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Good job!

 

I overcooked my poor turkey--A LOT!! Crazy, because I used to cook the turkey every year when my mom hosted Thanksgiving. I got it right then, just not yesterday!

 

The meat is sooooooo dry. My boyfriend is happy, because he (weirdly) likes overcooked poultry.

 

I also oversalted the stuffing and the gravy. I was really batting a thousand yesterday, lol!

 

Oh the turkey is ridiculously tricky in my opinion! I had to keep going back, checking, and adjusting the temperature (once), then all the checking the temperature LOL Good grief!

 

I'm sure you already know this tip but I read that if you take it out when the breast are between 158-160 the bird continues to cook and reaches the edible 165 and retains juiciness. I think it's believed that if you wait until it actually reaches 165 in the oven, it will continue to cook further when it's out and dry out the meat.

 

And don't worry! I've over-salted things before, too, sadly LOL

 

Once I even put salt in my coffee :eek: (MIL didn't have the sugar and salt labeled or visibly distinguishable). WOW was that a salty experience LOL....

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I'm sure you already know this tip but I read that if you take it out when the breast are between 158-160 the bird continues to cook and reaches the edible 165 and retains juiciness. I think it's believed that if you wait until it actually reaches 165 in the oven, it will continue to cook further when it's out and dry out the meat.

 

Yes. I usually take it out around 160. I was planning to do that this time, but it would seem that fate intervened.

 

What happened is, we read the meat thermometer wrong. It's a stupidly confusing design, and every time I use it I find myself struggling to figure out how to read it.

 

Yesterday, the red end was pointing to 120 degrees when we looked. My boyfriend said, "I know for a fact that the red end is pointing to the temperature."

 

Instead of thinking about it like I usually end up doing, I went along with him. He sounded so sure, and I hate trying to read that thing.

 

Well, I should have tried, because at that point the bird was already overcooked, and I left it in for another hour! This thing was at about 180 when I took it out. It wasn't just a little over cooked.

 

To be fair, the turkey reached temperature at 3 hours, and for its size, it should have taken more like four hours. That's another reason why I didn't question my boyfriend's conclusion. At 75% of the cooking time, it seemed to be 75% done. Made perfect sense.

 

No idea why it cooked so fast. Our oven temperature is accurate. I know, because keep a thermometer in there.

 

I think it's time to upgrade our meat thermometer to something we can both understand.

 

If I end up cooking a turkey again next year, I'm going to try cooking it upside down. I was thinking of doing that this year, but I was afraid of screwing up the turkey. Now I've crossed that bridge, so I have nothing more to worry about lol!

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Yes. I usually take it out around 160. I was planning to do that this time, but it would seem that fate intervened.

 

What happened is, we read the meat thermometer wrong. It's a stupidly confusing design, and every time I use it I find myself struggling to figure out how to read it.

 

Yesterday, the red end was pointing to 120 degrees when we looked. My boyfriend said, "I know for a fact that the red end is pointing to the temperature."

 

Instead of thinking about it like I usually end up doing, I went along with him. He sounded so sure, and I hate trying to read that thing.

 

Well, I should have tried, because at that point the bird was already overcooked, and I left it in for another hour! This thing was at about 180 when I took it out. It wasn't just a little over cooked.

 

To be fair, the turkey reached temperature at 3 hours, and for its size, it should have taken more like four hours. That's another reason why I didn't question my boyfriend's conclusion. At 75% of the cooking time, it seemed to be 75% done. Made perfect sense.

 

No idea why it cooked so fast. Our oven temperature is accurate. I know, because keep a thermometer in there.

 

I think it's time to upgrade our meat thermometer to something we can both understand.

 

If I end up cooking a turkey again next year, I'm going to try cooking it upside down. I was thinking of doing that this year, but I was afraid of screwing up the turkey. Now I've crossed that bridge, so I have nothing more to worry about lol!

 

I think you can also foil tent it to shield the breast meat. But that makes sense with what happened.

 

Use a digital meat thermometer, they are SO easy you'll love it :friendly_wink:

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Yup, I do the tent thing. Didn't help in this case, hehe.

