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  • Tips on Roasting a Thanksgiving Turkey?

    Does anyone have tips on roasting a Thanksgiving turkey for other Forum members who plan on cooking their bird in their WFO?
    Forno Bravo

  • #2
    I've done turkeys the last two years and used two different methods noted below.

    Method 1: Dry brine 21.7# fresh turkey. Three to one salt:sugar dry brine with a little black pepper. Rubbed dry mix over outside skin and inside cavity. Wrapped brined bird in plastic wrap and set in roaster in refrigerator. Turned bird twice per day for two days. Night before bake, unwrapped and put back into refrig to dry overnight. Took bird out and let it come to prep room temp (55F) for about 1.5 hrs. Stuffed sage/butter/bacon chunks under skin and put thyme, lemons, bay leaf, apples, onions, & sage into cavity.

    Set back in roaster on rack with about 3 cups giblet water, some quartered apples & onions with a healthy splash of wine. Lemon juice over skin, then rub with EVOO. Bird into clean, heat saturated oven just before 1 at 525F. Bird well browned after an hour, so covered with tin foil (2 layers) and put roaster on inverted sheet pan near door opening (425F temps there). Turned roaster pan around every 45 minutes, checked the bird's temp at 4:30 and pulled it out at 5. Covered tightly with the foil to rest and carved just before 6. Turkey moist, bacon bits crisped under skin ... lucked out again! Pics attached.

    Method 2: Sixteen (16#) frozen turkey, thawed. Rub skin with salt & EVOO and place in roaster pan on rack, breast down. Placed about 3 cups of water into roaster and tightly sealed roaster & turkey with heavy duty foil. At 1:00 pm put roaster/turkey into cleaned, heat saturated oven at about 500F. Roasted for three hours and removed at 4 pm. Let rest covered until almost 5 before uncovering and carving. Sausage dressing & roasted vegetables in the oven to cook while turkey is resting. This is not a turkey that's about crisp, brown skin...it's about moist, fall off the bone, delicious turkey meat-both dark & white. Carved each breast off in single piece and then chunked up for serving platter. Thigh meat also chunked off the bone. Gravy made from the pan juices....thank goodness for the Spandex in my pant's waistband!

    Hope you'll try & enjoy one of these methods with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving!
    Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
    Roseburg, Oregon

    FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
    Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
    Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

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    • #3
      Great tips!!
      Forno Bravo

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      • #4
        Just catching up now that the holidays are over. The past 2 years I have spatchcocked my birds. We had 3 birds 10-12lbs in a 500F fireless oven spatchocked and cooked them in 1.25 hours. The picture was enhanced on Instagram making them seem crusty black but they weren't as burnt on the top as the picture shows.

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        • #5
          Kkgator,

          They look great to me. On a BBQ forum that I'm on, they call that a "good bight through skin". Cooking them that hot and fast, I bet they were tender and juicey inside. I haven't tackled a turkey, but they are still on my to do list. Spatching has become my go to for chicken. I've done a few in the WFO, and a lot on the grill. On the Weber, I get about 400-425F indirect heat with lump charcoal. The few that I have tried in the oven were in the 350 to 380 range. I'll make it a point to go higher in the oven next time. I really like the spatchcock method. It seems to bring the breasts and thighs to a finished internal temp at about the same time.

          Edit:

          Mike,

          Drybrining is the way to go! For me, even if it is a little overcooked, drybrining lends a little hedge against drying the birds out .
          Last edited by Gulf; 01-23-2016, 05:33 PM.
          Joe Watson " A year from now, you will wish that you had started today" My Build Album / My Build

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          • #6
            I realize this is a bit late, but I thought I'd record my results here. The trick, in my opinion is to NOT stuff the bird. It allows for heat to enter the cavity.

            I did a 14lb bird this past Thanksgiving. I pulled the skin back from the meat and rubbed underneath pretty heavily with softened garlic(fresh) butter. I cut 2 small oranges and threw them, with some garlic cloves into the cavity. Finally, I rubbed the bird in salt and fresh pepper. The bird sat on a rack above a pan of water with garlic and more oranges. Oven had been pre-heated to about 450-500, I maintained a fire on one side, placed the bird in the oven, cavity facing the fire. I rotated 90 degrees every 45 minutes or so. Temps ran between 450 and 500 the whole time. Took just about 3 hours. Cell phone pic makes it look darker than it really was.

            We hosted and everyone raved about it. It was incredibly juicy, with a tight skin. when I first cut into it, I didn't think it was done, juice poured from it. I will do this EVERY year.
            Click image for larger version

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            "Half of the lies the tell about me aren't true!"

            My 36" Pompeii Build

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