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What is the best way to cook a turkey?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on November 21, 2007

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Photo of Alex Piatt

“Deep fry it. It’s deliciously bad for you. The skin is my favorite part, and it makes it nice and crispy. The meat is also more moist than usual.”

Photo of Andy Holzmeister

“Roast it in the oven slowly like my grandma does, and baste it with the juices every couple of hours.”

Photo of Kristen Reinert

“If you have a smoker, that’s the way to go. It tastes amazing.”

Photo of Greg Hill

“I’m from the South, so I’m going to say deep fry it.”

Comments

Multidisciplinary 5 years, 4 months ago

I buy the spiral sliced ones in the red foil from Dillons that cost an arm and a leg, that you mix the spice powder and coat all between the layers while it's so hot you burn you fingers to 'well done crispy'.Add some pineapple at the table, and we're good to go.

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DotsLines 6 years, 4 months ago

H_Lecter (Anonymous) says:

Alive. You know when they're done because they've stopped screaming.


Screaming? No, just like lobsters that's just the air escaping from their bodies...

;)

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H_Lecter 6 years, 4 months ago

Alive. You know when they're done because they've stopped screaming.

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DotsLines 6 years, 4 months ago

bearded_gnome (Anonymous) says:

hey dots, hope you were only kidding about the fire department!


Would I "kid?" :)

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bearded_gnome 6 years, 4 months ago

hey dots, hope you were only kidding about the fire department!

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Crossfire 6 years, 4 months ago

I just killed the Wild Turkey and let all the other wild turkeys go. Still a good day. thank-you.

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DotsLines 6 years, 4 months ago

"First buy a gallon of Wild Turkey Whiskey then go kill a real turkey."

Caution - don't drink the gallon of Wild Turkey before going to kill the real turkey - if you do, the turkey stands a better than even chance of prevailing. :)


Not sure if this was the best way, but having it sitting on the table when the kitchen caught fire seems to be working... gotta' go, the fire department's here...

Happy Thanksgiving, all!!!

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Pywacket 6 years, 4 months ago

Well, this is probably the first local turkey casualty of the holiday weekend--and the last, I hope! They were smart enough to put the smoker in a detached garage, at least. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/nov...

Carry on. And be careful, children...

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bearded_gnome 6 years, 4 months ago

yick!
dry stuffing=menu from HELL!

the way we do the in the bird stuffing, it comes out consistency of mud, good and wet.
happy day to you and yours too.

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 4 months ago

Gnome, I have an aunt that always had to make "stuffing balls" for Thanksgiving. Yes, they were as horrid as they sound. As big as baseballs and just as hard and dry. I really don't know what the hell she was thinking except that her hubby's mommy used to make them, also. (I just would have told him: "I ain't your mommy!")

Happy Thanksgiving ya'll! :):)

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bearded_gnome 6 years, 4 months ago

sue, thanks, and happy thanksgiving to you and your brood too. I'll get the recipe from mrs. gnome for you, might take a little time but will get it to you. the stuffing comes out very undry. I like it that way.

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Crossfire 6 years, 4 months ago

Maple and Wild Turkey Bourbon Glazed Wild Turkey

1 cup vegetable oil 2 cups onions, chopped 2 cups maple syrup 2 cups ketchup 4 cups Wild Turkey Whiskey 1/2 cup hot sauce (optional) 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1 wild turkey (bird)

First buy a gallon of Wild Turkey Whiskey then go kill a real turkey. (not one of those nasty frozen fat things) Gut it. Pluck it. Hang it for a couple of days.

1.In large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat and cook onion, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until golden. 2.Add maple syrup, ketchup, bourbon and hot sauce. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until sauce is reduced. Remove from heat. 3.Whisk in mayonnaise until smooth. 4.Grill turkey, turning and brushing frequently with mayonnaise mixture. Sip the W-T-Whiskey. Cook until turkey is done and juices run clear. 5.Feed the bird to your family. 6.Go to the garage and drink the rest of the whiskey with your friends. 7.Happy Turkey Day.

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 4 months ago

gnome, Yummy! I want to try your stuffing! (Does that sound bad?) Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mrs. Gnome!

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GretchenJP 6 years, 4 months ago

By not letting me cook it. I burn cereal.

