#81  
Old 11-26-2009, 09:06 PM
ksm ksm is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 39
Default Re: ***Thanksgiving Turkey***

This is awesome! No need for a back-up turkey or a trial turkey because you guys (and women) are doing all the work for the rest of us. Thanks for all the specifics and the pictures. Those are some awesome turkeys. The pressure is on for Saturday (our T-giving this year), but the anxiety level is much reduced. Hope it's not a false sense of security! We'll see ..... to be continued. Kathy
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  #82  
Old 11-27-2009, 07:59 AM
Laborer
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 89
Default Re: ***Thanksgiving Turkey***

Hey everybody,

We did our first WFO turkey yesterday. It was 14 lbs, and I brined it for about 14 hours on Wednesday. It spent Wednesday night naked in the fridge drying the skin, and then got a duck fat massage before cooking.

Heated the oven to pizza temps, and cooked my stuffing sausage and aromatics over the coals in a big paella pan (ps...a paella pan turns out to be PERFECT for stuffing). Let the oven drop to around 630, then swabbed the floor (like baking bread) and stuck on the door. Turkey went in at around 580 to brown and then got the foil triangle after 40 minutes. Two hours later, and we had a perfect turkey with some slightly black wing tips. As the turkey cooled and carried over I baked the stuffing in the 400 degree oven. The paella pan maximized the crust to interior ratio, and it too was great.

Yay for WFO Thanksgiving!

Stan
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Last edited by Stan; 11-27-2009 at 08:10 AM. Reason: edited for spelling
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  #83  
Old 11-27-2009, 08:00 AM
blacknoir's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 243
Default Re: ***Thanksgiving Turkey***

Turns out the temps I quoted yesterday, Ceiling was 500 and the floor was about 680.. back wall was 480, were too low. After 2 hours my turkey should have been completely done but I just couldn't get the deepest part of the breast to reach the correct temp. I left it in for another 30 minutes but it just wasn't going to make it so I pulled it out. The outside was done perfectly and this was by far the best tasting turkey I've made to date but I had to put it into the convection oven for 1/2 hour at 350 after carving away some of the good stuff.

Next time I'll shoot for 600 at ceiling and 550+ at back and side walls. I'm also investing in a remote thermometer so I don't make matters worse by continuously checking the temp of the bird. Doing so in the dead of Winter, like XMas, would be even worse..

All in all though I was told this was the best Thanksgiving yet. We cooked the turkey and a ham in the oven, mashed potatoes in a crock pot and the stuffing and deserts in the convection oven.

-Shay
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  #84  
Old 11-27-2009, 08:48 AM
mfiore's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 919
Default Re: ***Thanksgiving Turkey***

I cooked my turkey in the WFO (mine on right). A 13 lb. bird, brined (yep, I also followed Alton Brown method) overnight. Had a good heat soak to the oven all am, pizza for lunch, then cooking the turkey. In the oven at 530 degrees, foil triangle over breast after 30 minutes, out of the oven at 120 minutes with oven temp 480 degrees. During that time, also threw in a batch of dinner rolls and a roasting pan full of acorn squash.

The turkey was great. My wife's turkey is on the left. Hers followed traditional low and slow method at 325 degrees in oven following "butterball" directions. After taking the photo, hers had to go back in the oven, as the dark meat was still not up to temps. My turkey and the entire meal was done before we had a chance to eat hers. To her credit, her turkey was still quite good. Having said that, though, there is no question every turkey from this point on will be in the WFO! You just can't beat the simplicity of it. It's much quicker, and it frees up your conventional oven for other things.
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Last edited by mfiore; 11-27-2009 at 08:57 AM.
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  #85  
Old 11-27-2009, 02:24 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 1,436
Default Re: ***Thanksgiving Turkey***

Quote:
there is no question every turkey from this point on will be in the WFO
nice job mike,,, though both do look good though


cheers
mark
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  #86  
Old 11-28-2009, 05:53 AM
christo's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Eastern NC
Posts: 910
Default Re: ***Thanksgiving Turkey***

We had another excellent turkey this year - 3 in 3 years.

This one turned out better than the others before if that's possible.

We cooked pizza the night before and left the coals in the oven and wacked the door on and went to bed.

Next morning at 7am, pulled the bread dough out of the refridgerator and went to check the oven. - temps on the floor of the oven were still above 700 degrees - also the entry way had completely burned white all the way to the door. did not think I'd ever see that part of the entry clean again.

