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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??!!

asked by Ellen Zanky 8 months ago
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Sarah Jampel

Sarah is Food52's senior staff writer & stylist.

added 8 months ago

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...

The Kitchn says to roast it like upside-down the entire time—http://www.thekitchn.com... 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...

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amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added 8 months ago

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.

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PHIL is a trusted home cook.

added 8 months ago

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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Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added 8 months ago

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.

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added 8 months ago

Thank you!

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added 8 months ago

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!

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