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FigureSpins
10-11-2010, 04:31 PM
I only baste a few times - I read somewhere that it cools the bird off too much. With it covered, you don't need to baste. Same difference.

emason
10-11-2010, 04:39 PM
Well, damn, I guess I've just had terrible turkeys for the past 50 years because my mom always added water to the roasting pan, so I have too. So does my MIL, my daughter's MIL.

Pity I didn't realize I was eating inferior quality turkey...:rolleyes:

Happy Thanksgiving to all Canucks -- regardless of how you cook your turkeys!

You haven't necessarily had terrible turkeys, but you haven't had 'roast' turkeys if you have been putting water in the pan. Roasting is a dry heat method of cooking; steaming is a wet heat method and that's what you've got if you've been putting water in the pan.

WildRose
10-11-2010, 04:57 PM
I only baste a few times - I read somewhere that it cools the bird off too much. With it covered, you don't need to baste. Same difference.
Sorry - but there is a difference. The more you baste it, the browner it gets. If you're cooking it with a lid you release the steam when you lift the lid to baste - but not when you're roasting it without a lid - so it doesn't cool off when you put the hot drippings on it - LOL - unless you're a really slow baster ;-)

FigureSpins
10-11-2010, 06:02 PM
Could it also be because my roasting pan has a steam valve? (When I use foil, I leave an opening, too.) Maybe you're right: maybe I'm too slow at basting, which is why I prefer the covered method. It's not the pan drippings that cause the heat loss - it's holding the door open or removing the bird from the oven. Hmmmm....

I brown at the start of cooking and then again just at the end. Skin comes out crispy and the turkey's moist. Must be doing something right, just different.

Norlite
10-11-2010, 06:33 PM
I've never heard of adding water to the roasting pan either, but whatever works for you, enjoy!

And a Happy Thankgiving to all my fellow Canadians!

rjblue
10-11-2010, 08:18 PM
I eat my roasted turkey one day, and my mother-in-law's turkey that has been cooked in a covered pot with water the next day. There is quite a difference in flavour. Steamed food never seals, so the juices leave the meat. Roasted meat has the flavour sealed in.

It seems counterintuitive to some people, but the way to get the juiciest meat- especially with beef- is to cook with a convection oven, where the hot air flows all around the meat all the time. It is the best way to cook the tender cuts of meat and young poultry.

The basting for a roast is done to make a better seal on the meat and brown it. I have a small oven, so my turkey browns really quickly and I never have to baste it.

Yesterday I had roast turkey, potato and bread stuffing (with summer savory, not sage), creamed green beans, brown sugar glazed carrots, whipped Yukon Gold potatoes, butternut squash, cranberry sauce, coleslaw, brown and white rolls, squash pie (soooo much better than pumpkin), blueberry cheesecake, coconut cream pie, and apple pie.

My oldest daughter couldn't make it home for the big turkey deal yesterday, so today I'm making her favourite- New England Pot Roast with onions and carrots. It smells even better than the turkey. You get the biggest bone-in blade roast you can find, brown it, coat it with creamed horseradish, add a cup of water and put it in the oven for 4 hours with the vegetables in for the last hour. It smells even better than the turkey when it's cooking. It's a great way to turn a really cheap cut of meat into something that tastes divine.

SharonDudd
10-11-2010, 10:36 PM
rjblue: I loved your post about the pot roast. It's one of my family's favorite things that I cook. As soon as they walk in the door, they start sniffing appreciately and will want to know how soon it's going to be done! Then of course they always want to be the one to use the wooden spoon and get all of the leftover gravy out of the roasting pan! I swear, if I let them, they'd eat it like soup. In fact, I've seen my youngest son, now 31 taking a soup spoon and eating it out of the gravy bowl when he thinks that I'm not looking! Don't they know that Mom's have eyes in the backs of their heads by this time in life?? :huh: :huh: :huh: :huh: :huh:

lurvylurker
10-11-2010, 11:41 PM
OK, so the turkey turned out fine except that it never did brown and crisp up. I see now what I did wrong -- I covered it with foil right from the start, and I kept the foil sealed up tight all the way through. Then I removed the foil about an hour before taking it out of the oven, but the skin neve did get brown and crisp. It was still delicious, but somehow didn't really taste "roasted" -- now I know it was more steamed than roasted, as it never got a chance to dry out (there was lots of liquid in the bottom of the pan when it was done).

Next time I will truly roast it, leaving it uncovered until/unless it needs loose foil to protect it from burning, and see how that turns out.

But YUM! rjblue, that pot roast sounds great! I wanna try it -- what temp do you roast it at? (And I assume I should NOT cover it, right?!)

rjblue
10-12-2010, 12:07 AM
Next time I will truly roast it, leaving it uncovered until/unless it needs loose foil to protect it from burning, and see how that turns out.

But YUM! rjblue, that pot roast sounds great! I wanna try it -- what temp do you roast it at? (And I assume I should NOT cover it, right?!):) Pot roast -covered- at 325 for the New England pot roast.

Here's the rule from my 1960 Dominion Meat Store cookbook that my mom gave me when I was married.

If it's a tough cut of meat- old laying hen, round or blade beef roast- you should cook it covered with water in the pan- pot roasting.

If it's a tender cut of meat- young poultry, rib roast, pork and lamb roasts, you should cook it on a rack with a pan underneath to catch the drippings, and ideally you need the butcher to cut it with the fat left on. I actually special order mine or else ask for some fat trimmings to cover a roast with. The fat seals the juices in. And you need the fat for yorkshire pudding, and lots of gravy.

emason
10-12-2010, 12:16 AM
My oldest daughter couldn't make it home for the big turkey deal yesterday, so today I'm making her favourite- New England Pot Roast with onions and carrots. It smells even better than the turkey. You get the biggest bone-in blade roast you can find, brown it, coat it with creamed horseradish, add a cup of water and put it in the oven for 4 hours with the vegetables in for the last hour. It smells even better than the turkey when it's cooking. It's a great way to turn a really cheap cut of meat into something that tastes divine.

I haven't made a pot roast in years, but this post makes me want to run right out tomorrow and buy whatever I need. rjblue, you are winning this thread.