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Nov 25, 2009 10:26 AM

Roast Turkey at home, take to party?

My husband and I were supposed to host Thanksgiving at our place this year. But, due to some illness and anxiety, we were unable to get our house up to snuff for the company. So, we've moved locale, but I'm still cooking.

Because the turkey takes so long, I'm not looking forward to hanging out at the in-law's house for hours and hours of watching a turkey cook.

Is it possible for me to partially or fully cook the bird, throw some foil over the top, and trek it 30-45 minutes to the in-laws' house?

I don't want to ruin it, so I'll bare the hours if I need to. This is my first time cooking Thanksgiving. I'm not doing everything either, so those 4 hours of cook time won't be filled with cooking. I plan on making the cranberry sauce and two pies tonight, and packing up supplies for everything tomorrow, if I must cook at the in-laws place. Tomorrow I will have to make the stuffing, the turkey, some glazed carrots, and mashed potatoes. Everything else is being provided by family. The in-laws kitchen is a lot nicer and larger than mine, so I'm not bummed to be using it. But, its just those mindless hours in the morning of waiiiiiittttting.

Also, 4 hours for a 17.5 lb turkey? That's what I was planning. Is that about right?

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  1. Transport the bird in a clean ice chest, you could wrap it in a clean towel. It will be nice and warm when you arrive. This method actually will keep the bird warm for several hours. Try and use chest that is not much bigger than the bird.

    We use same method for pork butts, brisket and other stuff we want to transport hot. I have two Cambro's that we use for hotel pans but a cooler basically works the same and lots cheaper.

    1 Reply
    1. re: duck833

      I would agree with this advice from duck833. .....I would further add my suggestion to cook the turkey fully to 155*. Once you pull the turkey from the oven, the cooking process will not be the same if you stick a cooled turkey back in the oven to cook up to a temperature. The insulated cooler will keep the turkey hot for quite a while.....there will be some steaming in the cooler and the skin will lose it's crispiness, but you could easily place it back in the oven on high heat to recrisp the skin for 10 minutes without any harm to the white meat's moisture.

    2. I do this all the time; my daughters are too afraid of turkey and gravy, so I bring that and they have everything else.

      It is my practice to roast, rest, and carve the bird and bring the meat only -- if you MUST bring the entire thing, you can still do it that way but it might be messy. Obviously you will pack it securely. I would suggest cooking it completely though. It seems like you don't have too far to travel, you can use an insulated container (one of those big roasters is what I use) or newspaper makes a great insulator. If you have the lid from a copy-paper box, line it heavily with newspaper, then set your roaster inside, then cover all well with heavy foil.

      As far as directions, I go with the Cook's Illustrated directions--it requires a moderate amount of futzing around (like ALL their recipes) but I;ve had good results.

      GOOD LUCK!

      1. Should be no problem, as duck833 explained. I cook two birds for TG, and they rest out of the oven for at least 45 minutes. I cover them in a towel and they are still hot at dinner. The skin stays crispy, and the 45 minutes allows me to do the last minutes things- especially mashing 15-20 pounds of potatoes and cooking the rolls. Good Luck,