How do I cook a 25lb turkey that is stuffed inside without it becoming to dry, but is done safely inside.
Kristen is the Creative Director of Food52
Epicurious has a great chart for turkey doneness, taking into account turkey size, stuffing, oven temp & time: http://bit.ly/dMQo7M But it's best to take the internal temperature too -- you'll want to hit at least 150 in the fleshy part of the thigh (the temp will continue to climb as it rests).
You are crazy to stuff the turkey. Do the dressing on the side. http://www.cheaterchef.... Even better cut small turkeys in half and roast like chickens. You won't be over cooking the birds trying to get it all done.
It is very difficult and nearly impossible. You see, when the turkey is stuffed, you have to cook it longer so the dressing is safe to eat at 165 degrees. So the bird will be overcooked. And to do that mean that you have to overcook the bird. Stuffing loosely helps it cook faster--don't pack it.
Brining the bird is the best way to help keep it moist. Other helps are to cook breast side down, or to cook up but cover the breast with cheesecloth soaked in melted butter and baste often. But those methods just help a bit.
Kristen, at 150F, the legs and thighs will be bloody.
For a bird that large, I would shoot for 150/155 degrees F in the thigh. Kristen is right, the temp will continue to rise, at least 10 degrees, when the bird is resting for 20/30 minutes, so keep that in mind. Overcooked turkey = sad Thanksgiving!
Also, I would not stuff a bird this large. But if you really feel the need, you gotta make sure stuffing temp is at least 165 degrees F.
Here's a helpful turkey fact sheet from the USDA: http://www.fsis.usda.gov...
And here's a cool video with great turkey tips: http://www.monkeysee.com...
I read somewhere you can bring the turkey up to room temperature, and then stuff the turkey. This makes it safer somehow?
Or maybe you can stuff the turkey halfway or 3/4 of the way during its cooking process?
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