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Blow Torches and Turkey Skin

Can any of you give recommendations for or against using a blow torch to and properly color and crisp the turkey skin of a whole oven roasted turkey? I've never really used one, and I thought it was worth getting some feedback on if any of you have any experience or advise on this subject.

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  1. I've never had a problem getting "properly" colored and crisp turkey skin just roasting the turkey.

    So what is it that you're doing in the cooking process that doesn't result in that and has you potentially resorting to a blowtorch?

    1 Reply
    1. re: amishangst

      I imagine I can get good color in the oven, honestly I've never oven roasted a whole turkey, I've always fried them and i'm just going through different options to achieve a near perfect bird. I've never really been wowed by a oven roasted turkey, and we kind of had the fried thing down to a science, so I thought I would challenge myself to trump the boring birds that used to be the thanksgiving rule of thumb before the fried birds came into play. And it's not just color i'm looking for, it would be nice to have a slightly crispy/crunchy skin.

    2. WHAT? this may work if you are doing a photo shoot. but if you are actually eating your turkey it will yeild blisterd skin and stringy meat layerd beaneth.
      for the most even brown "paint" your turkeywith a homemade mayo

      1 Reply
      1. I always use a small torch on the areas that don't get browned in the oven (between the leg and the body. between the wing and body, the underneath side,) anywhere that needs a touch more, etc. The skin isn't blistered, the meat underneath isn't stringy. It's a small torch though, about this size (not this exact one,) http://www.homedepot.com/p/Bernzomati...

        4 Replies
        1. re: weezieduzzit

          LOL...that is not what I was picturing in my head at all when he said "Blowtorch" I was picturing the big blue canister and eyesheild...not a little brule torch

          1. re: girloftheworld

            I have much larger torches at my disposal- my better half builds hot rods and kustoms so there are tons of tools at my disposal that I frequently appropriate for the greater good- but I haven't needed one of the big ones quite yet. :)

            1. re: girloftheworld

              gotw, you might have the better choice in mind! The advantage of a larger torch is that you can cover a larger area. Small brulee torches tend to produce splotchy charring. But if a brulee torch is all you have at hand, better than a book of matches! Brulee torches are MUCH better for burning off pin feathers and such than a big torch. Kitchen toys! '-)

            2. Yikes!

              A properly oven roasted turkey will be a nice and brown all on its own

              1. Don't let the naysayers get to you. I guarantee I could go to any of their birds and find a place where the skin isn't crispy. between the leg and body, the elbow crook, etc. It's inevitable given the geometry of the bird.

                I would be very careful about going too far with the blowtorch, it'll go from nice and golden crisp to singed in an instant. Go for it but err on the side of conservatism.

                For what it's worth, I'm going to be using a 1500F heat gun to touch up my bird. I used to use a blowtorch on all kinds of stuff, but when they quit making the special fuel canister mine needed I got ticked off and haven't bought another since I ran out.