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How to keep a big turkey warm safely?

Last post Oct 21, 2012 11:15 AM by cast_iron_king . 12 replies.


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  • How to keep a big turkey warm safely?

    I need some innovative ideas on how to keep a big (16 to 20 lb.) bird warm while I cook other items in my one oven kitchen.

    I plan to slow cook my Thanksgiving turkey overnight, to be finished midday. Then I want to use my oven to cook the stuffing, roast the brussels sprouts, bake the rolls, and what ever else may need baking or roasting.

    I am looking for ideas to keep the turkey safely warm -- i.e., around 175 degrees F., or perhaps other plans of attack for preparing a big turkey dinner with lots of fixings?

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  • Re: How to keep a big turkey warm safely?

    I'm not sure, I've never fixed a bird, and I always go to my Dads, so, not sure what he does, . But,,,,

     

    Would you happen to have one of those big roasting, (electric) appliances?  You may could put it on warm in that.

     

    Or, if you can find a big insulated bag, they work great.

     

    Or,,,I found these styrofoam containers at the Dollar Tree for Tacos...They work well. Maybe  if you had a big styrofoam ice chest. They might be hard to find right now, though. Just throwing some ideas out.

     

     

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    catmint

  • Re: How to keep a big turkey warm safely?

    Welcome to the board! Thanksgiving dinner can take a lot of work for one special time of food and fellowship together. Electric roasters, and slowcookers are wonderful for the occasion.  I plan Thanksgiving weeks before. Then take the week of Thanksgiving to get many things prepared. Some things even are made and placed in the freezer to use for the big day to cook and save time.

    When I fix any turkey for any occasion. I bake it with water in the bottom of the roasting pan. I bake it, until the bird is falling apart and is nice and tender. I then remove the turkey from the oven  and debone the bird. I then place the sliced meat in a container. I then add the now water turned broth the turkey was baked in, and cover the whole cut up meat. If any meat is not submerged it can turn an ugly brown. I then seal the container, if it's not sealed the meat is nasty looking. I then place the meat either in the freezer (to use for another day) or in the refrigerator if I am using the meat the next day for the meal. For Thanksgiving, I always cook the bird the day ahead. And do what I said previously, but sit the submerged meat in the sealed container in the refrigerator. The morning of Thankgiving, I then place the turkey meat and broth either in my electric roaster or slowcooker to get warm. Or I place the meat  in a roasting pan and have the meat submerged in broth and covered, and let the oven warm the meat.. But I love using my slowcooker or electric roaster to heat the meat up to help leave the oven open for other foods. Though some of the other foods can be made in slowcookers. I have several slowcookers, they help with cooking many food items for meals. Especially Thanksgiving, the slowcookers are great for the sweat potatoes, mash potatoes, and vegetables. Even the stuffing can be made in the slowcooker. But I prefer using the oven for baking the stuffing.

    If you have any more questions just ask.      

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  • Re: How to keep a big turkey warm safely?

    i got a nice electric roaster in wal mart...cost $19.99 and it will hold a very large turkey.  i also made a couple of meatloaves at the same time.  one for us and one for ds!!!

    dh was a little leary about it but hes glad we got it!!!

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  • Re: How to keep a big turkey warm safely?

    You knit him a nice cozy sweater of course.

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  • Re: How to keep a big turkey warm safely?

    Electric roaster, that is what I was trying to say, Thanks!!

     

    Adria, LOL!!

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    catmint

  • Re: How to keep a big turkey warm safely?

    The other thing you can do is make up a lot of the sides ahead of time, then just reheat either in the oven or microwave.  I've made home made rolls a week or two ahead, baked off, then cooled, frozen, and just heated.  Same with veggie dishes.  Then, while you're letting the turkey rest before carving under a tent of foil, you just reheat the things that are actually already cooked.

    I've also used a roaster along with the tip above, and it works out well.  You can also use a slow cooker for one of the sides if possible.

    Hope that helps.

     

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  • Re: How to keep a big turkey warm safely?

    I seriously would not try to hold a turkey at a safe (hot) temperature for that long.  You are inviting some guests you don't want - like food poisoning!  I know you can keep mashed potatoes hot in a crock pot.  I'd invest the 20 bucks in an electric roaster and do the turkey in that, then you can bake the stuffing in the oven and you'll have plenty of room for whatever other sides need to go in the oven, too.  You could plug the roaster in anywhere as long as it's not sitting on carpet so if counter space is a problem the roaster won't take up most of it.  (My aunt used to plug the roaster in on the enclosed back porch!)

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    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Ben Franklin
  • Re: How to keep a big turkey warm safely?

    I have never cooked my turkey the night before.  A 16-20 pound turkey will only take about 5 hours.  I put mine on about 7 hours before eating time.  That gives it time to rest and a couple of hours to cook my sides.  Until this year I only had one oven and it worked out fine.  I have never used a roaster.  I don't want my turkey floating in gravy.

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  • Re: How to keep a big turkey warm safely?

    I don't think I'd be comfortable trying to keep it at a warm temperature for an extended time.  I'd be concerned about food poisoning.  I'm pretty sure that big restaurants to roast their turkeys ahead of time & reheat them on Thanksgiving.....I don't think they're pulling out just-roasted turkeys thruout the brunch/lunch/dinner time & slicing & serving them....pretty sure they're done ahead & reheated as the orders come in.  DH grills the turkey outside on a Weber....leaves me the oven, stove-top & microwave....works for us.

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  • Re: How to keep a big turkey warm safely?

    cooknchic
    The other thing you can do is make up a lot of the sides ahead of time,

     

     If I am cooking at my DS's house (one oven)  I often do the sides early in the day and heat them near dinner time-I  invested in this (IMO ) handy appliance  I found on sale  at a nearby store (below) purchased mainly  for holiday meals/entertaining. Looks nice on the buffet table and keeps the sides warm.

     

    I also use an electric roaster but since we usually serve ham and turkey I generally  have the ham in the roaster . DS also has a good sized countertop  toaster/convection oven which really comes in handy and  he found it too  for a decent  sale price.

     

               http://www.amazon.com/TRU-Triple-2-Quart-Removable-Inserts/dp/B004ARV1X4/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1350824614&sr=8-8&keywords=3+crockpot+server

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  • Re: How to keep a big turkey warm safely?

    First of all, that's a long time to keep something warm. I've always heard that it has to be above a certain degree for it to be safe and that might possibly dry it out.

    I cook mine the night before and then refrigerate but we eat dinner at 12 noon.  I take it out, slice it for the table (not as picturesque but handier) and depend on the gravy to warm it up. Everything else is hot that is supposed to be hot and I don't think they notice.

    Good luck.

     

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  • Re: How to keep a big turkey warm safely?

    First, do those rolls the night before.  Always do your baking the night before.  That's the way it is. 

    Now, then.  Just cook the turkey according to package directions.  Those directions exist for a reason.  And don't forget to rest your turkey.  A big turkey like yours can rest under foil for about 30 - 40 minutes before serving.  That gives you plenty of time to finish off the side dishes in the oven. 


    You're welcome.



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