Do I have to bast Turkey all night to make it juicy?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by spicyfood, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. spicyfood

    spicyfood

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    I got a turkey and planned on basting it in the oven instead of frying it, everyone I know since I was a kid has made dry turkey never really juicy like it is when you fry it. I've decided to make my turkey juicy without frying it, but I don't know how religiously I need to bast it. Do I have to sit in the kitchen all night basting it 24/7? Do I wait a few hours between basting it a little bit? What kind of stuff do I put in/on a turkey?
     
  2. teamfat

    teamfat

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    Most dry turkeys are the result of over cooking.

    mjb.
     
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  3. spicyfood

    spicyfood

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    Damn why didn't I think of this/realize it.

    So how long am I suppose to cook my turkey? I've never in my life even thought of the fact turkey could be overcooked. I had planned to leave my turkey in the oven over night. I'd imagine you can't get a internal temp to be exactly the same throughout the entire turkey, so what should I be aiming for here? 15 minutes a pound is what I read online, idk about the temps.
     
  4. Boring Chef

    Boring Chef

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    I've cooked so many turkeys so many ways and never had a dry turkey. You should really only bast to keep the skin from burning. The main reason people end up with dried meat is because the traditional roasting method allows the breast meat to cook faster than the thighs. There are several methods you can try to reduce this. You can rub butter under the skin to bast it while it cooks. You can try cooking breast side down to allow juice to drain into the breast meat. You can do a low and slow method. You can actually cook a frozen turkey, which takes a little longer, but since the breast meat will take longer to thaw it allows the darker meat more time to cook. My favorite method is spatchcocking where you remove the spine and lay the carcass flat. Because the whole surface of the bird is exposed it cooks faster, more evenly and allows for all the skin to get crispy. Also takes up less space in the oven.
     
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  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Spatchcocking whiel it looks intimidating isn't that hard and it will cook the thighs and the breast at much more similar rates.

    Also use an instant read thermometer so you know when it is done.
     
  6. mike9

    mike9

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    I have always taken a plain brown paper grocery bag with no ink - 90lb kraft paper would work too. I slather the paper both sides with bacon drippings and butter till it looks like parchment. That is the "tent" for my turkey and the beauty of it is it is self basting. They come out picture perfect and everything is juicy and the skin is crisp.
     
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  7. someday

    someday

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    basting does absolutely nothing to keep the flesh moist. Common misconception. The main way to keep your meat moist is to not overcook it.
     
  8. butzy

    butzy

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    I have gone to cooking them in a weber kettle braai instead of the oven and it makes a world of difference.
    BUT I think the real difference is to brine the bird before cooking (I use a 3% brine) and stuff the cavity with lemons and onions
     
  9. teamfat

    teamfat

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    A basic guideline is 12 minutes per pound at 325F. This is for an unstuffed bird, which I recommend. Well, not exactly unstuffed, but liberally season the cavity with salt and pepper. Put in some quartered onion, some orange or lemon halves, a big sprig of rosemary and maybe a head of garlic, no need to peel, just lop off the root end. Don't put too much in, you want the fillings to be kind of loose, leaving some space for the heat to get in.

    mjb.
     
  10. teamfat

    teamfat

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    One way to do it.



    mjb.
     
  11. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

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    Basting a turkey has nothing to do with it turning out moist. As everyone as pointed out, a dry turkey is an over cooked turkey.

    If you want a moist turkey, there are combination of things that you can and should do.

    1. Salt the turkey generously inside and out, put in the fridge about 24 hours before roasting;
    2. Bring the entire bird up to room temperature before putting it in the oven;
    3. Make an herbed butter and stuff it between the skin and the breast being careful not to rip the skin (you can easily find the technique on Youtube)
    4. Do not put any liquid in the roasting pan. You will end up with a browned top and boiled bottom. Yuck!
    5. Stuff the cavity of the bird with lemons cut in half, seasoning such as pepper along with fresh herbs such as thyme and/or rosemary. Stay away from traditional stuffing as it tends to absorb fat and juices.
    6. Blast the bird in the oven at 450'f for 20 min or so until the skin becomes golden brown.
    7. Remove the bird from the oven and cover the breasts with strips of bacon. The bacon will protect the breasts and help them cook slower and stay even with the cooking rate of the legs and thighs, not to mention it will give a gorgeous base to make your gravy. Reduce your heat to between 325 and 350 and roast the bird until the juices from the thickest part of the thigh run clear.

    ***HERE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART***

    8. LET THE BIRD REST FOR AS LONG IS TOOK TO COOK!!!! If it took 3 hours to cook, let it rest for 3 hours. Do not mess with it.

    Follow these steps and you will have the best turkey of your life!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Good luck! :)
     
  12. dagger

    dagger

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    Can't boil water
    Injection a brin solution
     
  13. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Overnight is way too long to cook a turkey, IMHO. Like stated above I usually figure a time range of 12-15 minutes per pound, depending on your cooking temperature. While I often now do my turkey in my Weber kettle grill, like Butzy, when I do it in the oven I start it breast side down and about halfway through cooking flip it over to finish breast side up. I usually roast at around 325°F for the whole time. Once my breast hits 150°F I cover it with foil. When the legs reach 160°F I remove the foil and hit it with the broiler, if the skin, on the breast, isn't brown enough. I then remove from the oven, tent the bird and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.

    I would love to cut my turkey into pieces and cook those pieces individually, but my family likes to have the whole bird at the table, to carve.

    Since you are used to frying your bird you are used to not stuffing it. I would continue to not stuff other than, some onions, fresh herbs and some form of citrus. Stuffing your bird pretty much guarantees an overcooked breast.
     
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  14. NaturalTalent

    NaturalTalent

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    You have the best answers, shield the breast, use a insertion thermometer, or, possibly, two. As you go along, the two thermometers will indicate differential progress. The hotter the oven, the more outside will get overcooked, so favour slower cooking. The turkey will be cooked when coolest place you can find, probably at the leg/body joint, reaches about 75deg C. Carry-over cooking will take the temperature further, but it will not be dried out. Standing time, maybe 45-60 mins.

    Continuous connected probes better for this case than stick-in&pull-out types.