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Jan 19, 2009 06:59 PM

Roasted turkey, covered or not?

After my mother made a great, moist, nicely browned turkey in her roaster with the lid on throughout the cooking process, I dragged my speckle-ware lidded roaster out of the basement. Tonight we had a hotel-style turkey breast, with garlic and marjoram, because I couldn't find my sage, kept the lid on the roaster the whole time. I made a broth with the neck and giblets, added mushrooms, finally milk and flour, and it made fabulous gravey.
More importantly, the breast was lovely and moist! Is there any down side to always using the lid on a roaster, assuming the beast fits?

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  1. Lids = steamed turkey, not roast turkey. That's why I don't like to use them. Obviously you don't get a nice crisp brown skin either.

    There's lots of turkey discussion on these boards from a few months ago, but frankly a turkey shouldn't need a lid.

    2 Replies
    1. re: HaagenDazs

      But I did get a nicely browned crisp skin, which was a pleasant surprise. My mother's roaster lid has two vents, but mine doesn't, so I kept it just a bit catty-corner from the roaster so that it wasn't totally sealed.

      The skin was lovely, and the meat was moist. So I recommend it.

      1. re: rememberme

        OK. I don't recommend it. Lots of people won't have the same result that you had and who's to say that even somerville (above) had the same result you described?

    2. I think you have answered your own question. If the results was as good as you say, then what could be the downside? It' not how I'd do it but you can't argue with success

      1. somervilleoldtimer, are you still around?

        I was thinking of covering the turkey this year. We don't like the skin so that part doesn't matter.

        I was thinking of roasting it breast side down. I wonder if it would be too moist/mushy this way?

        Thoughts anyone?

        1 Reply
        1. re: thymetobake

          Amazingly, having not looked at Chow in a year or so, I'm here! (New job, more time, yay!) So I don't know what to tell you except to say that I was honest about the turkey I posted about, above. I always roast my chickens breast down, and same on the rare occasions when I'm roasting a turkey. But I haven't done one since then, so I can't tell you I've replicated the experiment. It wasn't steamed, just very moist, and with the lid off for the last little bit, the skin was browned although not incredibly crackly. But not wet and flabby either. A word of caution; years ago I made a brisket in a covered roaster that was made without a steam vent. When I took it out of the oven to check on it and lifted the lid, a spout of steam shot out of the side as I lifted the lid and gave me a second-degree burn on my wrist that took a long time (and some medical care) to heal. So if you use a roaster lid without a vent, use a long fork to lift the lid, and stand far away until the steam clears. Happy thanksgiving to you and all!

        2. I use old fashioned enamel roasters. I cook roasted turkey or chicken breast up, even though I know the fashion is now to do it breast down.

          I cover the fowl for the first half of cooking, then uncover for max browning. I used to have a convection oven that browned the fowl beautifully, but in my current standard oven, I pour a little sherry over the bird for a little caramelization.

          We had roast chicken tonight and it was lovely.

          I have in the past left the cover on for the entire cook time, and I thought the turkey or chicken was fine. But when I got convection, it seemed silly not to allow the airflow to brown the fowl directly. Now that I am back to standard oven, I have found that I like uncovering the fowl after awhile in the oven.