T Nation

How Do YOU Cook a Turkey?

So I have an early Thanksgiving dinner this weekend, and I volunteered to cook the turkey. I’ve never cooked one before. I know there are some food-loving mofos on this site, and I’d love to hear your go-to recipes/techniques.

How do I cook a turkey??

Does not compute does not compute does not compute.

Isn’t the turkey, along with mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, garlic green beans, cranberry sauce, biscuits, pumpkin pie, ice cream and Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider, delivered around 3pm by the magic Thanksgiving Fairy?

i suggest looking up how alton brown makes turkey. he doesnt use stuffing. he just stuffs the hole with an apple and some herbs. he also brines the turkey the night before in a cooler using saltwater and i think stock, but i did not do that. still i had the most juicy turkey of my life. no gravy was necessary.
also from what i remember, he said cook with high heat and no basting(pouring turkey juice on during cooking). give these people a turkey they will remember.
you can look up his thanksgiving episode of “Good Eats” online, or look for on tv

-that is a good idea from on edge. my family has never had proper cider on thanksgiving. just that terrible apple juice that americans call cider.
we call real cider “hard cider”. that is like calling wine “hard wine”

Depending on the weight bake the thawed turkey, breast down for 2 hours or so in the oven. Season with garlic salt and season salt.(REMOVE THE GIBLETS BEFORE BAKING)

Build a fire in your grill.

heat on one, side turkey on the other, cover the side were the turkey goes with quality aluminum foil. Smoke for two hours with quality wood, oak, hickory, or mesquite. Depending on your ecoregion.

Serve with a chimichurri sauce

Believe it or not, most Turkey’s you buy from he store actually have cooking directions in them.

However,

Get a brown and serve bag, put in 1 tlbs of flour.
Take out Turkey and all the innards, they are normally in a bag in big hole and the one in the neck.
Rub the turkey down with oil of choice, apply salt and pepper. If you are going to stuff, then cook some stuffing let it cool down, stuff both holes.
Place in the bag, put in pan and put in oven, again look at directions for pounds and how long to cook.

[quote]Derek542 wrote:
Believe it or not, most Turkey’s you buy from he store actually have cooking directions in them.

However,

Get a brown and serve bag, put in 1 tlbs of flour.
Take out Turkey and all the innards, they are normally in a bag in big hole and the one in the neck.
Rub the turkey down with oil of choice, apply salt and pepper. If you are going to stuff, then cook some stuffing let it cool down, stuff both holes.
Place in the bag, put in pan and put in oven, again look at directions for pounds and how long to cook. [/quote]

Well

Now we have to talk about stuffing. That stovetop shit wont cut it.

[quote]eremesu wrote:
i suggest looking up how alton brown makes turkey. he doesnt use stuffing. he just stuffs the hole with an apple and some herbs. he also brines the turkey the night before in a cooler using saltwater and i think stock, but i did not do that. still i had the most juicy turkey of my life. no gravy was necessary.
also from what i remember, he said cook with high heat and no basting(pouring turkey juice on during cooking). give these people a turkey they will remember.
you can look up his thanksgiving episode of “Good Eats” online, or look for on tv

-that is a good idea from on edge. my family has never had proper cider on thanksgiving. just that terrible apple juice that americans call cider.
we call real cider “hard cider”. that is like calling wine “hard wine”[/quote]

We used Alton’s recipe last year and it was really good. Juiciest turkey I’ve had in a long time.


I posted this in a thread a couple of years ago:

"The Easter turkey. It’ll be done in about 30 minutes, then rest for 30 minutes and carve. This one weighs about 15 pounds, but I’ve cooked turkeys up to 28 pounds on the BBQ. Turkey cooked on the BBQ is really superior - the breast meat doesn’t dry out.

Cook the turkey using indirect heat - place a foil pan filled with water, large enough to catch the drippings, right on the briquettes. Place the turkey on a rack on top of the grill rack, over the foil pan. I coat the turkey with a mix of olive oil, paprika, smoked paprika, black pepper and sea salt."

Note: Be certain that it’s fully cooked. Use a meat thermometer inserted into the upper leg, but not touching any bone.

"Turkey Farmers of Canada recommends cooking a whole turkey to an internal temperature of 170°F (77°C) in the breast and 180°F (82°C) in the thigh.

When roasting, any stuffing placed in the cavity of the bird should reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C).

Let the bird stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving."

Stuffing Update: I cook the stuffing in a (large) covered casserole dish in the oven. I prefer this method as the stuffing doesn’t get so greasy and it’s much faster to cook the bird. Consequently, you’re less likely to have the breast meat dry out. I moisten the stuffing with chicken broth and use a mix of olive oil and butter to substitute for the missing turkey grease.

Here is a family favourite side dish, Yellow Turnip (Rutabaga) Casserole. I make it a day ahead, and just heat it up for an hour on the day:

Mashed Turnip Filling
2-3 Medium Turnips
2 Apples Chopped
6 Tablespoons Butter
4 Teaspoons Sugar
3 Teaspoons Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
2 Eggs
3/4 Cups Soft Bread Crumbs

Crumb Topping
1 Cup Soft Bread Crumbs, tossed with
2 Tablespoons Melted Butter

Prepare Mashed Turnip
Peel, slice and cut turnips into strips. Cook in boiling salted water until tender.
Mash turnips and combine with remaining ingredients. Mix well. Pour into greased
2 qt. casserole.

