That Turkey Time of Year

2011 November 6
by Daniel Lakeland

Each year for the past few years I’ve been cooking a Turkey for the American holiday of Thanksgiving, and I’ve been measuring the temperature through time. My goal is to build up a dataset which eventually I can use in an educational setting to give students an idea of the range of mathematical and statistical models from purely data driven, to dynamic and mechanistic.

This year I’m inviting the entire internet to submit their similar data (and I’m writing this invitation early enough to hopefully disseminate the request and let people consider it and prepare in advance).

The idea is this, you buy a Turkey, and you cook it in an oven. You use a meat thermometer to measure the temperature of the turkey meat at three locations (shallow, medium depth, and deep) at some regular time intervals of perhaps around 30 minutes starting at time t=0 right before you put the turkey in the oven. Along with this you provide an oven temperature at each time point (either the set point or if you have an oven thermometer, the actual temperature). Finally, you give some stats about the turkey (weight, whether it’s covered, etc).

I’m providing a Turkey Template for you to download and fill out with your data. Once I have at least say 10 Turkeys I will upload a full dataset for all to use.

NOTE: I’m not quite sure how to have you upload the data yet. Most likely I will have to take submissions via email or some such thing.


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