In hindsight - mushy turkey meat?

In my post-Thanksgiving dinner assessment, I'm puzzled by the texture of our turkey. We did the bacon wrapped bird recipe ( with a 12 lb organic turkey from Whole Foods picked up just two days ago. It was fully defrosted and it got to a more than adequate temperature. It was not brined. At first I thought, "my what a moist turkey!" But the moist-ness was actually a bit weird and almost gummy. Not like undercooked mushy but more like water-logged weird.

Any idea what might cause this? Or am I just so used to dry meat that this is the way it is supposed to taste? (If so, I think I prefer dry!)

  • Posted by: Amy
  • November 26, 2015


cathy November 20, 2020
I Just had this happen for the 2nd time in 60 years. The 1st time was in cooking overnight in a cooking bag at a low temperature, It was total mush. this time we smoked the bird (a Jennie O) but wanted to go to bed and sleep so finished it off in the oven at 200 for about 7 hours. result, perfect on top but mushy lower and mushy drumsticks. My conclusion, don't cook for a long time with moture sealed in at a low temperature or it will turn to mush.
max J. November 27, 2015
One of the methods we use to tenderise octopus is to deep freeze it wet. When you defrost quickly the ice crystals expand and break down the fibres.
Susan W. November 26, 2015
Amy, I so get this. Turkey is weird. It smells so wonderful while cooking, but after that, it's a crapshoot. I think my recent obsession of the Judy Bird is my new favorite way of preparing any bird, but so much depends on how the bird was raised, harvested and prepared. Sigh. I did a turkey breast Judy Bird style. Top part of the breast was great. Bottom part (usually the most tender) was mushy.
Amy November 26, 2015
Thanks for this feedback! My husband, who carved the turkey, said after reading this that he did notice a texture difference from the top to bottom of slices so this may have been what you ran into. So strange.
Susan W. November 26, 2015
Yes! Down around where the tenderloin is. Mush city. I may break up with Turkey. We'll see what next year brings.
Leslie S. November 26, 2015
Trying to find the answer for you! But the only thing I could find was this (a connection to climate change!) But seems very strange...

Maybe it could be that it was somehow water-logged? But since you didn't do a dry-brine this also seems unlikely! Will keep hunting and let you know if I find a solution!
Amy November 26, 2015
Thanks! It IS possible that I just have never had such a moist turkey and don't have a taste for it. I can accept that as a solution! :)
Kenzi W. November 26, 2015
It sounds like it's just super moist! Would be great for soup leftovers.
Amy November 26, 2015
Thank you - that may be the case. It may be that I am just so used to a drier texture that this one didn't seem normal. I can't believe I am saying that I think I prefer it a bit more dry!
Leslie S. November 26, 2015
Hi Amy, thank you for your question! Looking into this—I'm puzzled too!
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