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Can I cook turkey half way, transport, and restart cooking 30 minutes later?

g
goodeatsgal Dec 21, 2011 11:43 AM

I thought I had seen a similar query but it didn't come up in a search, so apologies if this is duplicative.

My parents live 20 minutes away. I will be roasting 2 Diestel petite turkeys (6-10 pounds each), unstuffed, on Christmas Day. Can I start the turkeys in my oven, take them out halfway, wrap and transport them to my parents' house, and continue the cooking there? They will have the oven already at the proper temperature.

There would be a pause in the cooking of 30 minutes, 40 max. It seems to me that wouldn't be enough time to cause food safety issues. Any reasons I shouldn't do this? Thanks for the advice!

  1. twyst Dec 22, 2011 12:26 PM

    Glad to see you have gotten it worked out and will transport during resting time, but if you had to do it the other way it would be ok from a food safety standpoint. 30 minutes out of the oven is not going to hurt anything, and with something as large as a turkey its going to continue to cook the entire 30 minutes its out of the oven anyway.

    1. g
      goodeatsgal Dec 21, 2011 09:38 PM

      Thanks for your feedback, everyone. I will NOT cook it part way. :-) Using the 30 minutes as resting time is a great idea. However, we probably won't eat right away, so the total resting time could end up being an hour or more. So, I may have been panicking for no reason; I was thinking the turkeys would take 3 or more hours to cook. But at 6-10 pounds, it might take 90 minutes at most. So, perhaps I will just arrive earlier than the others. Thanks again!

      1. pamf Dec 21, 2011 06:42 PM

        I agree with everyone who says to fully cook and then use the drive time as resting time.

        As an aside I had a Diestel Petite turkey for Thanksgiving and it cooked much more quickly than I had anticipated using the regular turkey timetables. Mine was 8.5 lbs., so keep and eye on them and keep your meat thermometer handy.

        4 Replies
        1. re: pamf
          g
          goodeatsgal Dec 21, 2011 09:34 PM

          pamf, do you recall how many minutes per pound your turkey cooked for?

          1. re: goodeatsgal
            sunshine842 Dec 22, 2011 04:46 AM

            mine wasn't a Diestel, but we did ours at 20 minutes per pound and had golden juicy birds.

            1. re: goodeatsgal
              pamf Dec 22, 2011 10:25 AM

              I actually do not recall exactly how long it was in the oven. I was using 2.5 hours as a guide for an 8 lb bird. When I checked it in advance of that time it was already over temp, so I took it out. Unfortunately not so juicy anymore. I would treat the Petite turkey more large a large roast chicken if I try one again.

              1. re: pamf
                g
                goodeatsgal Dec 22, 2011 12:15 PM

                Very helpful, pamf. Thanks!

          2. l
            ladybugs65 Dec 21, 2011 01:37 PM

            Didn't even thing about cooking fully and transporting. That would be fine. I usually let my turkey rest 30 min before carving.

            1. rworange Dec 21, 2011 01:30 PM

              You have the best suggestion about using the drive time for the turkey to rest.,

              Food issues aside, I wouldn't do it because I might change the texture of the turkey doing that stop and re-start baking.

              If you really want to do this, call the Butterball hotline. If anyone should know, they would.

              1. monavano Dec 21, 2011 01:08 PM

                I'd cook all the way, wrap with foil and something insulating and take it over. I would not partially cook poultry. Too risky.

                1. c
                  chileheadmike Dec 21, 2011 01:05 PM

                  Cook them all the way and let them rest for the time that it takes to drive over there.

                  1. mcf Dec 21, 2011 12:30 PM

                    I would never do that. You could get lucky or unlucky. You'd be raising the temp to exactly the range that's dangerous to sit at, then keeping it there before cooking to done. Since the turkey has to rest for 30-60 minutes depending upon who you listen to, biondanonima is giving great advice.

                    1. s
                      sueatmo Dec 21, 2011 12:29 PM

                      I would not do this either. Either roast them at home, and take them, well wrapped and insulated, or do as ladybugs65 suggests. I don't like the idea of warm, partially cooked turkey flesh sitting out of the oven for a half hour, before being replaced in the oven. You've got time out of your oven, before placing in your car, and time at your parents' house waiting for the oven to heat up. It might not be safe, and I don't think it would be the best way to cook the turkey, either.

                      1. biondanonima Dec 21, 2011 12:27 PM

                        I would do it, but I'm not a food safety expert, so take my words with a grain of salt. What you could also do is fully cook them at your place and use that 20-30 mins in the car as "resting" time - they'd be perfectly ready to carve when you arrive that way.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: biondanonima
                          weezieduzzit Dec 21, 2011 12:50 PM

                          That was the exact thought I had- much safer and no risk of screwing up the cooking time/ drying it out.

                          1. re: biondanonima
                            a
                            acgold7 Dec 21, 2011 01:02 PM

                            Yeah, I agree. I think this is the best idea if you can work it out time-wise.

                            1. re: biondanonima
                              sunshine842 Dec 21, 2011 01:09 PM

                              we do it this way every year - we have25-30 at our house for T-day, and my little European oven just isn't big enough to roast more than 1 5-kg (10-lb) bird.

                              So my best friend does one in her oven, wraps it in foil and drops it into a big cooler when they come to our house-- it's a perfect amount of time to rest before we carve hers -- and mine is resting while we carve hers.

                            2. l
                              ladybugs65 Dec 21, 2011 12:24 PM

                              I'm not an expert but there is no way I would do that.
                              Why not prep them Christmas Eve and eave at you parents and they can put in the oven. Once the bird is in there is not much work for them to do.

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