My 2010 Turkey data

2010 November 26
by Daniel Lakeland

This year we cooked a 12.5 lb turkey, again with the goal of achieving the USDA recommended 165F temperature throughout without any of the turkey going considerably above that temperature so as to minimize drying out of the breast meat. This is essentially a problem of optimal temperature control, to achieve it I started the oven quite high and reduced the temperature throughout to prevent the outside from overheating. The turkey was covered with aluminum foil and cooked in a “disposable” roasting pan (left over from last year). Here are the results:

The main complaint is that this method does not produce a browned crispy skin, but the meat was very juicy. I suppose you might try a creme brulee torch on the skin. Technically, the last two set points on the oven set point graph are just approximations since in fact we removed the turkey and placed it under several layers of towels so technically it was approximately “adiabatic” though it wasn’t THAT well insulated.

There were still portions of the turkey that were red with uncooked blood. The temperature is the only way of knowing that you’ve got a safe turkey, but people expect that the blood is cooked so you might want to microwave or adjust this protocol to get a higher cook point just for aesthetic reasons.

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