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Old 09-08-2008, 02:48 PM   #1
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Chicken/Turkey Overnight

A couple Thanksgivings ago, we ended up cooking our turkey, can't recall the weight, overnight at about 125-175 degrees. We thought that the low temp would keep the meat from drying out. Boy were we right. It was perfect. Moist, hot, just perfect. However, after the fact, my wife picked up somewhere that this was a bad idea.

Any thoughts?

If the temperature of the turkey is what it is supposed to be, what is the difference? No pink, but thoroughly cooked just as if it were done the same day normally.


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Old 09-08-2008, 03:11 PM   #2
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The key to moist turkey, a very lean meat, is to not overcook it. Cooking a turkey for so long at a such a low temperature invites problems. The majority of the bird, and it's contents if stuffed, will be in the bacteria danger zone of 40 F to 140 F for much too long.

I recommend looking into Alton Brown's Thanksgiving turkey recipe, which includes brining the bird for added flavor and moisture.

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Old 09-08-2008, 03:22 PM   #3
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You were very lucky that no one got sick. Like Andy said, it is overcooking that causes a bird to dry out. You could cook it at 500 degrees and still have a moist bird as long as you did not leave it in too long.
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:30 PM   #4
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Wow - what a bacteria party you must have had going on in that turkey!!! My only thoughts are that if you normally cook that way perhaps you have some natural immunity going on.

That said, I'm sure glad I wasn't a guest at your turkey dinner, & suggest you do some reading up during the next couple of months pre-turkey-day as to how to avoid ending up having a rather intimate relationship with your bathroom a few hours after dinner. . . .
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:39 PM   #5
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Much as I'd like to, I cannot add anything further than what's already been pointed out as far as the dangers of your cooking process are concerned.
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:59 PM   #6
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If the temperature is what it is supposed to be at, I don't see the problem. We'll do it different though, with brining and such. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:05 PM   #7
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Google: Low temperature cooking.
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mach View Post
If the temperature is what it is supposed to be at, I don't see the problem. We'll do it different though, with brining and such. Thanks for the heads up.
In reality you may be right. The concern is the bird spends a lot of time in the "Danger Zone" giving the bacteria a lot of time to "play" which is a bad thing.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:30 PM   #9
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Cooks.com - Recipe - Overnight Turkey
can you imagine leaving it overnight without heat!
Overnight Turkey Recipe | Recipezaar
OMG they rinsed the turkey too! :)
How NOT to Cook a Turkey - Unsafe Turkey Cooking Practices - Don't Slow Cook, Slow Roast, Microwave a Turkey
unsafe methods and it lists the minimum safe temperature to roast a turkey, which, I thought was pretty helpful. (325°F)

Personally, I love roasting turkey overnight, and the house smells wonderful in the morning, and then I take it off the bone and can it (pressure cooking). ~Bliss

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