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Cooking a turkey upside down?

Last post Nov 21, 2009 10:21 PM by starchild . 15 replies.


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  • Cooking a turkey upside down?

     One of my DDs was saying she cooked a turkey upside down by accident (we were discussing not being turkey cooking experts) and it came out the best she'd ever made. Tender and juicy.

     I was thinking, the fat part is on the bottom, so if you put that on top, it would melt and run down over and through it? And the top part (that is usually on top) usually gets all brown and dry if you don't keep basting it.

      Maybe they should/could be cooked upside down?

      I'm sure there's no law against it LOL

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  • Re: Cooking a turkey upside down?

    I did chickens like that.Once by accident then on purpose a couple times.It was really juicy.

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  • Re: Cooking a turkey upside down?

    My MIL always cooks her turkey breast side down. I sometimes do but I like the browned look better.

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    Every day I’m shufflin’

  • Re: Cooking a turkey upside down?

     I've done it that way.  If you still want it golden, turn it breast-side up for the last 15 minutes, turn the heat up to 400, and brush the skin with turkey fat.

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    A lot of this is folk memories and cultural hangovers.

  • Re: Cooking a turkey upside down?

    Have done it before with good results. Usually turn it over half way through the baking time.  That part is difficult to do, especially with a very large turkey. 

    False

    Some days, I can literally see the testosterone floating in the air around here. 

  • Re: Cooking a turkey upside down?

    We've done our turkey upside down (breast side down)  for several years now -- usually 20-25 lb. birds, brined, unstuffed.  It is a little awkward to turn it over for the last 15-20 minutes' browning, but we've found that having it on a rack, then turning onto another rack, using oven-proof (silicon) mitts helps.  Turns out beautiful and juicy every time. 

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  • Re: Cooking a turkey upside down?

     

    That method has been recommended for years but I never remember to do it. This year I will be using a bag for the turkey so maybe that will make it easier to turn it over. It's only 11 1/2 lbs so should be easy to handle with a few pot holders. I'm wondering if it will still get nice and brown in that bag if I turn it? Think I'll keep an eye on it after turning and see if it browns.

    Thanks for the reminder.

     

    Liz

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  • Re: Cooking a turkey upside down?

     I usually use a cooking bag and they tend to stick down on the bottom of the pan, so turning it over at the end might not be so easy (or neat)

     I'm going to try it. It just doesn't seem RIGHT LOL Going by habit...

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  • Re: Cooking a turkey upside down?

    Dog  I have done this for years...  (Whole chickens also)  it makes the breast meat juicier.  About 1 hour before it is done I turn it....  so it can get nice & browned. 

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  • Re: Cooking a turkey upside down?

    Starchild....try spraying the bottom of the pan before laying the bag down.
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  • Re: Cooking a turkey upside down?

    SC, you can always call the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line for advice.  1-800-288-8372.  Might help to alleviate some of those guilty feelings.

    False

    Some days, I can literally see the testosterone floating in the air around here. 

  • Re: Cooking a turkey upside down?

    First time I did that was back in the 80s - my dad didn't know and couldn't figure out what he was doing wrong when slicing the turkey.  I used to always do my chickens like that too, but just buy them roasted from Sam's or Costco now.  I'm with Starchild on the bags sticking.  The top has holes poked and the skin is crispy, but once it's turned over, that top skin will now stick to the bag.  Maybe you could remove from bag first then flip.  Flipping a big bird is not easy - might not be worth it.  And if it's carved before going on the table, no one will know.

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  • Re: Cooking a turkey upside down?

     

    I had forgotten about this yesterday when I posted but there is a kitchen gadget with handles that has a metal square shaped horse shoe on the other end, basically two prongs connected together that you use for lifting meats onto the platter. I used to have them in my kitchen junk drawer so that should work good for turning. I hadn't remembered about the holes you poke in the top of the bag so removing it from the bag first before turning would be a better idea. If roasting for say three hours I would think two hours of being upside down would make a difference on the moisture content in the breast. Better than nothing.
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  • Re: Cooking a turkey upside down?
    It works great. Look how good and juicy those rotisserie chickens are in stores . First time I saw it was a show on TV at a turkey farm. They cook them like that ,then slice them up.
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  • Re: Cooking a turkey upside down?

    Over the years I have learned the best way to cook a turkey. Yes cooking it upside down DOES help the white meat stay juicy. But there are wasier ways. 

     

    1. Put stuffing between the skin and the turkey breast. 

    2. Cover the bird with tin foil and not once do you open the open and baste that bird. Every time you open the oven you let heat out. This makes it take longer to cook the bird and often leads to a drier bird.  Keeping the bird covered keeps the steam generated under the foil and keeps the bird moist. Basting merely runs the juice down the skin and does nothing for the meat. Just pull the foil off the last 30 minutes to brown the skin.

    3. If you do not want the stuffing under the skin, rub butter between the skin and breast. That adds the extra fat you need for moister white meat. Mix herbs with the butter for flavor. 

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