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ibroke 6 years, 4 months ago

i might try to wrap the bird in foil and place it on the exhaust manifold of my truck and drive around town for hours until its done

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bearded_gnome 6 years, 4 months ago

happy thanksgiving all, and please drive/fly/train/bus/walk/boat/float/kyak/snorkle/crawl safely this long weekend. and remember, a designated friver is a good idea, so grab a mormon as you go.

traditional roast baste in the oven, covered in roaster pan, but turkey must be stuffed full up with cornbread stuffing that's completely loaded with garlic and sage. yes, we know we are risking life and limb eating the stuffing cooked in the bird...but you gotta live dangerously sometimes.

and, if you're deep frying that turkey outside, please don't be my neighbor...fire risk seems high with them thingies.

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 4 months ago

Remembering many, many years ago, a gentleman wrote to Penthouse Forum about how he prepared a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.

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deskboy04 6 years, 4 months ago

I am thinking about cooking it in the microwave.

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coolmarv 6 years, 4 months ago

I tried to smoke a turkey once. Couldn't keep the darn thing lit though.

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KU_Dude 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm not sure.

I know the best way to cook a Tiger will be this Saturday night at Arrowhead in front of a national TV audience.

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 4 months ago

My bird is currently in the oven...in it's plastic baggy. Made the cranberry salad, mixed up the rolls, and have all the stuffing ingredients ready. After I make a couple of pies (pumpkin and pecan) I should have nothing left to do today except imbibe with company. Why don't I ever think to clean the fridge in advance?

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juscin3 6 years, 4 months ago

Sue, thats how I fixed our first turkey. I used that and cut holes in the bag and kept it moist. It fell off of the bone it was so tender and moist...YUMMY!!!

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prospector 6 years, 4 months ago

R_I, do you have a problem with it falling out the bottom?

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 4 months ago

For clarification... A smattering is more than a pinch, less than a handful. Grasp your index finger of one hand in the fist of your other, remove your finger.
The resulting space is a smattering...

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Pywacket 6 years, 4 months ago

R_I's "slippery" admonishment reminds me: don't forget to rent "Pieces of April" and watch it while the bird is cooking or later on, when you're stuffed, stupified, and immobile anyway. One of the few Thanksgiving-oriented movies I can think of and actually very funny.

Ignore the unfortunate title, which (if you're as old as I am) will conjure an unbidden memory of a sh***y 70s song of that name. And ignore the last several years of gaggalicious "Tomkat" references. It DOES star Katie Holmes, but this was in her normal-person, pre-Cruise era. It does have a serious thread running through it, but rent it primarily for the humor and you won't be disappointed.

I think the best turkey I ever had was when a bro-in-law smoked it one year. I do the mostly traditional schtick, in the oven. I have taken to using the plastic bags in the last few years. It stays a lot more moist and cuts the cooking time considerably. It's easier to collect all the drippings for all-important gravy.

After dinner, we take all the meat off the bones and boil the carcass and skin for several hours. The resulting stock is great for soups or more gravy. You could use it for aspic dishes, as it gels beautifully when chilled, but I'm not that fancy a cook. We'll be doing the turkey & noodle leftovers, turkey burritos, open-faced sammiches, etc..

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jonas 6 years, 4 months ago

"The best way to cook a turkey is to let my stepdad smoke it."

I've heard that one man smoking a whole turkey tends to get the munchies pretty bad.

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Flap Doodle 6 years, 4 months ago

"Remove the neck and the giblets..." Sounds like Dr. Lecter's advice.

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Ceallach 6 years, 4 months ago

Another hit for RI!! Sounds good, what time should we be there?

Happy Thanksgiving to all y'all! The link if from 2006 but still applies.

http://www.grizzlypoint.com/tg/2006tdm1.html

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PrincessConsuelaBananaHammock 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm trying my hand at turkey for the first time this year. We have the Showtime "set it and forget it" rotissari cooker that we got as a wedding present - I'll be spinning our birdie in there! Not quite traditional I know, but I am NOT a cook and I know when we make chicken in the showtime it stays really moist and has good favor, is very simple, and cleans up easy so I figure a turkey can't be that much different than a great big chicken!! Happy Thanksgiving to All!! And I also am curious to see how our friend Hanibal feels about this question!

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 4 months ago

Whoops that was 180°F for the birdish thingy internal temp...