 

I'm seriously considering the digital thermometer for my next one. One that stays in the meat while it's cooking but has an interface that remains outside of the oven.

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Yup, I do the tent thing. Didn't help in this case, hehe.

 

I'm seriously considering the digital thermometer for my next one. One that stays in the meat while it's cooking but has an interface that remains outside of the oven.

 

Wow that sounds very efficient - so you can see the temp without opening the oven and checking? I'm chicken -pun intended -when it comes to cooking meat safely in the oven -always (irrationally) afraid of food poisoning. I'm sorry you ran into trouble -so was it too dry?

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I'm sorry you ran into trouble -so was it too dry?

 

Dry is an understatement. It was turkey jerky. My boyfriend likes that though, so he is ok. He cooks his chicken at 450 degrees for an hour!!!

 

We did find a few ok pieces around the thighs and the back of the bird when we were taking it apart today. So, I'll munch on those.

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Dry is an understatement. It was turkey jerky. My boyfriend likes that though, so he is ok. He cooks his chicken at 450 degrees for an hour!!!

 

We did find a few ok pieces around the thighs and the back of the bird when we were taking it apart today. So, I'll munch on those.

 

Oh my goodness. What an image. I'm so sorry. I'm glad you liked some of it.

 

Here's my momfession/confession. Ok. Deep breath. My husband is not a huge turkey fan and it was just the three of us. He likes chicken, I like both, son likes both. So. I bought an 8 piece fried chicken from our local grocery store that others have said is excellent (and it was!) and then - for about $3 I bought for the first time ever a family size Stouffers brand frozen turkey dinner - some turkey/stuffing/gravy/mashed potatoes. I did "make" some sides -baked sweet potatoes, steamed brussel sprouts (husband favorite ) and made stove top stuffing for the first time. Cranberry sauce from a can which I was going to mix with crushed pineapple but the pineapple can was crushed!

 

My son loved the turkey. It was very good - not much of it but with the fried chicken and sides it was plenty of food for us. I felt like those sit coms where the woman puts on an apron to pretend she's cooked and when her date arrives she hides all the takeout boxes lol.

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Wow that sounds very efficient - so you can see the temp without opening the oven and checking? I'm chicken -pun intended -when it comes to cooking meat safely in the oven -always (irrationally) afraid of food poisoning. I'm sorry you ran into trouble -so was it too dry?

 

OH I think I understand somewhat! I'm terrified of contaminating everything... and watching it, "dry out," the couple days before in the fridge was H-A-R-D lol!

 

I had to keep repeating to myself that it'd be OK, we weren't going to all get contaminated from it drying out like it, "needs," to (I have no idea if it actually needs to air dry LOL).

 

And then when I was working with it, I felt the need to repeatedly, "disinfect," everything and fill the sinks with bleach water, wipe down countertops with bleach wipes etc. LOL It was just nutty!

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Oh my goodness. What an image. I'm so sorry. I'm glad you liked some of it.

 

Here's my momfession/confession. Ok. Deep breath. My husband is not a huge turkey fan and it was just the three of us. He likes chicken, I like both, son likes both. So. I bought an 8 piece fried chicken from our local grocery store that others have said is excellent (and it was!) and then - for about $3 I bought for the first time ever a family size Stouffers brand frozen turkey dinner - some turkey/stuffing/gravy/mashed potatoes. I did "make" some sides -baked sweet potatoes, steamed brussel sprouts (husband favorite ) and made stove top stuffing for the first time. Cranberry sauce from a can which I was going to mix with crushed pineapple but the pineapple can was crushed!

 

My son loved the turkey. It was very good - not much of it but with the fried chicken and sides it was plenty of food for us. I felt like those sit coms where the woman puts on an apron to pretend she's cooked and when her date arrives she hides all the takeout boxes lol.

 

That sounds delicious!!! I actually love the canned cranberry sauce! And fried chicken sounds amazing, love it!

