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Thanksgiving turkey question - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Thanksgiving turkey question

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  • Thanksgiving turkey question

    Last year I fired the oven on Wednesday and another little one on Thursday to elevate the temp.

    For you that are cooking the bird in your oven, do you do the same or just one fire on Thursday?
    Last edited by Les; 11-20-2012, 07:17 PM.
    Check out my pictures here:
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

    If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

  • #2
    Re: Thanksgiving turkey question

    Originally posted by Les View Post
    Last year I fired the oven on Wednesday and another little on on Thursday to elevate the temp.

    For you that are cooking the bird in your oven, do you do the same or just one fire on Thursday?
    I fired on Wed last year and no fire on Thursday, still hot enough.

    Chip
    Chip

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    • #3
      Re: Thanksgiving turkey question

      I recall I was under 500 deg the next afternoon. So I lit the small fire and the dome was 595 and the floor was 520 when I put in the bird. That was too hot. I was thinking I may have more control by lighting it on Thursday morning and leave the door open until it drops to temp. Thanks for the reply!
      Check out my pictures here:
      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

      If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

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      • #4
        Re: Thanksgiving turkey question

        Originally posted by Les View Post
        I recall I was under 500 deg the next afternoon. So I lit the small fire and the dome was 595 and the floor was 520 when I put in the bird. That was too hot. I was thinking I may have more control by lighting it on Thursday morning and leave the door open until it drops to temp. Thanks for the reply!
        Mine tends to recharge if saturated so I need to overshoot on the down temp because it will go back up if I just wait with the door off until I reach desired temp.

        Chip
        Chip

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        • #5
          Re: Thanksgiving turkey question

          I'm sure I would experience the same. I should have a few hours for it to settle back down - we need a knob on these things
          Last edited by Les; 11-20-2012, 08:13 PM.
          Check out my pictures here:
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

          If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

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          • #6
            Re: Thanksgiving turkey question

            Originally posted by Les View Post
            I'm sure I would experience the same. I should have a few hours for it to settle back down - we need a knob on these things
            Then the neighbors would want to burn all your wood and what would be the fun of that. This way you can be the oven guru and have all the fun.

            Chip
            Chip

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            • #7
              Re: Thanksgiving turkey question

              Just one fire the night before, I leave the coals in and put the door in place around midnight. Usually around 550 or so around noon, leave the door off about an hr and the bird goes in at 500-525 dome, 475-500 hearth.
              My only screw up was a couple of years ago when I too, thought I needed a recharge fire. Came out perfectly browned, but was way overdone in 1 1/2 hrs. I think it was a 16/17 pounder. I put it in around 580-585 dome/550 hearth. It totally got away from me, I never thought it would be such a dry mess in such short time. It was over done before I was ready to put in the rest of the meal. Seems to me the magic starting number for a perfect bird is 500 degrees, it crispins up quickly and seals in the juices.

              RT

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              • #8
                Re: Thanksgiving turkey question

                I usually fire a day or two before and start a small fire prior to putting the bird in to bring it to about 500. I put the bird in the middle, while the fire is burning and let the fire roll across the top for a few minutes. I then put a wine and butter soaked cheesecloth over the breast and close the door. This gives the bird and the juices a great smokey flavor (best gravy we have ever had!!)

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                • #9
                  Re: Thanksgiving turkey question

                  I fired the oven at 7:30 A.M. The plan was 500 deg. at 3:00 P.M. Playing the game of door on, door off during the day, I just put the bird in at 498 deg. - not too bad.
                  Check out my pictures here:
                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

                  If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Thanksgiving turkey question

                    I hope to have my oven done for Christmas. This is good info. I have been BBQing my bird for 20 years. I was concerned about giving the oven a try on Christmas without a practice. After reading your posts I am ready.....just need to finish the oven.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Thanksgiving turkey question

                      For the past two years I've fired mine up Wednesday night, closed it up with a pretty good fire going (my oven isn't quite air tight, so the coals continue to burn) and left it overnight. Removed the coals first thing in the morning, and the oven was at about 425 when it was time to roast the 23 lb bird at noon. Worked great - this year was the best turkey we've ever made. We "deconstruct" the turkey per Julie and Jacques Cooking at Home.

                      Roasted the beets and Brussels sprouts while the bird was cooking, baked the rolls after it came out.

                      Cooked the pies in the morning in the kitchen ovens; wanted them done before hand and the WFO would have been too hot. It would have been just right when we took out the turkey, but things get pretty busy once the bird comes out.

                      The kitchen, where we congregate while entertaining, stayed much cooler and more comfortable than in the old days when we had four ovens going.

                      Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

                      Karl

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Thanksgiving turkey question

                        Karl,

                        You cooked at 425 - how many pounds per hour. I was at 498 and I cooked an 18 pound turkey in a little less than 3 hours. The problem I had was the color, I pulled the foil off about an hour before it was done and had to but it back on because parts of the bird was getting too dark. The pic that Ken posted looks like it may have been pho-shopped The thing is perfect....
                        Check out my pictures here:
                        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

                        If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Thanksgiving turkey question

                          As I said, I "deconstructed" the turkey (20 lbs) per Julia and Jacques. This involved removing the backbone, the wishbone, and the legs. The legs are stuffed. The deconstructed bird is laid on a bed of stuffing. One result of the process is that the cooking is speeded up quite a bit. I cooked the main bird 2:15 and the stuffed legs 2:00. The legs were roasted skin side down for the first 1:15 and then skin side up for the remaining 0:45 and browned beautifully. The main bird was browned very nicely as well.

                          Note that I left the bird and legs sit, covered, for 0:45 after taking them out of the oven and before carving. Final internal temp of the breast was about 160 f.

                          Karl

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                          • #14
                            Re: Thanksgiving turkey question

                            I am going to give this a shot, thanks for the posts. Does this sound accurate recapping prior experience?
                            1. 500 degrees for floor temp.
                            2. Cook with door off and no fire burning.
                            3. Cover with cheesecloth and foil.
                            4. Look for a final internal temp of 160 f.
                            5. Pray to oven gods.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Thanksgiving turkey question

                              I find every reference to roasting turkeys done at fairly hot temperatures. I am a firm believer in very slow roasting of the big birds. Does anyone else take this route?

                              My routine is to build a short but hot fire the night before, and just as the oven clears I close the door. By morning the heat has saturated, and I have at most a 300 degree oven, with a few hardwood embers. The birds (20+ lbs) go in early, and get a little smoke and color during maybe the first 1/2 hour. By dinnertime they are tender and super juicy, just like when using a 225 degree smoker. Smoke flavor can be negated by avoiding or removing the embers.

                              The reason I say "birds" is that I roast 2 or 3 because otherwise everyone fights for the leftovers. The obvious disadvantage is that the oven is too cool for baking stuffing or other dishes, but on the other hand, the indoor oven is completely freed-up!

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