HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Slow roasting the turkey: a homily

j
jvanderh Nov 22, 2011 02:01 PM

I slow roast my turkeys, and I think you should, too. Especially if you're cooking a big one.

It all started with chickens. Why, I wondered, are rotisserie chickens so much better than the ones I cook at home? Why do they pull apart into big delicious chunks of meat rather than being held together by tight, stringy pieces of connective tissue? Does the rotisserie have magical powers? Isn't it pretty much just a heat source with a rotating skewer? Gee, I thought, I know how to deal with connective tissue. Cook it low and slow, like a braise. So I cooked a chicken for 8 hours or so at 250 (without any liquid, in a regular roasting pan). The skin was definitely not great, but the meat was epic. Incredibly tender, and the juiciest roast chicken I'd ever made. Why don't people do this? I wondered. What an unimaginable travesty that most people cook their roast chickens at 350 or 450. I can't find any evidence that salmonella makes a heat-resistant spore or toxin, but I think part of the reason is that people are concerned about food safety. Also, nobody likes rubbery, anemic chicken skin.

It was the Amish who solved the food safety problem and the disappointing skin problem in one fell swoop: start the turkey in a hot oven and then turn it down before the meat gets hot enough to start losing moisture or toughening up. I cooked this year's 20-ish pound work-turkey at 450 for an hour, then 250 for 7 hours. It was . . beyond words: picture-perfect brown on the outside (I didn't take a picture, because I am dumb) and just shy of fall-apart tender on the inside: you could slice it into nice-looking pieces, but you could cut it with a fork once it was on your plate. I think the slow roasting gives good results for two main reasons. First, protein gets tough at high temperature. Second, you lose less moisture as steam. Basic science tells us that temperature is the average kinetic energy. In a hotter oven, the distribution of kinetic energy is less even. In, say, a 350 degree oven, when the probe tells you it's 160 or 165 inside, in small spots, especially near the surface, it's much hotter than that. Not only do the hot spots get tough, but the temperature inside the turkey doesn't have time to equalize before the moisture molecules evaporate out of the turkey. The bigger the bird, the worse the effect. In a 250 degree oven, you get less of that phenomenon. It seems strange, but you can cook the turkey to temperatures that by intuition should result in a dessicated, horrible bird- think 200 degrees internal- and instead end up with a bird that's moister than a bird cooked to 160 using the normal methods. One could argue that this method is safer- it takes almost 165 degrees to be sure the bacteria are dead, but you can't cook it extra in a hot oven because you'll dry out the breast. With slow roasting, every nook and cranny of the bird is well over 165, and for a longer time. One caveat, though, is to suck out the juices from the bottom of the pan now and then. By the same logic that the moisture evaporates out of the turkey less, it travels less distance from the turkey before cooling back to liquid, and so it pools in the pan. Too much moisture in the pan will make the bottom of the turkey soggy, and will hinder the browning of your drippings. A side benefit of this method is that you have at least a good hour where the turkey is perfect, and it doesn't need to rest quite as long when taken out of the oven. This results in more flexibility with your meal time.

This sermon ends with a call to action. I believe deep in my gut that this is how poultry was meant to be roasted, and I want the world to know. I'm not a religious gal, but this, this was preordained. Roasting a turkey in an unusual method probably sounds scary- it would be horrible if you ruined an expensive turkey and didn't have one to serve at Thanksgiving dinner. So, how about a baby step? How about slow roasting a chicken some time this week? It'll mean a late dinner if you're starting it after work, but remember that you can cook it in a 450 degree oven until the temperature is 100 or so, and then turn the oven down to 250 and let it work its magic. I think once is all it will take to get you hooked. If you've read this far, you have my sincerest respect, and I hope you'll join the revolution.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. goodhealthgourmet RE: jvanderh Nov 22, 2011 02:11 PM

    i'm not a religious gal either, but you held me until the end! and you're not alone - fellow Hounds have voiced their appreciation in the past for low & slow turkey:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/335611

    i know ATK/CI did a feature on it once too. if i was doing a whole bird this year and not just a breast, i'd join the revolution ;)

    3 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
      j
      jvanderh RE: goodhealthgourmet Nov 22, 2011 02:24 PM

      :-)

      I guess I should clarify that I discovered it in the Columbus sense. . .

