upside-down turkey

Some chefs recommend roasting a turkey upside down for half the time & then turning it back up, for moister breast meat. Would this put dents in the breast, resting on a V rack, or would the turkey breast skin stick and tear?

  • Posted by: kitts
  • November 18, 2012


Voted the Best Reply!

ChefOno November 18, 2012

I always start mine "upside down" (if you think about it, it's actually right-side up, at least from the bird's point of view). No dents, no sticking. Doing so shields the breast so the light and dark meat comes up to their respective temperatures at the same time.

Line your v-rack with foil (eases clean-up), poke some holes in it (prevents rendered fat from pooling), spray or brush with oil or clarified butter (prevents sticking), and roast at 325F until the breast reads 130F. Flip. Increase heat to 425F until done.

Home cooks often object to the process of flipping a hot bird, especially a heavy turkey. There are a number of solutions to the problem. For a chicken, you can insert your knife steel up its butt and rotate the bird around its axis. I own a pair of heavy blue vinyl gloves with long gauntlets, purchased at a hardware store, that provide just enough insulation to flip a turkey and keep me from burning my arms. Easy.

bigpan November 18, 2012
Sneak some butter under the breast skin and cook breast-up. Get adventuresome and make a compound butter, like sage butter, or just mix in some store bought poultry seasoning with the butter.
I always use unsalted butter. It's better butter !
amysarah November 18, 2012
I've tried it a few times, also on a V rack, and despite liberally greasing the rack, the skin always tore. No dents. But I also never found much of a difference in the moistness of the breast, and flipping a big, piping hot turkey isn't easy, so I gave it up. Hope you have better luck!
Monita November 18, 2012
I'm not familiar with this method but I don't think it will put a dent. To prevent sticking, rub some vegetable or olive oil on the rack.
Recommended by Food52