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Here's my momfession/confession. Ok. Deep breath. My husband is not a huge turkey fan and it was just the three of us. He likes chicken, I like both, son likes both. So. I bought an 8 piece fried chicken from our local grocery store that others have said is excellent (and it was!) and then - for about $3 I bought for the first time ever a family size Stouffers brand frozen turkey dinner - some turkey/stuffing/gravy/mashed potatoes. I did "make" some sides -baked sweet potatoes, steamed brussel sprouts (husband favorite ) and made stove top stuffing for the first time. Cranberry sauce from a can which I was going to mix with crushed pineapple but the pineapple can was crushed!

 

Yum! I'll never complain about fried chicken.

 

Stouffers makes some good food. I LOVE their frozen macaroni and cheese. I had their turkey tetrazzini once and really liked it, too.

 

My half-sister fried three turkeys. Apparently they're very serious about Thanksgiving in Texas.

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Yum! I'll never complain about fried chicken.

 

Stouffers makes some good food. I LOVE their frozen macaroni and cheese. I had their turkey tetrazzini once and really liked it, too.

 

My half-sister fried three turkeys. Apparently they're very serious about Thanksgiving in Texas.

 

Yes I've heard about the fried turkeys, the green egg thing, etc. Yes the mac and cheese is really good! Also none of us is a huge eater so it's an easy choice as an alternative to cooking, as far as price.

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Yum! I'll never complain about fried chicken.

 

Just going to jump in here and second this take on fried chicken—along with saying it's lovely to read about everyone's holidays.

 

This year was my first in taking a stab at cooking turkey. Being a small group, I opted for a roulade—basically a big breast, flattened, then rolled up with a rosemary/sage/garlic mixture and a layer of prosciutto. Sounded complicated, turned out to be pretty easy and failsafe in terms of delivering. Tent camping on the beach tonight, and presently figuring out a way to turn the leftovers into something to snack on around a campfire.

 

Speaking of, Jib: I sometimes make pho soup with leftover turkey—super easy, sure the internet has answers, and maybe a way to embrace the jerky-like quality of it all.

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LOL embrace the jerky-life -I just love this whole conversation. And I've never had turkey jerky but I get it! The bonus is -usually Saturday mornings I go down the block to the popular chicken fast food place to get take out lunch for my husband and son (not my thing but theirs) but given the left over fried chicken not necessary today so I can play on my computer and read one of too many library books while they're out for their "power walk". Your holiday sounds lovely. And glad the turkey came out well. From what I understand it's easier to cook just the breast than a whole turkey.

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From what I understand it's easier to cook just the breast than a whole turkey.

 

This is what my close confident the internet told me when I was asking around.

 

My mother loves doing Thanksgiving, makes a to-do about the turkey, but being honest? I've never bit into a whole turkey and swooned. Often feels to me like a vessel for gravy, or a tool to push around side dishes. This number I made? Swoon-able, if I do say, and feel I can say it without sounding full of myself since I was just following directions written by someone with a culinary vision that exceeded my own. I was cooking for a 9 year old who can be quite discerning—fancy talk for picky—and she proclaimed it "actually good, not like turkey normally is." I'll take it!

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Speaking of, Jib: I sometimes make pho soup with leftover turkey—super easy, sure the internet has answers, and maybe a way to embrace the jerky-like quality of it all.

 

Oh, I am. Just made some more gravy with the leftover turkey drippings. Put that in a bowl with some of the tolerable pieces of turkey along with a nice slice of canned cranberry sauce on the side--it was really good!

 

Soup definitely crossed my mind as a solution. Later, I'm going to make a stock with the carcass and giblets. I've never cooked with giblets and I fear them.... but I'm going to try. Just working up the courage.

 

Another thing I'll probably try is tetrazzini, which has tons of cream and cheese in it.

 

A lot of this bird is going into the freezer, so there will be time to try it all.

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This is what my close confident the internet told me when I was asking around.

 

My mother loves doing Thanksgiving, makes a to-do about the turkey, but being honest? I've never bit into a whole turkey and swooned. Often feels to me like a vessel for gravy, or a tool to push around side dishes. This number I made? Swoon-able, if I do say, and feel I can say it without sounding full of myself since I was just following directions written by someone with a culinary vision that exceeded my own. I was cooking for a 9 year old who can be quite discerning—fancy talk for picky—and she proclaimed it "actually good, not like turkey normally is." I'll take it!

