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Old 07-20-2011, 03:15 PM   #1
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Slow-Cooked Turkey?

So lately I've been using my crock pot a lot and it's got me thinking about Thanksgiving. I really don't like turkey and have avoided eating it for the past few holiday seasons. I would like to like it and I started thinking about ways to cook it.

I've had it roasted, baked, and fried and it never really struck a chord with me. My question is, has anyone ever cooked it like you would in a crock pot (eg braising) for a ridiculous amount of time at a super low temp? Bear with me on logistics of this because I don't even know if there are roasters that can accomodate this but what if I cooked the bird at say 180F degrees for 24 to 30 hours in a savory liquid in some sort of slow cooker. What would the end result be? Fall off the bone delicious or water gooey mess?

I don't know enough about turkeys to know if this is a stupid question or not but I'm willing to test some theories here. What do you guys think?

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Old 07-20-2011, 03:21 PM   #2
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What don't you like about turkey?
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:23 PM   #3
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Don't like Turkey either :( Only had smoked turkey though, maybe I should try plain.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:09 PM   #4
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I actually don't much like the flavor of the meat itself. When cooked it's rarely seasoned and I think it needs to be brought up to a higher level. I'd almost like to treat it like a pork barbecue roast with a rub but cook it in a slow cooker.

I was looking at a few things on google and saw the sous vide style of cooking and I think that might be a good method to partially replicate. I think vacuum sealing the bird would be too much of a chore but cooking at 180-185 for 50-60 hours could product some interesting results.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:23 PM   #5
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I've never braised a turkey. Since I like turkey roasted or smoked, I doubt I ever will.

A couple of points to consider:

Regardless of cooking method, you can add flavor to a turkey through brining. Since I brined my first turkey, I have brined every one since. It makes a huge difference in flavor.

Turkey is about the leanest white meat on the planet. Braising it in a slow cooker, could lead to dry white meat. All the meat will come to temp together in a braise while roasting gives you flexibility to have breasts at 165 F and thighs at 185 F.

Read this then decide: Good Eats Roast Turkey Recipe : Alton Brown : Food Network
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:40 PM   #6
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Years ago the Frugal Gourmet did a show on poaching whole turkeys. The idea was that if you only wanted the cooked meat and not a big TaDa presentation you could cut up the turkey and poach the parts to get moist meat for various uses and a nice broth for soups. I did it once and it was good but, I like roasted to death dried out American Mom style turkey. Many variations of his method are still out on the net.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomatoMustard View Post
but what if I cooked the bird at say 180F degrees for 24 to 30 hours in a savory liquid in some sort of slow cooker. What would the end result be? Fall off the bone delicious or water gooey mess?

Well first of all that's a recipe for serious food poisoning. You should never cook poultry at a temp. that low.

Turkey isn't supposed to fall off the bone. It is meant to be cooked only until it's done and no more.

Lets say that you cooked it in your crockpot for 24 hours at 250. In liquid. What you will end up with is turkey stock, basically. All the liquid and flavor of the meat will have been expelled into the cooking liquid. The liquid might be tasty but the turkey will be very, very dry and probably somewhat disintegrated.

Its actually very easy to roast a turkey.

If you don't like turkey, maybe roast some beef or a ham instaed?
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:32 AM   #8
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Alright, so we need a higher temperature to make it safe. I was thinking something along the lines of a sous vide method.


As for the statement "Turkey isn't supposed to fall off the bone." That's not true. It's just not common practice but that doesn't mean it couldn't be good. Cooking is about trying new things and inventing. So, it's not fair to say that that end goal is incorrect just because it's not the way everyone is doing it.

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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Turkey is about the leanest white meat on the planet. Braising it in a slow cooker, could lead to dry white meat. All the meat will come to temp together in a braise while roasting gives you flexibility to have breasts at 165 F and thighs at 185 F.
So now we should consider cooking the parts separately to their optimal temperature. Maybe this method will only work for the dark meat - That I don't know but I'm willing to test some theories here.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:16 AM   #9
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...So now we should consider cooking the parts separately to their optimal temperature. Maybe this method will only work for the dark meat - That I don't know but I'm willing to test some theories here.

I didn't say you should cook the parts separately. I said the parts cook at different rates so they reach their different optimal temperatures at the same time.

I agree with jennyema that a long low braise as you describe will make a dry tasteless turkey and a great broth. Braising is for poorer cuts of meats with high percentages of fat and connective tissues that the long slow process breaks down.

All this being said, give it a try and find out if you like the result.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:48 AM   #10
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Make Turducken! I can't stand Turkey but I like it this way :) Turkey stuffed with duck stuffed with chicken!
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