkey?

4) If frying the turkey, ( 3 -4 minutes a pound @ 360 degrees). Use Peanut Oil, at worst use canola. Vegetable oil is bland and has no flavor, not the right oil for Turkey frying in my opinion. Your frying the turkey for texture and flavor, right?

TURKEY WARNING !!! (Be very careful that the turkey is completely thawed, or an oil explosion can occur.

Oil and Water Do NOT MIX

#safefrying #turkeysafey

5) Once out of the oven or fryer,  the turkey must rest for at least 40 minutes to an hour. Bobby Flay suggests one hour. This is equally important to the cooking process. 

The resting of the turkey is when the turkey meat becomes juicy.  Think of it like this. The turkey comes out of the oven HOT. On the inside, the turkey is screaming with hot steam trying to escape. If you cut or slice the turkey before the storm has calmed down you get a grade of an F for turkey cookery. Must REST the Turkey 🙂

6) Never try to cook a turkey straight out of the refrigerator. #toocold

The turkey needs to be around room temperature before placing onto the oven. IF you skip this step the turkey will not cook evenly and the middle of the turkey will be extra pink and just about raw, or raw.

7) Large turkeys over 14 pounds become more gamey and tough. Buy young turkeys unless you’re looking for gamey turkeys. Some people really like that. 

8) Stay away from turkeys that do not state clearly they are minimally processed. Antibiotic free.

9) Turkeys that are priced over $40 aren’t better, they just cost more to raise. It’s a scam and I’m sorry to say that. But,”So what” if a turkey grew up eating bugs and acorns. Sure we could break down animals diets and what is best, but it does not afford to the cost of $80 for a turkey at Whole Foods etc.

10) Wet Brining is fine, but the turkey already comes in a salt solution / brine. 

It is legal for the weight you pay per pound to be up to 19% brine. I know, crazy, but 100% true.

11) Be like the restaurants, use a Dry Brine. #CrispySkin

turkey in dry brine

— A Dry Brine is the use of salt, seasoned with other herbs and spices, even citrus peels. You completely pack the seasoned salt around the turkey in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. (see photo – that’s a chicken)

— Next day, rinse off the turkey of all salt, and pat very dry. Place the turkey on a roasting rack, uncovered in the refrigerator for the next 12 hours or overnight.

The Dry Brine will make sure your turkey skin is the crispiest possible, besides of course frying. It also adds a flavor to the naturally bland flavored turkey

12) Turkeys and Chicken are one of the very few proteins/meats that needs a good bit of salt. Add a little more than what looks right and you’ll likely be in the sweet spot with seasoning.

13 ) Stay away from turkeys that do not state clearly they are minimally processed. Antibiotic free.

14 ROASTING TIP FOR non-SOGGY SKIN

Basting adds moisture to the skin. You will never get crispy skin roasting this way. Using the cheesecloth tip above, once you remove the cheesecloth STOP basting the turkey and allow the skin to crisp up. 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your turkey cooking tips to share? Leave a comment in the comment section below.

 

Chef’s Holiday Turkey Tips

| Tips Even Grandma Might NOT Know | Lessons Learned

Today is the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The Turkey Is Purchased & Thawing in the Refrigerator

Chef level turkey cooking tips that have come from hard lessons learned. Some of these tips will be new to some of you. Grandma might even learn a thing or two.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, or 4 days before the event is a very good and safe day to start the natural thawing process in your refrigerator.

Last minute thawing under warm, or even worse HOT water is a fail.

The turkey doesn’t cook as well, and you change the protein texture. Think like this for a moment….What already happens to meat when you apply heat?…Aka, cooking…texture changes.

If the turkey isn’t fully thawed when you’re ready to start prepping, that would be a case where running the turkey under COLD to room temperature water for a while is just fine. Never HOT.