      And should maybe also add, after reading lots of safety concerns on the linked thread, that there are options. You might want to turn down the oven when a chicken gets to 100 inside, because it heats up so fast, but with a big turkey, you can probably go to 120 or 140 before you turn down the oven, to no ill effects. So, you can leave it at 450 for extra time and cover it, or keep it at 350 for a while afterwards, and probably be in the danger zone for the same amount of time as you would cooking it through at 350, or not much longer. The 450 for an hour then 250 was born of the fact that I had to start it in the middle of the night to be ready at lunchtime, and was too lazy to wake up any more times to cover/uncover it or change the oven temperature.

      1. re: jvanderh
        goodhealthgourmet RE: jvanderh Nov 22, 2011 06:31 PM

        I guess I should clarify that I discovered it in the Columbus sense. . .
        ~~~~~~~
        i hope you didn't take my post the wrong way! i meant it as a positive thing, to point out that you're in good company.

        as for the safety concerns, i'm in the camp that it's not much of an issue if you're smart about it. maybe this will make some of the more conservative cooks feel better:
        http://www.hi-tm.com/Documents/Turkey...

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
          j
          jvanderh RE: goodhealthgourmet Nov 22, 2011 07:25 PM

          No offense taken, ghg.

          That was an interesting read. C. Perfringens is a nasty, horrible bugger- it's been tormenting my fella's dog for months and months. It took four antibiotics to kick it- I'm not surprised it can survive in a turkey *shudder*

    2. todao RE: jvanderh Nov 22, 2011 03:15 PM

      I am in sync with you on the slow roasting method but there's a couple of points you may want to re-evaluate.
      The rotisserie chicken you get from the supermarket "take out" is slow roasted but it is also on a rotisserie and that promotes a more even distribution of moisture in the meat during he cooking process.
      Most of the moisture lost from your bird remains in the baking vessel as drippings. From there, as its temperature increases, it will begin to evaporate. Moisture lost as steam is lost to either the outside environment (oven vent) or condensed to find its way to the baking vessel along with the drippings that don't evaporate. The moisture inside the bird can only be lost as steam if the inside of the bird reaches 212 degrees at sea level.
      The center of the breast at the minimum temperature of 160 degrees will mean, as you stated, that the meat closer to the surface is at a somewhat higher temperature, but I've never found a better method for determining when the bird was ready for removal from the oven so using a digital thermometer is all I can offer as advice to my students.
      Although I would agree with your statement "... protein gets tough at high temperature", once it gets past that temperature the fibers tend to relax (think braise) as the gelatinous molecules do their magic. I believe you make that point with "It seems strange, but you can cook the turkey to temperatures that by intuition should result in a dessicated, horrible bird- think 200 degrees internal- and instead end up with a bird that's moister than a bird cooked to 160 using the normal methods."
      Thanks for sharing what you learned from your experiences; and I enjoy your style of writing.

      1. s
        sedimental RE: jvanderh Nov 22, 2011 07:17 PM

        <<<A side benefit of this method is that you have at least a good hour where the turkey is perfect, and it doesn't need to rest quite as long when taken out of the oven. This results in more flexibility with your meal time.>>>

        I really want to try this on my bird this year but I am not sure I understand this part.
        I need to manage my "oven time". In the standard 350 degree method, it is pretty easy to figure out how long it will take- and you can take it out a little early and let it rest for an hour while using the oven for the other dishes.

        With this method.......???? Does the Turkey NOT need to rest? Does it matter if you leave it to rest on the counter anyway -so you can have the oven back? At 250 degrees, is there a hour per pound formula?

        Thanks for your post!

        1 Reply
        1. re: sedimental
          j
          jvanderh RE: sedimental Nov 22, 2011 07:50 PM

          Cool, a potential convert! I planned on a good couple hours more than if you were to cook it at 350 throughout. I cooked my 20 lb turkey at 450 uncovered for one hour and 250 covered for seven more. The nice thing is that you can tweak it based on the time you have, because it's really only the oven temp toward the end of the cooking time that matters- just cover if it gets too brown. We ate it about 40 minutes after it came out, and it was definitely still hot. If you're making a much smaller one, an hour of resting might be too long. I might wrap a towel around the roasting pan or something to hold in some heat, or plan to cook it in big heavy cast iron.

