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Jan 1, 2014 08:24 AM

Help!!! Question about roasting a turkey

Hi there,

I am slow roasting a 17lb brined (frozen) turkey. I placed the prepped turkey in the oven at 450 for 40 minute, when at that time reducing heat to 250 and continue for 6-7 hours.

The first phase is almost complete, but I noticed that I have small bubbles forming under the skin pretty much all over. Like it has worts :(
I have never seen this before and don't know what would cause this.

Any thoughts?

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  1. Here is a pic to show what I am describing. I didn't want to open the oven, so tough to take a good pic.

    1. First, please tell me that turkey did NOT go in the oven frozen. Please tell me it was frozen, then defrosted, then brined, then went into oven.

      Don't know about the bubbles, but I think that you need to roast all poultry at over 300 to get a crispy skin... slow cooking will result in a rubbery skin.

      1 Reply
      1. re: woodburner

        Slow cooking definitely does not result in a rubbery skin. If you search "low and slow turkey" here, you'll find several thread dedicated to the topic. Lots of love for the approach on the board!

      2. My first thought would be steam rising from the meat as it cooks. I'm not one to brine, but does your frozen turkey already have a solution injected into it? I know that when I bought frozen Butterballs, they were always injected with a salt/sugar solution to help keep them moist.

        Maybe by brining an already injected bird, you have an excess of moisture that is trying to escape, thus causing the bubbles on the skin.

        Note: this is pure conjecture on my part. As I said, I don't have experience with brined (or low and slow) turkeys.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Christina D

          Lol, yes Woodburner, the turkey was defrosted the frig for several days :). The turkey is kosher, pre brined. All the brine methods I have seen are of a soaking method, not injected. Injecting seems to me to go against everything kosher, but how do I know... I am not jewish.

          Now that the oven is turned down to 250, the size of the bird's bubbles have deflated and now it just looks a little "blistered" if that makes sense. You can still see where they were/are just not as full. I think it will be okay. I will let you know how it turns out.

          Thanks for your thoughts on slow-roasting, Toronto Jo.
          I have seen a ton of threads on this too :)

        2. The bubbles are probably moisture pockets steaming from the initial 450 browning phase.

          I think you may hit target temperature, or finish your turkey a little sooner than 7 hours...but for such a turkey as large as you have, I recommend a minimum one hour rest, but my preference is to hold for two. Although my recent test for slow roasting was for a spatchcocked turkey, I did not find it finished much sooner than a typical whole roasted bird @ 250.

          1. Fourunder is right, as he usually is.

            Note that your Kosher bird was rubbed, not soaked.

            Also be sure to test your bird for doneness by temp, not time. Your bird will be done sooner than you think. It's done when the breast meat hits 150F, and then you should hold for at least an hour or two at 140F.

            Your actual cooking time will be under three hours before the rest, about five hours total. No way it will take six to seven hours. But you can hold nearly indefinitely at 140.

            4 Replies
            1. re: acgold7

              This is a new poster so hopefully s/he has a meat thermometer.

              1. re: c oliver

                If no thermometer, take it out when the drumstick moves easily and its meat threatens to pull off the bone. It will be done (maybe a little overdone) when that happens. Be sure to let it rest, even if you think it's overdone, so the juices redistribute and don't gush out upon carving.

                1. re: greygarious

                  I checked on the bird via AC's post (yes meat thermom) and it was done. So it is resting now and I've been coordinating the other sides. So the 2nd phase took 3 hrs.... far shorter than many of the Chowhound slow roast turkey threads indicated. I'm going now to enjoy the feast, but later this week I think I am going to get a standing internal temp gauge to test my given temp to rule out that variable. Thanks everyone for your posts and Happy New Year :)

                  1. re: kelkat

                    One thing you must realize about comments on chowhound.....the variables could be infinite...but it usually comes down to these concerns when roasting:

                    * size, shape and weight of what they have roasted for their details

                    * oven accuracy

                    * thermometer accuracy.