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  1. #1

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    Red face Help!? Turkey's too big for the roster!

    OK, I'm definitely a turkey novice, having only done one other before (and that was last thanksgiving, when I successfully did a nice, small frozen butterball) but silly me decided to invite company for this year's thanksgiving dinner, and went and bought a larger nice, pre-stuffed butterball. I figured I'd stick with the simple: you pull it out of the freezer and pop it into the oven and cook it from frozen - what could be simpler than that?

    Well, turns out that my roaster lid won't fit over top of the bigger bird! I've covered it with tinfoil just so I could get it into the oven on time, but am worried it either won't cook properly, or will dry up and burn. Any suggestions? (Besides feeding my guests lots and lots of wine before dinner?)
    just my two cents...

  2. #2

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    Nothing wrong with just using tin foil, infact that's all we do. Make like a tent using the tin foil, and take it off about 1h before it's done (maybe a bit more since you've got a bigger bird)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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    what mocha-ice posted. I've always used a tin foil and the turkey turns out nice and juicy with a crispy skin.

  4. #4
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    Thaw the bird in the fridge. Cut it in half. Cook each half separately. Stich the two halves together into one bird again. And there you have it .

  5. #5
    Cruder than you thought
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    I always use a tin foil tent, as did my parents before me. It hasn't let me down yet.
    Disclaimer: The post contained herein represents the opinions of a fan and may or may not bear any relation to reality.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Thaw the bird in the fridge. Cut it in half. Cook each half separately. Stich the two halves together into one bird again. And there you have it .

    You are not suppose to thaw a pre-stuffed bird. Contamination issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by AYS View Post
    I always use a tin foil tent, as did my parents before me. It hasn't let me down yet.

    And have I.. And my mother and grandmother before me.

    A tent of foil is actually the most recommended method.

  7. #7

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    Many Thanks!!

    WHEW!! Thanks all, for the reassurance about the tinfoil. Guess we won't have to order pizza after all!

    And YUMMmmm... the house is beginning to smell like it should on thanksgiving! If smell sells, I'll be home free!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all us Canucks today, and the best early Thanksgivng wishes to the rest of you whose celebration is yet to come!

    just my two cents...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Thaw the bird in the fridge. Cut it in half. Cook each half separately. Stich the two halves together into one bird again. And there you have it .
    Kind of hard to do if the bird's already in the oven. Although it might make a good segment on a Thanksgiving sitcom episode.

    Quote Originally Posted by lurvylurker View Post
    Happy Thanksgiving to all us Canucks today, and the best early Thanksgivng wishes to the rest of you whose celebration is yet to come!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all Canadians!
    3539 and counting.

    Slightly Wounding Banana list cont: MacMadame.

  9. #9
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    And you aren't supposed to put the tin foil on until the bird has browned and then it should be loose. I don't know where the idea that you can roast in a covered pan with water came from, but that is pot roasting, and it's a shame to do that to a good quality turkey.
    ‎"You emerge victorious from the maze you've been travelling in." Oct 21,2012- Best Fortune Cookie Ever!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    And you aren't supposed to put the tin foil on until the bird has browned and then it should be loose. I don't know where the idea that you can roast in a covered pan with water came from, but that is pot roasting, and it's a shame to do that to a good quality turkey.
    I take off the tin foil tent when the bird is close to done and turn the oven on broil to brown it - and I smear the bird with olive oil before putting it in the oven to enhance the color. Folks used to use butter for this purpose but olive oil is more PC these days.

  11. #11

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    My mum always put two or three strips of bacon across the top when she put it in the oven, under the tin foil tent. The foil comes off midway through cooking and the skin always browns quite nicely.

    BTW, Japanfan, I made the cornbread stuffing and it was well appreciated by all. My first stuffing from scratch! Thanks.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    And you aren't supposed to put the tin foil on until the bird has browned and then it should be loose. I don't know where the idea that you can roast in a covered pan with water came from, but that is pot roasting, and it's a shame to do that to a good quality turkey.
    It's not even roasting; it's actually steaming, and, yes, that's a terrible thing to do to a good quality turkey.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by emason View Post
    It's not even roasting; it's actually steaming, and, yes, that's a terrible thing to do to a good quality turkey.
    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...

    Happy Thanksgiving to all Canucks -- regardless of how you cook your turkeys!
    Haunting the Princess of Pink since 20/07/11...

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    I didn't know that either. I always add a little water at the start of roasting, so that the veggies give up their flavor to the pan drippings without burning. Aren't the veggies called "aromatics?" The steam also helps the celery, carrot and onion flavor and aroma take hold in the bird. Bonus: the turkey cooks faster and doesn't dry out from long cooking times. (I also add a cup or two of water after I take the bird out, to start making the gravy or au jus.)

    I was just telling DH that my mom always put butter and bacon on top of the turkey to keep it moist. I use flavored canola oil instead. (Just warm oil, onion powder, dried thyme and a garlic clove the night before.) I never liked that taste, so my brother always ate the bacon. Wonder why he had a heart attack at 48? lol

    I always put paprika on top to give it color and a little flavor.
    Although, I start the turkey uncovered (with the veggies/water) for 20 mins on 450 degrees before turning down the heat and covering with the lid. (My roasting pan is huge - a gift from my MIL, who never roasted poultry in her life.)

    Now I want a turkey dinner, too. Bob Evans is so much easier than roasting a whole bird for only four people. There's a pot luck on Saturday...I could make just a turkey breast...decisions, decisions.

  15. #15

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    I have never added water to the pan when I cooked a turkey - in my family that would be And, I only cover it if I put the bird in the oven too late and I want to hurry things up - and then only for an hour and only after it's already browned. I baste a lot - not only does it make the bird nice and brown but it keeps it moist too. That's the way my Mom cooked it, and her mother before her, and now my daughter too. LOL, I've never had any complaints and they keep coming back for more

    I guess what this proves is whatever way your family cooks it - is the right way. Happy Thanksgiving all!

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    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.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Really View Post
    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...

    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.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by FigureSpins View Post
    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 ;-)

  19. #19
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    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.

  20. #20
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    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!

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