0.6tsp salt (I use morton kosher)
0.2tsp black pepper
0.2tsp dried herb
1 tablespoon milk
per pound of turkey. I dissolve the sugar and salt in milk and inject into various areas of the turkey. I then pat it down with the herb and pepper and let it sit for a day. I'm not particular about roasting temperature. I go as low as time affords. Measure the temp at various locations until 165.
One trick I learned last year was to roast the turkey until it hits 165. I then take it out, pour the juice into a pot, and cover turkey with foil. I gently bring the juices to a boil and then remove the foil cover to the turkey. I inject boiling juice into the thighs alongside the bone. With my thermometer I saw it around 145F and jump to 175F as soon as the hot juice went in. I'm always nervous about bloody meat near the bones so injecting hot juice will ensure those areas are done. Localized "spot cooking" if you will.
5 hrs/lb is a minimum for thawing a turkey in the fridge. If you are cooking for this Sunday, Thursday would probably be the absolute latest for thawing.
30mins / lb is a minimum for thawing by submerging in cold water. Replace the water every 30 mins. It'll take about 8hours on average with this method
I thawed a turkey in a large cooler overnight and it was ready to go in the morning. Just break off the ice that forms around the turkey every now and then. I like to thaw overnight once I get the turkey in a large cooler, then finish thawing the turkey in the fridge for a couple more days to get fully thawed out.
how much turkey?
fresh vs frozen
Brining: If juiciness is your goal and you don't mind being on the saltier side, I've got maximum juiciness using the following ratio (use more if needed):
3 quarts water,
1 cup diamond crystal kosher salt,
1 cup super fine granulated sugar,
1 cup rice wine.
Mix it together with your hands, making sure to dissolves the sugar and salt crystals with your fingers. Overnight brine is usually good enough, but even longer has yielded "right at the cusp of saltiness" kind of seasoning. I think a lot of gourmet brine recipes are assuming you're also going to use finishing salt such as fleur de sel or sel gris, which no one in our church does. If you want the turkey to smell like something, dry toast it in a skillet, then add it to the brine right now (sage, thyme, oregano are popular choices. Use 1 tablespoon dried herb per 3 quarts water ).
***I'd warn against using acids and peppercorns in the brine, contrary to conventional brining wisdom, since it generally gives a "spammy" tinge to the meat. If you want pepper, crack it fresh over the carved meat or add it to the gravy. If you want that citrus taste, again, spritz right before serving: much more cost effective too.
Once you've got your brined bird, cook it however you want. High heat roasting seems to be the zeitgeist, but I think it's generally more hazardous and also puts your bird at higher risk of overcooking. I'd do 325 or 350 until the breast hits 155F at the coldest point (use an oven thermo to get in range, and an instant read to verify). Dark meat actually tastes better at something like 170-180 when the fat gets melty, which is the perennial problem of whole bird roasting, so you can deal with that however you like (icing the breast, chopping off the legs and roasting them more, etc.) Once the breast hits temperature, check the "problem areas" of the dark meat, which are typically the joint between the thigh and drumstick and the joint between the thigh and the rest of the bird to make sure they are also at least 155 at time of removal, but if you used one of the aforementioned tricks or my trick below, hopefully it's at 165 or greater when the breast is 155.
The one thing from the old post I still recommend is how to take advantage of the natural temperature gradient in the oven to ensure a properly cooked bird (meaning, a bird with differential white and dark meat temperature). The goal is to put the dark meat close to the back wall and higher up where it's hotter while you put the breast towards the door and low where it's colder. This generally means roasting breast side down. You may not get as crispy of skin, but would you rather have a thin layer of nice skin and 10 pounds of nasty meat? Plus, you can always crisp the skin using a blowtorch after the fact, or roast breast side up for the last 30 minutes. If you do a high heat roasting method it actually accentuates the temperature gradient, which is the only thing I really like about high heat nowadays.
***Note on trussing. The reason you truss is to turn the weirdly shaped bird into more of an oval, which will cook more evenly. To that end, the goal is to put the thigh/drumstick joint closely touching (i.e. thermally conducting) with the narrower end of the breast so that this part doesn't get overcooked. Otherwise, it doesn't really do anything: so if you find yourself trussing and that joint didn't end up on the breast since your turkey is absurdly fat or something, then you've probably messed up. Oh well.
I know I previously said that stuffing is evil. But, I think one thing I've found is that if you do it right, you can use it to thermally insulate the breast so that you can get the dark meat cooked faster, especially cooking breast side down. I'll leave that up to you to figure out, though.
Tea-smoked Turkey (樟茶火雞)
I did this in my house's stove-top and it smelled like a sausage factory for 1 week. Other than that wonderful experience, it also yielded a smoky turkey that tasted good. If you can do this with a portable burner or grill in your backyard, that would probably be better
*You will need a roaster with rack and lid big enough for your turkey (by the way, this technique will probably ruin cheaper roasters for anything else, but since you do this once a year, why not?)
