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cooking alot of turkeys and keeping them moist and juicy.

I am a professional chef. I had to cook 50 turkeys for thanks giving. I had one complaint of over cooked bird. How can I avoid this problem. The legs dry out before it is cooked to proper temp. Keep in mind I have a lot of turkeys to cook.

asked by arnold solomon about 3 years ago
6 answers 858 views

Monita is a Recipe Tester for Food52

added about 3 years ago

What temp were you cooking them out? Perhaps it was too high - 325-350 is a good roasting temp. Were they stuffed? I've had more trouble getting evely cooked birds when they're stuffed. What temp were you looking for when testing for doneness - USDA says 165 in the thigh but if you take them out at 160 the internal temp will rise to 165 while resting

added about 3 years ago

With so many birds, have you thought of breaking them down and then cooking the legs separately from the breasts?

added about 3 years ago

The usual problem is breast meat drying out before the legs come up to temperature so I'm puzzled. Were these birds roasted breast side up? In a roasting pan? What were the breast and thigh temperatures when the birds were pulled from the oven?

added about 3 years ago

If you were cooking them in a restaurant setting, (which I'm sure with the volume you were) you might not have been considering the convection oven you were cooking in. That speeds up the time considerably. And resting most dry cooked meats is imperative.

added about 3 years ago

Try slow roasting (lower temp, longer period). Google for several recipes. The birds always come out tender and juicy - and do reach 165 for safety. And like Chef Ono little surprised that the legs dried out and not the breast.

added about 3 years ago

This year I followed Nigella Lawson's Roast Turkey recipe from her book, Feast, and it was my best turkey ever. She roasts the bird upside down (on its breast) so the fat and juices from the back drip down into the breast meat. It was the moistest, most tender turkey I've had.