        2. j
          jkling17 RE: jvanderh Nov 23, 2011 01:07 AM

          I do the reverse - low slow roast at 250 or so, breast down. Then flip it, and continue slow and slow for a while until it's nearly cooked. Then baste with butter or ghee and roast at 400 until skin is done.

          And I brine the turkey for 12-24 hours with kosher salt before roasting. Simple and easy. Usually I also stuff the turkey with homemade stuffing but that's optional.

          1. t
            travelerjjm RE: jvanderh Nov 23, 2011 09:17 AM

            Interestingly, I got this in my email the other day and thought I'd give it a try: slow cooker turkey http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/slow-coo... Since I have an old 1-temp Crock Pot, I will start it in the oven for an hour, then go to the Crock Pot -- I'll use the crock in the oven then transfer to its heater.

            5 Replies
            1. re: travelerjjm
              j
              jvanderh RE: travelerjjm Nov 23, 2011 09:39 AM

              I think that technique sounds good, but are you using the small 6 lb turkey breast they describe? That sounds like way too much time, since a crock pot on low is around 250F, and I cooked a 20lb turkey in that time. I think it would be falling apart completely.

              1. re: jvanderh
                t
                travelerjjm RE: jvanderh Nov 23, 2011 09:48 AM

                I was thinking of putting a remote probe thermometer in and seeing how it goes. My turkey breast is a bit bigger than theirs I think. I also think my cooker runs closer to 200 or less -- I live at 8500ft and it takes a while to get water to boil (196). But yeah, it sounded like a long time.

                1. re: travelerjjm
                  j
                  jvanderh RE: travelerjjm Nov 23, 2011 10:14 AM

                  I think an hour in the oven is too long, too. I'd go until it looks nicely browned or until it's 100F inside, whichever comes first. I think that will be more like 30 or 40 minutes. This is a bone-in, skin-on breast, right? Slow roasting is no good with really lean, well-trimmed meat. If your eating time is flexible, it sounds like a great experiment.

              2. re: travelerjjm
                t
                travelerjjm RE: travelerjjm Nov 25, 2011 09:28 AM

                To report back: The Crock Pot was about a half inch too small in diameter, so I did it in the oven. About 60 mins at 300, then about six hours at 200, until it reached 170F. My wife said "wow, turkey I actually *like*!" To be fair, she liked my smoked turkey, too, but otherwise she is not a turkey lover.

                1. re: travelerjjm
                  j
                  jvanderh RE: travelerjjm Nov 25, 2011 05:32 PM

                  Woohoo!!! :-D

              3. s
                sparkareno RE: jvanderh Nov 23, 2011 10:33 AM

                I have a relatively small turkey (10.4 lbs) and I am not going to stuff inside the bird. Does anyone have any idea of how many minutes per pound I should plan on? I have ONE very small oven and it will be a juggling act to get everything cooked in there...unless we want to eat in stages (we don't). I need to have an approximate dinner time which I realize can vary but I don't want everyone sitting around getting too drunk (cranberry martinis!) waiting for dinner. Nor do I want them to have to go straight from the front door to the table. I am doing the 3 day salt rub.

                8 Replies
                1. re: sparkareno
                  j
                  jkling17 RE: sparkareno Nov 23, 2011 10:43 AM

                  You may wish to get an inexpensive chafing dish to help you to cook things and keep them warm afterwards outside your one oven. Any Sam's Club, Walamart, Target, etc has these racks and sterno cans. They are inexpensive and invaluable for a party or get-together.

                  1. re: jkling17
                    s
                    sparkareno RE: jkling17 Nov 23, 2011 10:47 AM

                    good idea but I won't go near any of those stores today. Also, my house is very tiny so no storage space. And that still wouldn't solve the problem of telling people what time to come over.

                    1. re: sparkareno
                      j
                      jkling17 RE: sparkareno Nov 23, 2011 02:24 PM

                      >> And that still wouldn't solve the problem of telling people what time to come over.