Top with Crumb Topping. Let cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate. Remove an
hour before dinner and heat uncovered in 350F oven for 30 minutes.

Serves 12

Turkey Stuffing

Ingredients:

1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 loaf day-old bread, toasted and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 10-12 cups)
1 egg, beaten
Stock from the turkey giblets and/or chicken broth (approximately 1 to 2 cups)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
Dried, crushed sage to taste
Dried, crushed thyme to taste

Mix all ingredients and pour into casserole dish. Bake at 350F for an hour or so.
I take the cover off after 30 minutes, so that the top layer gets a bit crispy.

Change up the recipe as you think best, to suit family tastes.

I do my birds upside down until the last 90 mins so the skin can crisp up. Otherwise everything else guys are saying on here is legit.

Alton Browns apple and herb stuffed bird is unique and it tastes like autumn on the fork. It’s remarkably good if you want to get fancy and blow people’s mind.

Holy shit do I love Thanksgiving. We’re goona EAT son. EAT!!!

[quote]super saiyan wrote:

[quote]eremesu wrote:
i suggest looking up how alton brown makes turkey. he doesnt use stuffing. he just stuffs the hole with an apple and some herbs. he also brines the turkey the night before in a cooler using saltwater and i think stock, but i did not do that. still i had the most juicy turkey of my life. no gravy was necessary.
also from what i remember, he said cook with high heat and no basting(pouring turkey juice on during cooking). give these people a turkey they will remember.
you can look up his thanksgiving episode of “Good Eats” online, or look for on tv

-that is a good idea from on edge. my family has never had proper cider on thanksgiving. just that terrible apple juice that americans call cider.
we call real cider “hard cider”. that is like calling wine “hard wine”[/quote]

We used Alton’s recipe last year and it was really good. Juiciest turkey I’ve had in a long time.[/quote]

I’ve gotten this recommendation from a few folks now. I’ve got an injected turkey, so I’ll probably skip the brining, but I’ll take a look at the recipe.

[quote]timbofirstblood wrote:

[quote]super saiyan wrote:

[quote]eremesu wrote:
i suggest looking up how alton brown makes turkey. he doesnt use stuffing. he just stuffs the hole with an apple and some herbs. he also brines the turkey the night before in a cooler using saltwater and i think stock, but i did not do that. still i had the most juicy turkey of my life. no gravy was necessary.
also from what i remember, he said cook with high heat and no basting(pouring turkey juice on during cooking). give these people a turkey they will remember.
you can look up his thanksgiving episode of “Good Eats” online, or look for on tv

-that is a good idea from on edge. my family has never had proper cider on thanksgiving. just that terrible apple juice that americans call cider.
we call real cider “hard cider”. that is like calling wine “hard wine”[/quote]

We used Alton’s recipe last year and it was really good. Juiciest turkey I’ve had in a long time.[/quote]

I’ve gotten this recommendation from a few folks now. I’ve got an injected turkey, so I’ll probably skip the brining, but I’ll take a look at the recipe.
[/quote]

Take a look at this. There’s a few good posts in there to consider.

I’m married, so I have no fucking idea how to cook, do dishes, do laundry, mop, dust, or clean.

and I like it that way, just fine -

[quote]Edgy wrote:
I’m married, so I have no fucking idea how to cook, do dishes, do laundry, mop, dust, or clean.

and I like it that way, just fine - [/quote]

Buy a frozen bird, thaw in a cooler for a few days with a brine containing brown sugar, salt, apple/cinnamon teabags, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Heat up your fryer with some garlic/rosemary/sage/whatever in the oil and deep fry the bird (and prepping a second one might not be a bad idea, just for leftovers,) enjoy turkey cracklins with some cranberry salsa while the turkey rests.

That’s what I like to do. But food is serious business 'round these parts.

Why bother? Turkey is a feathered fraud, promising so much and delivering so little. Its hard to cook well and very time consuming. If I wanted to spend two hours in the kitchen I’d be French. I’m not French, neither are you, so just say ‘Non’ to the turkey.

Cook a nice roast chicken instead. Chickens are easy. Just shove a large onion up their arse and bung 'em in a bloody hot place for 45 minutes. If you actually need the volume of meat, cook two chickens instead.

[quote]MartyMonster wrote:
Why bother? Turkey is a feathered fraud, promising so much and delivering so little. Its hard to cook well and very time consuming. If I wanted to spend two hours in the kitchen I’d be French. I’m not French, neither are you, so just say ‘Non’ to the turkey.

Cook a nice roast chicken instead. Chickens are easy. Just shove a large onion up their arse and bung 'em in a bloody hot place for 45 minutes. If you actually need the volume of meat, cook two chickens instead.[/quote]

As someone who enjoys cooking, your avatar is my response to this post.

But hey, “eat to live” vs. “live to eat,” I guess.

Make sure to brine the turkey, the poster with the brine ingredients containing brown sugar and salt had a pretty good one, add spices as required.

For a healthier stuffing (I am celiac so it plays a role but it’s even better than regular stuffing anyway) you can use celery and hazelnuts to replace the bread, just grind them up and add them to the stuffing it has way more flavour than bread based stuffing.


This Thanksgiving, do the right thing. FUCK TURKEY have a steak. If the pilgrims had a cow, they wouldn’t have wasted their time with that tasteless bird.