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Old 12-31-2015, 05:48 AM   #1
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Low temperature poultry roasting

The concept of roasting poultry at low temperature and then finishing it off at very high temperature to brown the skin was brought up in another thread and got my interest, so I did some investigation on the internet.

Conventional wisdom calls for roasting at least 300 F, and some feel that this is necessary for food safety. However, the minimum temperature for smoking poultry seems to be 225 F, so I would think that this would be safe for roasting as well (perhaps the smokers can comment). Another point I came across is that the meat must reach at least 140 F in 4 hours or less for safety reasons ( HGIC 3560 How to Cook Turkey : Extension : Clemson University : South Carolina ). I'm looking at chicken, so I think that this wouldn't be an issue at 225 F. The few references I found to low temperature roasting chicken seem to indicate that it would take 3 to 4 hours to roast a chicken at 225 - 250 F (for an internal temperature of 165 F). Another interesting tidbit I learned is that the risk of food poisoning with smoked turkey goes up quickly if the bird is more than 12 pounds, as the internal temperature doesn't rise quickly enough at smoking temperatures.

According to Seriouseats, chicken cooked to 150 F is safe, as long as it is at that temperature long enough ( The Food Lab's Complete Guide to Sous Vide Chicken Breast | Serious Eats ). Not sure if you could roast it at that temperature long enough to be safe without drying the meat.

Anyone have experience with this?

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Old 12-31-2015, 09:00 AM   #2
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The whole point at the heart of the 'low and slow' method is:
Protein strands, any protein strands which are heated to over 212 F basically contract and the cells squeeze out any moisture they have. Essentially turning the protein strands into rubber bands.
That's why when you cook say eggs at too high a heat they become rubbery and dry.
Everyone agrees that it's important to 'rest' meat. This allows the protein strands to relax and draw up some lost moisture.
I've roasted hundreds, maybe thousands of chickens/turkeys/game hens/geese/ducks in the last 50 years. About forty years ago I was introduced to 'low and slow' when I worked as a line cook. We roasted a couple of dozen birds each week. Each one turned out perfectly cooked and juicy.
200 F pre heated oven bird not trussed. No stuffing. No oil/butter/fat on the bird. Just S&P and maybe some dried herbs sprinkled in the cavity. Maybe a few lemon wedges in the cavity.
Check deep internal temp after an hour. Roast until the temp reaches 150 F.
Remove bird and rest for an hour lightly tented. Back into a screaming hot oven until the skin is nice and crispy. Carve and serve.
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Old 12-31-2015, 01:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by puffin3 View Post
Check deep internal temp after an hour. Roast until the temp reaches 150 F.
Puffin, you've mentioned "deep internal temp" several times in the past, and I'm unclear what that exactly means? Where do you place the instant read thermometer?
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Old 12-31-2015, 01:46 PM   #4
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With any bird you need stick the temp. probe into the thickest part of the thigh which is right beside the body cavity. Don't push the probe were it touches a bone though. This will give an inaccurate reading. If you know where the 'oysters' are on a bird the probe should be near them. The white breast meat cooks faster than the 'dark meat' found in the thighs/legs. This is where you need to check the temp.
I hope this answers your question.
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Old 12-31-2015, 01:53 PM   #5
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OK, gotcha, and thanks. Yep, I know where those oysters are, and like all cooks we know they are only for the cook! Shushhhh..
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Old 12-31-2015, 08:41 PM   #6
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OK, gotcha, and thanks. Yep, I know where those oysters are, and like all cooks we know they are only for the cook! Shushhhh..
Or, according to my grandmother, for Henry VIII. According to what she always said, he only ate the oysters and left the rest of the bird for the kitchen servants.
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