                      Oh well that IS something that I can help with. Guests that come bearing alchohol may start to arrive at 2:30pm. Everyone else may feel free to arrive at 4:30. :-)

                  2. re: sparkareno
                    j
                    jvanderh RE: sparkareno Nov 23, 2011 11:54 AM

                    I'd say around 5 hours, all told. As mentioned to travelerjim above, for a smaller bird/part of a bird, you might want less time at 450. I'd go until it looks nicely brown or until it's 100F inside, whichever comes first. I think that will be closer to 40 minutes. Then 250 for four more hours or so. Keep an eye on the temperature- if it's climbing too slowly, cover the bird and turn up the oven for a while. If you're approaching 165 in the thigh and not ready to eat, turn the oven down to its lowest setting. Travelerjim also mentioned a crockpot. If you have a trustworthy one, I think that would be a good option for the low & slow part. I've used balled up tin foil to keep meat from sitting in the juices. If you're going to need a good hour to prepare the rest of the meal, I'd take precautions to keep your turkey warm during that time- either roast it in something heavy with a good lid, or wrap it in towels when it comes out.

                    The cranberry martinis sound great!

                    1. re: sparkareno
                      Wtg2Retire RE: sparkareno Nov 23, 2011 01:51 PM

                      Here is a chart for you, sparkareno. This chart is for 30 - 1 hour at 475° uncovered, then covered for 250°. Hope the chart comes out readable; I've had to play around with it to get in what to me appears to be the proper format. Well, I can see it doesn't come out exactly aligned, but I think you can tell be looking what heading goes with what is underneath it. If not, just ask, please.

                      Size Time at 475°F Time at 250°F Resting Time Total Preparation Time

                      10 lbs. 20 minutes 3 hours 20 minutes 20 minutes 4 hours

                      11 lbs. 20 minutes 3 hours 40 minutes 20 minutes 4 hours 20 minutes

                      12 lbs. 20 minutes 4 hours 20 minutes 4 hours 40 minutes

                      13 lbs. 20 minutes 4 hours 20 minutes 20 minutes 5 hours

                      14 lbs. 20 minutes 4 hours 40 minutes 20 minutes 5 hours 20 minutes

                      15 lbs. 20 minutes 5 hours 20 minutes 5 hours 40 minutes

                      16 lbs. 20 minutes 5 hours 20 minutes 20 minutes 6 hours

                      17 lbs. 20 minutes 5 hours 40 minutes 20 minutes 6 hours 20 minutes

                      18 lbs. 20 minutes 6 hours 20 minutes 6 hours 40 minutes

                      19 lbs. 20 minutes 6 hours 20 minutes 20 minutes 7 hours

                      20 lbs. 20 minutes 6 hours 40 minutes 20 minutes 7 hours 20 minutes

                      1. re: Wtg2Retire
                        s
                        sedimental RE: Wtg2Retire Nov 23, 2011 02:03 PM

                        Wtg2retire, You are AMAZING!

                        Have you done turkey this way before? I am excited to try it!

                        1. re: Wtg2Retire
                          j
                          jvanderh RE: Wtg2Retire Nov 23, 2011 02:56 PM

                          Those times looks about right! Very cool. Where did you find it?

                          1. re: Wtg2Retire
                            s
                            sparkareno RE: Wtg2Retire Nov 23, 2011 04:45 PM

                            Thank you for the chart--yes it is very easy to read.!!

                        2. s
                          sparkareno RE: jvanderh Nov 24, 2011 01:15 PM

                          Well, so far in the 20 minutes that my turkey was @ 475....the skin burned & I set off the smoke alarm. LOL. I guess the apple juice mixed w/butter that I rubbed on it did it. Now it is covered.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sparkareno
                            j
                            jvanderh RE: sparkareno Nov 24, 2011 09:03 PM

                            Oh dear. I rubbed butter on mine and didn't have any problems. Hope it turned out ok!

                          2. s
                            sedimental RE: jvanderh Nov 25, 2011 12:01 PM

                            Reporting in..........
                            I roasted a 17 lb Turkey in a 475 oven for 40 minutes, then a 250 oven for about 5 1/2 or 6 hours or until 170ish in the thigh and breast both. I cooked the stuffing separately but filled the cavity with an orange, lemons and herb package in cheesecloth. Roasted over some veg, white wine and butter.

                            It was terrific!!!! Tender and juicy, we cut the white meat with a fork. Best of all, I didn't have to worry if it was done all the way through. Every part of it was up to temp and could hold there for hours without drying out.

                            This is my new way to cook Turkey from now on. It took longer but was much less hassle by far!