14 Chef Turkey Cooking Tips

1) Point the turkey legs to the back of the oven. Hottest part of the oven is the back of the oven, plus the dark meat finishes cooking at a higher internal temperature.#ovencooking #roastingturkey

Turkery Cooking Doneness Tempetures

  • White Meat – Done @ 160 internal temp
  • Dark Meat    -Done @ 170-175

 

2) Make sure the turkey is very dry before adding any butter or Olive oil. #majorturkeytip

This is key to getting crispy nicely cooked turkey skin and color. Wet skin only steams #nocolor

Use a paper towel to pat dry. If the turkey sits on the counter before you begin buttering, be sure to pat the turkey dry once again. I cannot understate the importance of this turkey RULE. #perfecturkey

Add butter under the skin with your hands to keep the turkey extra moisture during cooking.

3) MASTER TURKEY TIP – New To Most People

Soak cheesecloth in melted butter and drape it over the top of the turkey starting at 450 degrees, after about 20 to 30 minutes. Keep basting with the butter, or seasoned butter. After the 30 minutes, turn the temperature down to 325 and roast for another 30 minutes. Then remove the cheesecloth and continue roasting until done.

Frying a Turkey?

4) If frying the turkey, ( 3 -4 minutes a pound @ 360 degrees). Use Peanut Oil, at worst use canola. Vegetable oil is bland and has no flavor, not the right oil for Turkey frying in my opinion. Your frying the turkey for texture and flavor, right?

TURKEY WARNING !!! (Be very careful that the turkey is completely thawed, or an oil explosion can occur.

Oil and Water Do NOT MIX

#safefrying #turkeysafey

5) Once out of the oven or fryer,  the turkey must rest for at least 40 minutes to an hour. Bobby Flay suggests one hour. This is equally important to the cooking process. 

The resting of the turkey is when the turkey meat becomes juicy.  Think of it like this. The turkey comes out of the oven HOT. On the inside, the turkey is screaming with hot steam trying to escape. If you cut or slice the turkey before the storm has calmed down you get a grade of an F for turkey cookery. Must REST the Turkey 🙂

6) Never try to cook a turkey straight out of the refrigerator. #toocold

The turkey needs to be around room temperature before placing onto the oven. IF you skip this step the turkey will not cook evenly and the middle of the turkey will be extra pink and just about raw, or raw.

7) Large turkeys over 14 pounds become more gamey and tough. Buy young turkeys unless you’re looking for gamey turkeys. Some people really like that. 

8) Stay away from turkeys that do not state clearly they are minimally processed. Antibiotic free.

9) Turkeys that are priced over $40 aren’t better, they just cost more to raise. It’s a scam and I’m sorry to say that. But,”So what” if a turkey grew up eating bugs and acorns. Sure we could break down animals diets and what is best, but it does not afford to the cost of $80 for a turkey at Whole Foods etc.

10) Wet Brining is fine, but the turkey already comes in a salt solution / brine. 

It is legal for the weight you pay per pound to be up to 19% brine. I know, crazy, but 100% true.

11) Be like the restaurants, use a Dry Brine. #CrispySkin

turkey in dry brine

— A Dry Brine is the use of salt, seasoned with other herbs and spices, even citrus peels. You completely pack the seasoned salt around the turkey in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. (see photo – that’s a chicken)

— Next day, rinse off the turkey of all salt, and pat very dry. Place the turkey on a roasting rack, uncovered in the refrigerator for the next 12 hours or overnight.

The Dry Brine will make sure your turkey skin is the crispiest possible, besides of course frying. It also adds a flavor to the naturally bland flavored turkey

12) Turkeys and Chicken are one of the very few proteins/meats that needs a good bit of salt. Add a little more than what looks right and you’ll likely be in the sweet spot with seasoning.

13 ) Stay away from turkeys that do not state clearly they are minimally processed. Antibiotic free.

14 ROASTING TIP FOR non-SOGGY SKIN

Basting adds moisture to the skin. You will never get crispy skin roasting this way. Using the cheesecloth tip above, once you remove the cheesecloth STOP basting the turkey and allow the skin to crisp up. 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your turkey cooking tips to share? Leave a comment in the comment section below.

 

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