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Old 11-20-2008, 09:40 AM   #1
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Questions about "The Bird"

I plan on tackeling a 14 - 16 # fresh turkey for Thanksgiving. My daughter and I am co-cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Since we both like to cook it can be a lot of fun. DW may get involved, time will tell. Both my daughter (Paula) and I like ot cook. Our families have widely divergant tastes which can lead to interesting times.

Inyway. I ordered "The Bird" and should pick it up Sunday. I am considering injeccting the turkey to enhance flavor and moistness. My quwstions are:
1) Is this a dumb idea?
2) If you like it and have done it, what solution doid you use to inject?
3) If you have doen with and without, how do you feel about it.

On to the stuffing. If time permits, I want to make stuffing bread from scratch and use that as the base for the stuffing in the bird. So many questions here.

1) I saw Alton Brown cook his bird without stuffing, and add the stuffing afteer the cooking. Won't this deprive the stuffing of Turkey flavor?
2) Or, will the technique above make the bird dry out due to the stuffing absorbing the liquid?
3) I am thinking bread s&P, celery, onion, sausage and sage. What did I forget?
4) Any other additions, or corrections would be appreciated.

DC has come through for me for so many meals, I am really anxious to sww what Y'all have to say here.

Thank You all so much, in advance

AC (Andy C) (Yup! there's another Andy on the site)

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Old 11-20-2008, 09:57 AM   #2
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I will just answer two of your questions.

1. Injecting the bird is not a dumb idea. I have never done it myself, but there is no reason not to do it. Personally, I would rather brine a bird to get flavor and moisture in, but that can sometimes be difficult with such a large bird.

2. As for the stuffing, The reason Alton cooks his stuffing outside of the bird is for safety reasons. If you cook the stuffing inside the bird then the turkey will overcook by the time the stuffing inside reaches a safe temp. The turkey does not dry out because the stuffing is absorbing the liquid. It dries out because you have to leave it in the oven longer than you would if the cavity was empty (or at least empty of stuffing).
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:14 AM   #3
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This can be interesting......
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:58 AM   #4
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I will just answer two of your questions.



2. As for the stuffing, The reason Alton cooks his stuffing outside of the bird is for safety reasons. If you cook the stuffing inside the bird then the turkey will overcook by the time the stuffing inside reaches a safe temp. The turkey does not dry out because the stuffing is absorbing the liquid. It dries out because you have to leave it in the oven longer than you would if the cavity was empty (or at least empty of stuffing).
I have to disagree with this. I've been stuffing my turkeys for many, many years and my mother and grandmother before me and my turkey does not dry out. The breast meat is always juicy. I make up my stuffing the night before and don't stuff it until right before I put it in the oven. There is nothing in my stuffing to deem it unsafe. Putting the stuffing in the turkey does give it a better flavor than just putting it in a casserole. I always have some leftover that I just bake and it does lack the turkey flavor. My turkeys are usually 20 to 24 pounders.

Barb
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:59 AM   #5
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I use this recipe for the turkey and make my own stuffing in a pan. It always produces a terrific turkey. Juicy and delicious.

You can add turkey flavor to the stuffing by using turkey broth when making the stuffing.

Injecting can add great flavors too. I wouldn't do both injecting and brining.
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:04 AM   #6
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I have to disagree with this. I've been stuffing my turkeys for many, many years and my mother and grandmother before me and my turkey does not dry out. The breast meat is always juicy. I make up my stuffing the night before and don't stuff it until right before I put it in the oven. There is nothing in my stuffing to deem it unsafe. Putting the stuffing in the turkey does give it a better flavor than just putting it in a casserole. I always have some leftover that I just bake and it does lack the turkey flavor. My turkeys are usually 20 to 24 pounders.

Barb

Barb, do you roast the turkey untill the stuffing temperature reaches at least 165 F?

The issue is not that you put unsafe stuff into your stuffing. Juices from the turkey go into the stuffing as it cooks. If the stuffing does not reach a safe temperature, any bacteria present in the turkey will get into the stuffing with the juices and will not get hot enough to be killed off. That makes for a potentially dangerous situation. Putting cold stuffing from the fridge intl the turkey would make that situation worse because it will take longer to get the stuffing hot enough to be safe.
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:23 AM   #7
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Barb, do you roast the turkey untill the stuffing temperature reaches at least 165 F?

The issue is not that you put unsafe stuff into your stuffing. Juices from the turkey go into the stuffing as it cooks. If the stuffing does not reach a safe temperature, any bacteria present in the turkey will get into the stuffing with the juices and will not get hot enough to be killed off. That makes for a potentially dangerous situation. Putting cold stuffing from the fridge intl the turkey would make that situation worse because it will take longer to get the stuffing hot enough to be safe.
Andy, yes I do cook it until it reaches 165F. I don't put cold stuffing in the turkey. I take the stuffing out and let it come to room temp before I stuff. I use a digital thermometer that stays in the turkey the whole time it's roasting. I'm pretty anal abut doing that to make sure the turkey is safely cooked.

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Old 11-20-2008, 11:24 AM   #8
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Andy, yes I do cook it until it reaches 165F. I don't put cold stuffing in the turkey. I take the stuffing out and let it come to room temp before I stuff. I use a digital thermometer that stays in the turkey the whole time it's roasting. I'm pretty anal abut doing that to make sure the turkey is safely cooked.

Barb

Sounds like you have it figured out. That's great.
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:26 AM   #9
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How you do this brining thing? I googled, I really did, I got a whole host of vastly different ways to do it. Suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank You

AC
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:34 AM   #10
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How you do this brining thing? I googled, I really did, I got a whole host of vastly different ways to do it. Suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank You

AC

Click on the link in my first post. It's all there.
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