                            Note: next time I might roast it at 450 instead, 475 was a bit hot and I don't know that it needs to be that hot for that nice mahogany color.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sedimental
                              j
                              jvanderh RE: sedimental Nov 25, 2011 05:36 PM

                              Hooray!! A convert! :-D

                            2. pdxgastro RE: jvanderh Nov 25, 2011 08:28 PM

                              Last weekend's America's Test Kitchen touched on both slow roasting turkeys and dry-brining them. They said the best way is to keep it at the low temperature for the whole time. They did a side-by-side and the bird that was cooked at a higher temp at first and later lowered was overcooked on the outside (inside was fine). The constant low temp bird was the same temperature inside and out. And they dry brined the bird. It was easier than wet brine and just as juicy.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: pdxgastro
                                d
                                divadmas RE: pdxgastro Feb 17, 2012 05:17 AM

                                my last turkey i followed these directions.
                                http://www.howtocookathanksgivingturk...
                                turkey was great, not dry at all, breast and thigh meat perfect. i did miss the stuffing in the bird and only birds under 20# are recommended. also the defrost time was a little off but that could be my fridge was too cold. otherwise this method works great and it is the way i will do my next bird soon.

                              2. m
                                makinitgreen RE: jvanderh Nov 19, 2013 09:46 AM

                                Can I revive this wonderful thread to ask whether it's worth brining the turkey for added flavor before slow roasting? Thanks!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: makinitgreen
                                  a
                                  acgold7 RE: makinitgreen Nov 19, 2013 11:54 PM

                                  Yes, it's worth it. But read the label carefully. Frozen/injected/basted and Kosher birds don't need brining.

                                  For more details:

                                  http://youtu.be/1LWqT1PNC_s

                                  http://youtu.be/4xFOd6QicAU

                                  1. re: makinitgreen
                                    Karl S RE: makinitgreen Nov 20, 2013 05:24 AM

                                    It's a lot easier simply to "dry brine" - that is, just salt - the turkey.

                                    1. re: Karl S
                                      p
                                      Puffin3 RE: Karl S Nov 20, 2013 05:42 AM

                                      This is how I roast any poultry. Been doing it this way for years.
                                      IMO 250F is still too high. Note at the end Heston simply puts the bird back in a screaming hot oven for a couple of minutes. Result? How many M. stars does he have?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgU-Wy...
                                      A couple of years ago his restaurant was voted the best in the world. Got to be a good reason. One of them would be he knows how to cook perfect poultry. This method works exactly the same for turkey.

                                    2. re: makinitgreen
                                      j
                                      jvanderh RE: makinitgreen Dec 7, 2013 02:28 PM

                                      So sorry not to have seen that this thread was resurrected! I haven't been too impressed with brining, but I like to presalt also, if I have the time, especially if it means giving the skin a chance to dry out before roasting.

                                    3. w
                                      Westminstress RE: jvanderh Nov 20, 2013 08:49 AM

                                      I am tempted to try this this year but I have a couple of questions.

                                      1. Is it necessary to cover the turkey to achieve good results?

                                      2. How long does it take for the oven temp to drop from 450 to 250?

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: Westminstress
                                        p
                                        Puffin3 RE: Westminstress Nov 20, 2013 09:19 AM

                                        Just try this once please.
                                        Wet brine turkey over night. Pat dry.
                                        Rub S&P NO butter/oil.
                                        NEVER EVER cover a 'low and slow' bird. You'll end up with a stewed/steamed horrible result!!!!!
                                        Into a preheated 200F oven. Yes I said a 200F oven. NO HIGHER!
                                        After an hour or so check temp with thermometer in thickest part of the thigh. Do this about every half hour until the internal temp is 150F. Now remove from oven and tent lightly for al least an hour. Yes, an hour. Crank up the oven to screaming hot. Carefully put bird back into the oven and watch as the skin turns a golden color. This will only take a few minutes. Remove and rest again for another few minutes. Carve and enjoy the best turkey you will have ever eaten.
                                        Literally everyone I have been able to try this method one time has NEVER cooked any bird any other way again. That's a promise.
                                        You are likely reluctant to try this with a large expensive bird like a turkey so try this exact same method with a chicken and you'll see/taste for yourself.

                                        1. re: Puffin3
                                          Karl S RE: Puffin3 Nov 20, 2013 09:33 AM

                                          how many hrs per pound? People will need that information to consider doing this....

