sous vide turkey

phatch

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I did a trial turkey in this method last week. For family harmony I can't experiment with the turkey on the holiday itself. That turkey has to meet traditional flavor and quality profiles. Sous Vide Turkey easily vaulted the hurdle to become the new tradition.

https://www.chefsteps.com/activitie...k-that-bird-sous-vide-for-the-best-feast-ever

I mostly followed this guide for times and temperatures. My seasoning was different. I skipped their dry brine entirely and it was still the moistest turkey ever. I also deviated on the first 90 minutes of breast cooking at 136 instead of 131 and verified water temperature with a thermometer, not just the circulator, to be sure of pasteurization. Then down to 131 for the last 6.5 hours. Easy to carve, presents well, taste is excellent.

Just finishing up the last of the leftovers now. It will relpace the roasting method for me. Very moist, flavorful and tender. Very low hassle. Frees the oven for fresh rolls and dressing with just a flash broiling of skin before serving.

Additionally, my house thermostat is 9 feet from my oven. On Thanksgiving, the furnace might not come until hours after eating from all the kitchen heat. Sous vide cuts that down a lot I'm thinking and hoping.
 
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Do you have to let turkey rest from sous vide? I've been trying spatchcock turkey and have been happy with the results so far.
 

phatch

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With sous vide you don't need resting time so much because there isn't a temperature difference from the outside to the inside as with conventional technique.
 
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Also is there a huge advantage of cooking the turkey so long at the lower temperature? I'd be afraid of cooking poultry that long at such a low temp.
 

phatch

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When you cook meat at a low temperature this way you don't contract the proteins as tightly. You know how when you threw a piece of meat onto a hot skillet you can see it shrink. That's the proteins contracting. That squeezes juice out of meat.

Killing bacteria isn't just about hitting a high temperature. It's about getting a temperature for a sufficient length of time. 160 kills salmonella; instantly 137 kills trichinosis instantly. 155 for 5 minutes kill salmonella, 140 for 30 minutes kill salmonella and so on.

If you sous-vide cook anything for over an hour it needs to be at least a 131 degrees to control bacterial growth. I wanted to ensure my breasts were cooked all the way through. The lowest poultry pasteurization time and temperature I had seen was 136 for 68 minutes. you have to get the whole piece of meat to that temperature for that time so that's why I had extra time at 136 than just 68 minutes.

It may have been overkill but it was a darn good turkey.

So sous vide can keep the meat more tender and juicy, really concentrating the flavors. For tougher cuts, you do need higher temps for longer, as with the legs. It's slower than traditional methods but is very hands-off as well and offers results you can get no other way. That's not the only way to cook anything but it's something good to have as an option.
 
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Hi phatch,

I'm a Turkey lover! For large groups I always do a trash can Turkey. It really helps to have a prepped 15 Gallon trash can. Need to burn off the galvanizing before use.

It's one of those things that really helps to be a witness to the process, before trying on your own. So you can see and taste the results!

Never had anything but amazed complements!

I only mention this method because you spoke of both oven space and the impact of cooking it inside the house. Another benefit is that the total cooking time for an 11 pound bird is 90 minutes and frees the oven.

I actually learned method this from my sister, a scoutmaster that always did "Thanksgiving in the woods" for her scout troop and their families. She gave me one of her six cans!

I'd bet the Sous Vide is probably "better" on some level but this is a simple, quick, way to feed folks. I can elaborate with some more tips if you are interested. I like to offer options!

Good Luck with the Family!
 
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I do all my turkey at the restaurant sous vide (most of our proteins are cooked that way) and it's indeed the best way to cook a turkey.

Really, in order to cook a turkey properly, you have to separate the white and dark meat since they cook to different doneness. The bodies can be used to make an awesome turkey stock and then a sauce/gravy.

It allows you to achieve something that can't be done with traditional methods, which is one of the tenants of sous vide.
 
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For Thanksgiving, I'm going to glue the skinless breasts together with transglutaminase and sous vide at 145. Legs confit 24 hours. Skins glued, rolled, sous vide, slice very thin, roast hot between pans. Tried this and found it means fantastic results and almost no work on the day (for the turkey, anyway).
 
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For Thanksgiving, I'm going to glue the skinless breasts together with transglutaminase and sous vide at 145. Legs confit 24 hours. Skins glued, rolled, sous vide, slice very thin, roast hot between pans. Tried this and found it means fantastic results and almost no work on the day (for the turkey, anyway).

I wouldn't do the breast quite that high but otherwise sounds good.
 
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Many of the guests won't tolerate pink.


Many of the guests can cook their own f-n turkey. :lol:

I do mine at 136f and it is really really nice. I tell people if the flesh is slightly pink it is from the brine (like the way ham turns pink) and most people seem fine.

I understand changing hearts and minds of some people is a tall order. I'm sure 145f will be a good compromise between ultra moist/silky turkey and traditional roasted.
 
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Many of the guests can cook their own f-n turkey. :lol:
:lol::rofl::lol: (Favorite holiday post right there!)

But seriously, my dad in particular has almost no palate whatsoever, and so far as I can tell knows what he's eating exclusively from descriptions and visuals (though he insists on going to "interesting" and "creative" restaurants). If I served him pink turkey breast, he'd refuse to eat it. Politely, on the whole, but definitely.

145F comes out very smooth and silky (especially as compared to my mother's turkey -- she still insists on using the little pop-up button things! -- DRY....), and if you look very closely, it's still got a very slight hint of pink, but is mostly creamy white.
 
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Thanks for the post. It's a great idea.

I'm planning something similar, but as a series of small plates each using different parts of the turkey - buffalo confit turkey wings to start, sauteed turkey liver, confit heart and gizzard in a salad, confit breast, and confit legs. In lieu of stuffing I'm planning a bread pudding. Still planning a couple of vegetable courses or something similar - possibly a sweet potato gnocchi and a brussel sprout slaw or something similar. Lots of traditional items prepared in a non-traditional way.

The idea for this is to use the sous vide to simplify cooking times, eliminate the big bang of a large meal with lots of dishes at one time, and spend the afternoon lingering over the prep and the meal. Most courses are either quickly finished and served or made in advance.
 
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