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 4 months ago

A turkey is the easiest thing to cook... If it is a store bought frozen birdish thingy, you should have started yesterday to defrost it in the fridge. Otherwise you can defrost in by submerging in cold water, 30 min/lb, changing the water every 30 min. (Don't let the birdish thingy get wet and waterlogged though). Remove the neck and the giblets, then scrub the birdish thingy with coarse salt outside and inside. Rinse and pat dry. After drying, rub the exterior with butter or margarine, then season with what you like... (salt and sage is simple) Contort the legs and fold underneath, tying them up with your linen string. Stuff the birdish thingy if you are going to, then close off the neck skin and other end. (easy way is a potato skewer). Preheat your oven to 350°F. Shake a smattering of flour in your Reynolds® Oven Bag (unless you really like cleaning ovens) , then place it in half a roaster pan. Now place the birdish thingy in the Reynolds® Oven Bag. (at this point the birdish thingy is very slippery... avoid the floor) Seal up the Reynolds® Oven Bag, and poke a few small slits in the top of the bag. Slide the roaster pan in to the oven, cook to 3 hours for 12 to 16 lbs.; 3 to 3 1/2 hours for 16 to 20 lbs.; and 3 1/2 to 4 hours for 20 to 24 lbs. Stick the birdish thingy beast with a test thermometer when the time is close, breast area, avoiding bone, its done when you get a 350°F reading. (82°C for ex-pat canucks) The juice in the bottom of the Reynolds® Oven Bag is your gravy starting stock.
Easy as pie, almost fire and forget. Always moist...

Don't forget to baste your self...
Turkey cooking is kinda like the Seder, there is an obligation to drink four cups of wine...

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toefungus 6 years, 4 months ago

I think of turkeys when I think of our city commission.

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northtown 6 years, 4 months ago

You put your smoker and your deep fryer in your garage,and after the fire department leaves it is time to eat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a happy Thankgiving all!!!!!!! Except you Roger Pine!!!!!

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 4 months ago

Since the neighbors gave me one of their free range birds, I'll be cooking it today, deboning it, and letting it sit in a pan covered in it's own juices overnight so it will be moist. (Otherwise, we end up with a bird so dry we have to choke it down.) I know that I'm not supposed to cook with plastic, but I like to cook the bird in one of those oven roasting bags. Just something I do because my mom always did it. Yeah, yeah...I know!

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blackwalnut 6 years, 4 months ago

Best way to cook a turkey is to be sure you don't read or see anything beforehand about how those turkeys are raised, fed, treated, slaughtered, dressed.

Because after you do, 55 cents a pound doesn't sound quite so cheap any more. And it kind of takes the fun out of it.

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mom_of_three 6 years, 4 months ago

the best way to cook a turkey is to let my stepdad smoke it. I don't know what he does, but it's about the only turkey my daughters will eat. But he also makes the best ribs and brisket.

Since we are staying home for Thanksgiving, however, I don't know how to cook a turkey, so I cook a ham. And I do pretty well, thank you very much.

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mom_of_three 6 years, 4 months ago

And don't put the deep fryer too close to the house - one of the networks had a special about it last year, and it was scary what some people do.

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coolmarv 6 years, 4 months ago

deskboy04 (Anonymous) says:

I would deep fry the turkey but I hear that people have had trouble with fires. Is that true? Just curious.

Only if you use hot oil and a flame is there a risk of fire.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 4 months ago

"If you have a smoker, that's the way to go. It tastes amazing." - Kristen Reinert

Damn cannibals, they are everywhere....

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deskboy04 6 years, 4 months ago

I would deep fry the turkey but I hear that people have had trouble with fires. Is that true? Just curious.

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countrygirl 6 years, 4 months ago

Brine it, then smoke it. Very tasty.

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Norma Jeane Baker 6 years, 4 months ago

I'll be brining my turkey before roasting it. It doesn't get much moister. Although, deep fried turkey is mighty tasty, too.

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juscin3 6 years, 4 months ago

I've only cooked our turkey one time. I got some cooking tips from a co-worker and OMGOSH! It was sooooo moist and tender that it fell right off the bone. Hubby was VERY impressed. He didn't think I could pull it off. I done the whole dinner by myself.
I've tried the fried turkey. Brother n law cooked it. I wasn't real fond of it.

Anywho, HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!! :)

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jonas 6 years, 4 months ago

We deep fried a turkey for a work party. It tasted wonderful, then I was in the bathroom for the next five hours or so.

Blue: One step at a time. From frozen burritto, try frying an egg. Then spagetti, then Florentine. Then, try your hand at Puffer Fish. It's the best way to cull out the risky cooks early.

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blue73harley 6 years, 4 months ago

By letting someone else cook it. I can sucessfully microwave a frozen burrito but that is about it.

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