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Mar 11, 2011 10:34 AM

start/stop a roasting turkey?

Sorry to be such a pain on here, but I've never roasted a turkey and don't want to mess it up! I read brining was a good idea but I've just been too busy to fool with it, bird's been in the fridge and has been defrosted for a few days, so I need to cook it soon!

This may sound goofy, but since it takes a while to roast it, has anyone started the process, then gone to bed, put it in the fridge, and resumed cooking it in the morning? Or is that a ridiculous proposal that would lead to a ruined turkey?

I'd like to begin tonite and finish tomorrow rather than cook it for hours on Saturday, but if I must I must.


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  1. No. Once you start, you have to finish it. All of that acclimatising between hot and cold will not only dry out the meat, but is an open invitation to all sorts of food-borne nasties.

    It won't take that long to roast.

      1. Cut the back bone out and flatten it out on a rimmed half size sheet pan. Then spread with olive oil and roast in a 400º oven. It shouldn't take more than 2 hours and the breasts will be much moister (due to the quicker cooking time) than if you had roasted it whole.

        1 Reply
        1. re: LaureltQ

          YES! This is a great idea. More crispy skin too! :)

        2. Cook the turkey in one shot, especially if you plan to stuff the bird with stuffing.

          1. There's no need to apologize for posting a question on this forum; that's what it's for. Every one of the members who respond to your questions has something to share. Some of it will be well founded, some speculative, some based on minimal experience. But it's all valuable and you can pick and choose from the responses to achieve your personal goals. Every one of the members who post responses here has been in your shoes. Relax, learn from your mistakes, and enjoy your kitchen.
            Let us know how that turkey turned out.