After researching, do people really cook the turkey upside down for the first 30 minutes of cooking?

I want my turkey perfect this year. I'm always given the "Turkey." Rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper...anything else? Plus my parents are old school. I like to mess with them and tell them I'm bringing a Turduckin!! :) I mentioned coriander, what the hell??!!

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6 Comments

sfmiller November 23, 2016
I tried flipping one year and decided that any (minimal at best) improvement in breast-meat moistness wasn't worth the pain of wrestling a hot, greasy, 20-pound object when there are other kitchen things to do and guests around.

Spatchcocking is a better solution for the uneven doneness problem, if a Norman Rockwell whole bird presentation isn't important to you. You could mess with your old-school parents by saying you ran over it with a car!
 
Ellen Z. November 23, 2016
Thank you!
 
creamtea November 23, 2016
I do flip it. Not sure the juices really do run down, it's more that I want both sides nice and browned. I don't have a big enough pan to spatchcock.
 
PHIL November 23, 2016
Right side up is fine. I spatchcock my Turkey, that might make your parents blink. It helps the bird to cook evenly.
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amysarah November 23, 2016
I've done both the flip and non-flip method and can't say I've noticed much difference. Not an easy maneuver with a large turkey, so I don't flip anymore - plenty of oven-juggling without it on Thanksgiving. I'm sure someone will chime in and say the opposite...just my experience, results no doubt vary.
 
Sarah J. November 23, 2016
Fine Cooking recommends cooking the turkey breast side-down for the first hour or so—the juices run to the breast and the turkey "bastes itself." http://www.finecooking.com/item/45363/the-secret-to-juicy-roast-turkey

The Kitchn says to roast it like upside-down the entire time—http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-roast-a-turkey-upside-down-237555—then broil it if you want crispy breast skin.

None of our tested turkey recipes call for an breast side-down roast and they're not less juicy for it! So I say... try it if you're willing to take a risk (and come away with a maybe less perfect-looking bird) or otherwise pick a classic recipe you know won't be dry, like this one: https://food52.com/recipes/38997-barbara-kafka-s-simple-roast-turkey
 
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