                                          1. re: Puffin3
                                            t
                                            travelerjjm RE: Puffin3 Nov 20, 2013 11:21 AM

                                            When one removes the bird at 150 internal temp, can I wrap in foil and then more insulation (e.g. a towel) to hold it longer than an hour? How long can it be safely held before crisping the skin?

                                            1. re: travelerjjm
                                              t
                                              tacosandbeer RE: travelerjjm Nov 20, 2013 11:27 AM

                                              I did a turkey crown (just the breasts) low and slow last year (I posted a report with details if you're inclined to have a look) - I did just that, foil and a few kitchen towels - the uncarved half of the breast was still good and hot after we ate and got around to slicing the leftovers.

                                              1. re: travelerjjm
                                                p
                                                Puffin3 RE: travelerjjm Nov 20, 2013 12:08 PM

                                                Removing the bird at 150F will result in some 'carry-over' Maybe a few degrees. Understand that at this point the bird is done and could be eaten.
                                                Do not wrap the bird up tight in foil. You'll likely screw up the top skin layer and the carry-over could raise the internal temp higher than what is optimal for a juicy bird. Just lightly tent it with tin foil.
                                                The purpose of 'resting' the bird is for all the connective tissues and protein strands in the meat to slowly relax and draw back any moisture they have squeezed out during the cooking process. The only reason to put the bird back in the screaming hot oven is to crisp the skin so it will 'look pretty'. None other.

                                            2. re: Westminstress
                                              j
                                              jvanderh RE: Westminstress Dec 7, 2013 02:29 PM

                                              Sorry to have missed this. With a really huge bird, I sometimes find that the wing tips or the top of the breast are getting too brown before I want to turn the oven down, so I cover those little spots in foil.

                                            3. g
                                              Garyphill RE: jvanderh Nov 26, 2013 07:56 PM

                                              How do I get this recipe for a 15 lb turkey

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Garyphill
                                                fldhkybnva RE: Garyphill Nov 26, 2013 08:08 PM

                                                It's a method more than a recipe. Roast until your bird hits temperature.

                                                1. re: Garyphill
                                                  c
                                                  Candi420 RE: Garyphill Nov 27, 2013 11:23 PM

                                                  My friend is a chef and he cooks his 15lb turkeys in a deep baking pan between 210-230 degrees for about 9-10 hours overnight, then he adds an additional hour at 350 degrees or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. It has to reach this temperature internally for food safety purposes. If you do not have a baking thermometer, as I don't either, stab the inner thigh, if the fluid runs clear it's done, if it is pink or any color other than clear it is not done yet. I cook mine this way too, hope it helps out.

                                                2. m
                                                  Mattsanford RE: jvanderh Nov 26, 2013 09:35 PM

                                                  Here's the recipe as my Dad always did - perfection.
                                                  Pour boiling water all over the bird and cavities to sanitize.

                                                  Butter the outside of the bird and salt and pepper

                                                  Pour 1 cup of cooking oil in the cavity then stuff with bread stuffing

                                                  Put breast side down in roasting pan, put in 300 degree oven for 1 hour then turn down to 185 and roast one hour per pound.

                                                  Flip bird and crisp skin a bit at 300 till browned

                                                  Remove, let rest and be in heaven!

                                                  1. m
                                                    makinitgreen RE: jvanderh Nov 27, 2013 03:40 PM

                                                    I have another question: I'm going to be cooking the turkey at home and then I have to transport it 15 minutes away to my friend's house where we'll be eating. What's the best way to do this? Do I crisp up the skin when I get there and then carve it? Do I need to let the bird sit after I crisp the skin if I've already let it sit at home? How do I keep it warm? I would just drive the turkey over to my friend's house and cook it there, but she needs her oven, and I also have a baby, so the logistics are a little messy. Thanks in advance!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: makinitgreen
                                                      j
                                                      jvanderh RE: makinitgreen Dec 7, 2013 02:23 PM

                                                      I'm so sorry to have missed your question. Hope everything worked out.

                                                    2. l
                                                      LanceCM RE: jvanderh Nov 27, 2013 10:28 PM

                                                      I have been slow roasting turkeys for over twenty years now. The first time I slow roasted a turkey was simply by experiment and I have never cooked one any other way. I hear people talk about rotisserie turkeys, fried turkeys, etc. but I think the slow roasted is by far the juiciest and best turkey you can ever eat. This recipe is a lot of work and time but I feel it is worth it.

