Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gobble Gobble Baby!!!

Gobble Gobble My Turkey escapade 

I can't take credit for this delicious Turkey!!! All I did was cook it and follow the recipe and techniques on Amazing If you want to learn about cooking a turkey and the science behind this simple but sometimes difficult endeavor look no further than Amazing
I thought I knew a lot about cooking a Turkey and I do but the author was able to describe from start to finish what's involved when taking on the task of making the perfect Turkey.  My knowledge base on cooking a great Turkey was near perfect; so I thought until I read the article. The author was able to describe and write in such a way that really impressed me and more importantly taught me a few things.  I am always learning!!!

This is a picture of my Turkey in my Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5. I used a Spanek vertical Roaster  which is suppose to help with roasting. The advantages of a vertical roaster is the airflow you get through the cavity, which means more even cooking and better smoke penetration. Although my Turkey came out great I am not a believer yet!!! I need to Cook another Turkey and in the incline position which means lying it down.   I need a side by side comparison to be a true believer.  I
noted that that when the breast hit 160 degrees the dark meat was about 185 and maybe a little higher in the thinner parts.  Was this due to the vertical roaster?  I wonder had I Roasted the Turkey in the missionary position would the dark meat be closer to 175 when the white meat was 160?  

The author suggested a dry brine instead of the customary wet brine. Well he was right it was less hassle and it came out great!!! I would have to do a side by side comparison WET vs DRY with everything being equal to to really decide which was better.  It was easy and it tasted great!! Dry brine seems to be the winner. 

On the website Serious Eats they tackle this question too. In an article titled The Food Lab: The Truth About Brining Turkey  the authors take a hands on approach using science to discover the truth about Brining.   They take six breast and conduct tests. 
  • Breast #1: Plain (untreated)
  • Breast #2: Brined in a 6% salt solution overnight
  • Breast #3: Heavily salted overnight
  • Breast #4: Brined in chicken broth with a 6% salt content overnight
  • Breast #5: Brined in cider with a 6% salt content overnight
  • Breast #6: Soaked in plain water overnight
You gotta read the above article to find out the results. Its well worth the read. 

The food lab also tackles the question: What happens to Turkey and other meats as it cooks.  It explores brining basics.  You can find the article here The Food Lab: Turkey Brining Basics.

Ok so lets talk stuffing/Dressing. First I never ever stuff a turkey.  You know why? Its a culinary mistake!!! If you want to know why read the article on Amazing  What ever stuffing you chose try using a jumbo muffin tin. Every one get his own Stuffing.  Great idea that came from the article too.