 

LOL that is incredibly high praise!! I agree -I am huge on carbs and condiments when I eat turkey/chicken, etc. My son has the most awesome, blistering review of the turkey they serve at his elementary school's thanksgiving lunch "at least it's only like $4" (in the past ,he graduated virtually and is now in virtual 6th grade).

 

A culinary anecdote somewhat related -I am from an urban area where it was popular for weight conscious women to order all sauces and gravies "on the side" if at all you know to save calories - think also When Harry Met Sally famous scene when she orders her meal. Anyway I was at a traditional holiday dinner at a restaurant in the midwest one year and I think I ordered either the leg of lamb or turkey dinner -same difference to your point about sides/tools. I was with my boyfriend at the time and his family. Awesome people. Anyway I asked for the gravy "on the side". And it comes drenched in gravy. Waitress says something like "don't worry I didn't forget to bring you EXTRA gravy on the side". Just wow.

 

Edited to add - OP - please excuse me for hijacking your discussion for these culinary stories - maybe somewhat related as for sure balancing life with kids often involves culinary mishaps/pickiness/magic - anyway, thank you.

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Anyway I was at a traditional holiday dinner at a restaurant in the midwest one year and I think I ordered either the leg of lamb or turkey dinner -same difference to your point about sides/tools. I was with my boyfriend at the time and his family. Awesome people. Anyway I asked for the gravy "on the side". And it comes drenched in gravy. Waitress says something like "don't worry I didn't forget to bring you EXTRA gravy on the side". Just wow.

 

Haha so funny, the regional differences!

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So, Christmas turkey. The rule of thumb was : 20 minutes per pound weight and 20 minutes extra "for the oven". My mother had me well-trained in the art of preparing and stuffing the turkey (and in our house it had to be free-range!). Nowadays I would just do a crown (unless we are going to someone else for Christmas, in which case I just take them a dessert (usually trifle) and goodies like cheeses, chutneys and so on.

 

I happened to be in the USA one time just before Thanksgiving, and was amazed to hear there was such a thing as deep-friend WHOLE turkeys, and smoked turkey.

 

Cranberry sauce is made each year for us all from scratch by an older relative. Delicious.

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We have regional differences here too ,for instance a lot of people in Québec don’t do Thanksgiving, it’s seen as an English Canadian thing. My mothers family being Acadian so not from Quebec didn’t do Thanksgiving either. She adopted Thanksgiving because she married an English Canadian.

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This is what my close confident the internet told me when I was asking around.

 

My mother loves doing Thanksgiving, makes a to-do about the turkey, but being honest? I've never bit into a whole turkey and swooned. Often feels to me like a vessel for gravy, or a tool to push around side dishes. This number I made? Swoon-able, if I do say, and feel I can say it without sounding full of myself since I was just following directions written by someone with a culinary vision that exceeded my own. I was cooking for a 9 year old who can be quite discerning—fancy talk for picky—and she proclaimed it "actually good, not like turkey normally is." I'll take it!

 

That's awesome Bluecastle! Picky kids are the harshest food critics lol

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Oh, I am. Just made some more gravy with the leftover turkey drippings. Put that in a bowl with some of the tolerable pieces of turkey along with a nice slice of canned cranberry sauce on the side--it was really good!

 

Soup definitely crossed my mind as a solution. Later, I'm going to make a stock with the carcass and giblets. I've never cooked with giblets and I fear them.... but I'm going to try. Just working up the courage.

 

Another thing I'll probably try is tetrazzini, which has tons of cream and cheese in it.

 

A lot of this bird is going into the freezer, so there will be time to try it all.

 

That is so smart about making turkey stock, very healthy for you and you can throw it for the base in almost anything!

 

Tetrazzini sounds amazing :tongue:

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Edited to add - OP - please excuse me for hijacking your discussion for these culinary stories - maybe somewhat related as for sure balancing life with kids often involves culinary mishaps/pickiness/magic - anyway, thank you.

 

I don't mind at all, loving hearing everyone's take on it :D

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