                                                      This is my recipe:
                                                      I thaw the turkey in the refrigerator.
                                                      I begin my turkey prep on Monday night before Thanksgiving.
                                                      Mix light, low to no salt Cajun seasonings, 1 stick of unsalted butter (not margarine), 1 clove garlic, water and just a touch of olive oil in a mixing bowl. Go easy on the seasoning because turkey will be injected 3 different times. I remove the turkey from the refrigerator, unwrap and clean. I save the giblets and neck for turkey and sausage gumbo on Friday (not getting that recipe). Place turkey in roasting pan with roasting rack. Turkey must be elevated above the bottom of the pan about 2 inches. I prefer a flat pan rack vs. a V shaped rack. Inject mixture into turkey. Inject very slight amount of mixture into a lot of areas of turkey. I usually inject about every 2 inches of breasts, thighs, legs, and wings. Cover using aluminum foil and place in refrigerator. Do not let turkey warm to room temperature. Butter solidifies in turkey while in refrigerator. As the turkey slowly cooks, butter slowly melts into turkey meat.
                                                      Tuesday night, remove turkey from refrigerator and inject using same injection mixture as on Monday night. Cover and place in refrigerator. Do not let turkey warm.
                                                      Wednesday afternoon, remove turkey from refrigerator and inject slightly with same mixture. Take remaining injection mixture and add 1 to 1-1/2 cups of honey and poultry rub in mixing bowl. Using a basting brush, brush honey mixture onto outside of turkey. After brushing turkey, add 2 cups of water to mixing bowl and mix with remaining honey mixture. Pour remaining mixture into bottom of roasting pan. Add more water to bottom of roasting pan until liquid is about 1 inch deep in pan. Cover turkey making sure not to let foil touch top of turkey. Keep foil about 2 inches away from skin of turkey. Place turkey in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
                                                      Calculate cook time based on weight of turkey. Need to allow 40 minutes to 50 minutes per pound. A twenty pound turkey takes me about 14 hours to cook. Time also depends on size and type of oven, conventional, convection, etc. Experimenting with time beforehand is best.
                                                      Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
                                                      Place turkey directly from refrigerator to oven. Do not remove foil.
                                                      Cook turkey for 2 hours.
                                                      Remove foil from turkey and baste using bulb type baster. After basting turkey, use baster to suck juice from cavity and mix juice in bottom of pan. Do not re-cover turkey.
                                                      Baste turkey every hour in this manner until thigh temp reaches 150 degrees. Do not let fluid in bottom of pan get below 1/2 inch deep or above 1 inches deep.
                                                      Raise oven temperature to 425 - 450 degrees. Begin basting turkey every 15 minutes until skin is golden brown and turkey temp is 165 - 170 degrees (measured at thigh bone).
                                                      Remove turkey and let rest uncovered for 15 - 30 minutes. Resting time is for ease of carving. Turkey can be eaten straight from oven.
                                                      Strain turkey drippings from bottom of roasting pan to make turkey gravy.
                                                      Fold and place large towel under carving board (turkey will be so juicy, juices will flow off carving board (I didn't figure this out until about year 5).
                                                      Carve turkey and serve.

                                                      At Christmas I will try a Cajun apple wood smoked bacon injected turkey.

                                                       
                                                      1. v
                                                        veritus1 RE: jvanderh Nov 30, 2013 06:36 AM

                                                        Low and slow cooking has always paid off when I've barbecued, so I tried this for Thanksgiving. Took a leap of faith, 16.25 lb. bird, stuck a quartered lemon and large chopped onion in cavity, rubbed with butter, salt and pepper, stuck it in preheated 450 degree oven for 40 minutes, then turned down to 235 degrees for about 7.5 hours, let rest out of the oven about 30 minutes. Never opened the oven door until it was done (hence no basting), and never covered it. Best (and easiest) turkey I've ever made by far -- succulent, tender, brown crisp skin, delicious! This method works GREAT! Amen.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: veritus1
                                                          fldhkybnva RE: veritus1 Nov 30, 2013 06:46 AM

                                                          I'm glad to hear your leap of faith worked out!

                                                          1. re: veritus1
                                                            j
                                                            jvanderh RE: veritus1 Dec 7, 2013 02:31 PM

                                                            awesome! :-)

                                                          Show Hidden Posts