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Old 10-12-2005, 01:16 AM   #1
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HELP - Turkey Cooking Q

I hope someone can help me here...

The scenerio:

I live in Japan and am planning a Thanksgiving party for 12. I have decided to order a 16 - 18 lb turkey for the event.

The problem:

I have Japanese-sized oven (W13.5, D14.5, H9.5) that is basically an oven, microwave, grill combo. The elements are NOT exposed - they hide be hind the walls with small holes in front of them for the heat to enter from. Also, the bottom is ceramic to help conduct heat. I have grilled and baked many times with it, and it works great - pretty much like a conventional American oven (heat, time, etc.). HOWEVER, those were only cookies, bread, chicken parts, other small items.

The aforementioned TURKEY dimensions are: W10, L13, H7). As you can see, if I were to use a turkey bag, and set the turkey in a baking pan on the bottom of the oven, it would fit, with a few inches on top and each side to spare.

However, will there be enough air space for heat to penetrate and cook the turkey evenly and within this century? Also, even though the elements are not exposed, will the turkey be too close and burn on the outside (perhaps using foil instead of the turkey bag would be better?)?

Will it take more time than a conventional oven? And, should the temp be the same, or does it need to be higher or lower?

Any help would be greatly appreciated on this.

JH

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Old 10-12-2005, 08:19 AM   #2
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Do you have access to a fryer?
Fried turkey is so good.
I'm not sure that there would be enough room or enough heat for it to cook in the oven.
That's my opinion, so, let someone with a lot more experience with size and heat tell you better.
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Old 10-12-2005, 08:57 AM   #3
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You could try breaking the turkey down before you cook it, cutting it up the same way you do a chicken. You could also bone it out (except for the legs, thighs and wings)...That way it would take up less room.
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Old 10-12-2005, 09:44 AM   #4
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the only way to really find out the answers is to do a dry run...prepare a similar meal now and test what will or won't work ... waiting till the event to find out the answer is not a good plan.
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Old 10-12-2005, 10:01 AM   #5
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I'd be concerned, as you are, that it would be too close to the burners. Also proper heat circulation may be a problem.

If you're up to it, consider deboning the turkey and making a turkey roll roast with stuffing in the middle. I did this one year and it came out fantastic.

It cooks very evenly and quickly and tastes like any other Thanksgiving turkey. You have the bones ahead of time so you can make some stock for other dishes and for the gravy. You also might be able to fit another dish or two into the oven.
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Old 10-12-2005, 08:46 PM   #6
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Thanks

Thanks to all of you for your replies.

I decided to go with a little bit smaller turkey that will give me a little more space from the oven walls to work with. Hope this works. I am now in the process of deciding whether to have another side dish or two, or to have a couple pre-roasted chickens to replace the lost food volume.

I guess I should start the turkey PLENTY ahead of time - just in case the oven takes longer to cook then normal, or I have to decrease the heat a bit to avoid burning. Also, I believe I will wrap the entire bird in foil. I know that it takes longer to cook, but heard that helps keep it from burning - as well as cooking it evenly with its natural juices.

One person who replied said to have a practice run. Normally, I would. But as mentioned, I live in Japan and the turkeys are imported and very expensive. Also, there are only three of us (one being only 1 yr. old) in the family. Come Thanksgiving, we'd probably still be eating the practice bird. :-)

Anyway, thanks to all and if you have any other advice, it would be much appreciated.

JH
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Old 10-12-2005, 08:50 PM   #7
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that would be I, and yes you might be, but at least turkey is high protein and low fat! enjoy and good luck ..tell us how it works so we can advise future querries!
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Old 10-13-2005, 12:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JapanHusker
I hope someone can help

Will it take more time than a conventional oven? And, should the temp be the same, or does it need to be higher or lower?

Any help would be greatly appreciated on this.

JH
Im Not a Fan of it but try an eletric roaster...its like a metal crock pot for turkeys, roast, ect...


The tot
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Old 10-13-2005, 12:45 AM   #9
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Unfortunately, cannot buy one of those here. I am confined to using my Japanese sized oven.

Thanks anyway.
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Old 10-13-2005, 01:47 AM   #10
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There is but one thing you have to consider when cooking a turkey. You need to make sure you bring the meat temperature to 165 degrees Farenheight. It does not matter where the heat comes from. It doesn't matter whether you use a very hot oven and fast cooking times, or a lower heat and longer cooking times. But you must use a reliable meat thermometer that can be left in the turkey for the entire cooking period. With your small oven, radient heat will do much of the cooking as convective heating won't be available du to the small air-space. That being said, cook the bird in an open roasting pan, with aluminum foil placed on the exposed skin to reflect away some of the radiant heat. This will prevent you from over-cooking the skin. Figure about 12 minutes a pound with an oven temperature of 360 degrees Farenheight. When the thermometer reads 140 degrees, remove foil and continue roasting until the thermometer reaches 155 degrees. Then remove the bird from the oven and let rest for about 15 minutes. This will allow the hotter, outer-meat to transmit its energy to the cooler inside. The final temperature will be between 165 and 170.

You can salt and season the skin to your liking before roasting the turkey. But don't add any sauces to the skin if they have sugar in the sauce. The sugar will burn.

Try this method and you will get very moist and tender turkey. To carve the bird, remove the breasts in whole pieces and slice sideways, against the meat grain.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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