Left the door off and put a big coffee can of water into the oven. An hour later the oven was in the mid 600's and I put the door back on as the bread had just started to rise again. Put the bread in at 9am and left the door off as temps had risen a bit. As it was still quite hot - I had to keep the bread near the door and rotate often.

Refilled the water in the can and put the alton brown brined and oiled bird (23lbs) in at 11am. Floor temps were almost 600 degrees.

Left the door off and rotated every 10 mins - four times and then tented the bird with an aluminum foil hat.

Put the door back on and turned it every hour or so. Pulled the bird at 3pm and it was great. I think it would have been fine at 2:30pm but with the steam in the oven I did not worry too much. It was juicy and flavorful.

Christo
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  #87  
Old 11-30-2009, 10:57 AM
Journeyman
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: minnesota, usa
Posts: 472
Default Re: ***Thanksgiving Turkey***

Best. Thread. Ever. I think we have created the ultimate WFO turkey cookery resource on the web!

My butterflied WFO turkey adventure:

I did a 15 pounder, organic, pasture raised, local. Butterflied and backbone removed, then into brine for ~16 hours. Made an awesome, rich stock the night before with the trimmings, giblets and neck, so gravy prep was done.

Oven fired at 8am, up to pizza temp and then 1.5-2 hours to cool off. Temp was between 600-700 when turkey went in around noon. No active fire but lots of smoldering embers which I just left and banked around the walls.
I used my regular All Clad roaster pan with the rack, only I turned the rack upside down and just draped the flattened bird over it which turned out to be a huge win. This not only got it up away from the sides of the pan, but allowed for air circulation UNDER the bird. Just a drizzle of olive oil on the outside, that's it. (I did not rinse after removing from the brine.)

Total cooking time=1.5 hours to perfectly done, and I mean perfectly. Probably the best looking and most uniformly cooked turkey I have ever made. I put a bit of foil loosely over after 1 hour. Came out gorgeous, with a deep dark crispy and perfectly seasoned skin thanks to the brine and not rinsing. Just about zero effort other than the wrestling match required to get it butterflied.

I'm the sole cook at our event so I'm always crazy busy and didn't get a chance to take pictures...argh.

I think this is going to be my standard method from now on. I LOVE that the cooking time is so much shorter with butterflying. Less to worry about, less babysitting, and much easier to coordinate the timing with all of the other dishes. Plus the underneath bits all get nice and brown and crispy too, since they're not underneath! Also easier to carve once you wrap your head around the rearranged anatomy.

On a side note, this is the third year I've done pastured and organic, and I'm amazed (again) at how different the pastured turkeys are... SO different, anatomically and so much tastier, than the industrially raised ones. It's almost like a totally different animal. For a same-sized carcass, I'd bet there's 50% more meat on the pasture raised turkeys. Plus they have life-sized thighs and wings rather than chicken sized ones, and those, IMO, are the tastiest bits so that suits me just fine. There's nothing like a huge meaty leftover turkey wing to make my lunchtime happy, and since most folks are used to the scrawny, gristly wings of a supermarket bird, they don't know that I'm being selfish when I carve them off and squirrel them away for myself
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  #88  
Old 11-30-2009, 11:16 AM
Fish Wheels's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Great Lakes
Posts: 70
Default Re: ***Thanksgiving Turkey***

Quote:
Originally Posted by splatgirl View Post
There's nothing like a huge meaty leftover turkey wing to make my lunchtime happy, and since most folks are used to the scrawny, gristly wings of a supermarket bird, they don't know that I'm being selfish when I carve them off and squirrel them away for myself
The wing is my favourite part of the whole bird. I get to them as soon as possible, I'm greedy that way
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  #89  
Old 11-30-2009, 06:37 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 1,436
Default Re: ***Thanksgiving Turkey***

Hey Splat,,
was wondering what happened to you ???? Glad to hear it worked out.. NO PICS...ugggg

you have to teach boy to take pics...

Maybe james will make this thread a sticky ???? James ???
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  #90  
Old 11-30-2009, 06:52 PM
Journeyman
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: minnesota, usa
Posts: 472
Default Re: ***Thanksgiving Turkey***

Yes, should be a sticky TURKEY COOKERY post!

Crazy busy around here, mostly because it's my busiest season work-wise. So much for trying to take last week off to focus on food and house prep.
I must say that it was probably the lowest stress Thanksgiving cooking event I've ever undertaken, due in no small part to the hour-and-a-half-to-utterly-awesome WFO turkey. One less thing to worry about means I can add another fabulous side dish to next years' menu!
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