A question about a recipe: Russ Parsons' Dry-Brined Turkey (a.k.a. The Judy Bird)

I have a question about the recipe "Russ Parsons' Dry-Brined Turkey (a.k.a. The Judy Bird)" from Genius Recipes.
I have a 20 pound turkey that I'm going to dry brine. My husband wants to stuff the inside of the bird. (Stuffing from inside the turkey is his favorite thing in the universe.) The turkey is about 20 pounds. I read somewhere that the dry-brined bird cooks rather quickly, but can you give me an idea as to how much time it will take to cook the turkey once it's stuffed? (Thanks, Kristen.)

  • Posted by: drbabs
  • November 20, 2011
  • 5496 views
  • 5 Comments

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Kristen Miglore
Kristen Miglore November 20, 2011

The dry-brined turkeys we tested didn't noticeably cook more quickly than an unbrined one would, but it doesn't hurt to start checking the temperature early. I didn't try a stuffed version, but here's what Parsons had to say (not very inspiring, but it sounds like you know how to wrangle a stuffed turkey!): "Can I stuff a dry-brined turkey? Yes, though a warning is necessary: In order for stuffing to be safe, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says it must be heated to a temperature of 160 degrees at the center. By the time the stuffing reaches that temperature, the breast meat will almost certainly be above 170 degrees. Even dry-brined birds will begin to dry out at that point. But if you have always stuffed your turkey, dry-brining won't affect it."

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Kristen Miglore
Kristen Miglore November 20, 2011

p.s. To be more clear about the time, count on an extra 5 to 7 minutes per pound for stuffed turkey. The USDA says that a stuffed 20-lb. turkey will take 4 3/4 hours, so I'd start checking at 3 1/2 hours, just to be safe.

Whole Foods recommends an interesting stuffing variation (if you could sneak this past your husband):
"If you do stuff, we advise baking the stuffing and turkey separately and then placing cooked stuffing in the turkey cavity during the final 30 minutes of roasting time."

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drbabs
drbabs November 20, 2011

Thanks. My husband won't go for that, unfortunately. I'll let you know how it turns out.

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ATG117
ATG117 November 20, 2011

You could add the turkey drippings to the stuffing after you've cooked the stuffing and turkey separately. Or, if you have turkey pieces with which to render drippings before the big day, you can use those to moisten the stuffing before you cook the stuffing. This wiill really incorporate that turkey flavor, which is what, presumably, your husband is so fond of. Stuffing the bird does make a lot of folks concerned, but I'm guessing you e a handle on it.

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JCCraves
JCCraves November 21, 2017

#TEAMSTUFFING I use a roasting wand - goes into the bird at the business end, through the stuffing and out the neck. Everything cooks well, safely, quickly as the heat convects through the hollow rod. Extra stuffing gets baked in buttered muffin tin. Nice to have texture and shape on the plate of soft food. Relax, enjoy.

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