2 cups tea, pref. jasmine
2 cups flour
2 cups rice, preferably jasmine
2 cup sugar
Plus more as needed*
Double line your roaster with heavy gauge foil. Mix up the smoking ingredients and layer them in the roaster. Put your rack in there now, then put your bird on there breast side up. Put the roaster on your heating element, whether stove top or gas grill or whatever, and heat up the roaster until you see smoke appearing. Then turn the heat down until you get "some smoke" but not too much (or until the temperature is around 250F if you have a means to measure your roaster temp). Put the lid on and use the foil to make a tight seal. Remove when internal breast temperature is 155F, taking care to check temps as stated above in the roasting instructions. One of the great things about this method is that, since the heat source is on the bottom, the dark meat will naturally cook faster than the breast. Also, if you want to crisp the breast at the end, it's pretty straight forward to just transfer the whole rack to your oven and roast it uncovered for the last 30 minutes to get a nice, pretty looking skin while having your dark meat at the right temperature, all without having to flip the turkey around, which is a huge pain. And it tastes like jasminetastic smoke too.
***Note: you may want to check on this thing after a couple of hours: if all of the smoking ingredients have turned into carbon dust, you may need to add more.
1tsp (Kosher) salt
1/3tsp black pepper
1TB (Kosher) salt
1tsp black pepper
BTW, one idea I've been debating over the past year is posting videos. It's hard enough to find time to sit and write new posts. I'm thinking it would be useful to have video demonstrations of recipes; however, due to the amount of work involved in video editing I'm considering just doing one take and doing a straight upload, mistakes/jumbled up words and all.
This recipe comes from George Hu. If you have a recipe you'd like to share, let me know and I'll post it. click here for the recipe
- Prep time:
- Cook time: ~1 hrs
- Difficulty: Easy
- Labor Intensity: 2-3 people
- 30 servings, adjust by 1.5x if your group tends to eat multiple servings.
- 2 large cans condensed cream of chicken soup
- 2 rotisserie chickens
- 5-6 large carrots
- 5 medium potatoes
- 1 bag frozen corn
- 1 small can hominy (Mexican white corn, available at Safeway in Hispanic foods aisle)
- small can chopped green chili (available same place as hominy, make sure to get green CHILI PEPPERS, NOT pickled jalapenos). The chili peppers come in mild or spicy—just use whatever you prefer.
- 2 large onions
- 1 bunch celery
- 1 large can whole tomatoes from Costco (this is the LARGE can, like the kind that Que Bueno nacho cheese comes in. If it’s affordable, it’s better to used canned stewed tomatoes instead of the whole tomatoes, but whole tomatoes are much cheaper and taste good too).
- 2 small cans whole black beans (available same grocery aisle as hominy and chili peppers)
- 2 cubes chicken bouillon (you can also use 2 cans chicken broth, but bouillon is cheaper)
- 1 bag unflavored tortilla chips
- 3-4 ripe avocados
- 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
- Optional Ingredients:
- 1 small container sour cream
Directions_______________-Ask a helper to put on gloves and tear the meat away from the bones of both chickens. Discard the skin (too much saturated fat and your soup will be too oily).
-Chop the carrots, onions, potatoes and celery into soup-size pieces and place in a large stock pot.
-Empty the can of chili pepper and the bag of corn into the pot.
-Open the can of hominy and the cans of black beans. Drain both, then empty them into the pot.
-If the meat is off the chicken, put the meat into the pot too. Discard the bones (you can save the bones for chicken soup later, but you don’t want to put them in your pot right now unless you want to pick all of them out before you eat—too annoying)
-If you are using canned chicken broth, put it in now. Otherwise, fill the pot with water until it just covers all the stuff you have in the pot.
-Turn the heat on HIGH and cover.
-Open the can of tomatoes, but leave part of the lid attached. Drain the liquid from the can INTO your pot (the extra tomato flavor is nice).
-Cut the tomatoes into soup-size chunks and put them in the pot.
-The liquid in the pot should be hot now. Take a small amount of the liquid into a bowl and dissolve the bouillon into the liquid, one cube at a time. Then put it into the pot.
-Stir in the cans of condensed soup.
-Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer until you are ready to eat (I recommend boiling for at least 45 minutes)
Serve the soup with the following as garnish:
-Tortilla chips (each person crumbles a few on top of their bowl of soup)
- Stew meat (5 lbs)
- Potato (10 count)
- Carrots (10 count)
- Onions (8 count)
- Curry blocks (30 servings or 4 packages)
- Kimchee (1 bottle)
- Yellow Daicon (pickled) (1 pack)
- Boil water.
- Cut the meat into bite size pieces and add to the boiling water.
- Cut the vegetables and add them to the water.
- Add the curry blocks and stir until it's completely dissolved and add only as many as you like the consistency.
1 order has
1 order feeds
# of Orders for 30 people
# of Orders for 10 people
ANY roast meat (Tri Tip, London Broil, Pork Loin roast, Chuck).
Costco, Safeway or any market with meat on sale
15-18 people depending on appetite
Tenderness and taste varies with the cut of the meat. More expensive meat is usually tender.
Whole clove garlic, peeled
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Sweet Soy Sauce, Yoshida Sauce or Teriyaki Sauce
Costco or Safeway
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Can be any kind of sweetened soy sauce based sauce
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Can use regular salt, but use less than Kosher salt
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Chili garlic sauce
Asian Market or Safeway
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Sambal Oelek brand is good
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- ANY roast meat (Tri Tip, London Broil, Pork Loin roast, Chuck) will work, with some adjustment to cooking time depending on the cut of meat. Of course tenderness and taste varies with the cut of the meat, too.
- 5-10 cloves of garlic, sliced into 1/8” thickness
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Montreal steak seasoning
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
- Wash then pat dry the meat with paper towel.
- Slit several places in the meat with knife and stick slices of whole clove garlic in the slits.
- Slather the whole meat generously with olive oil. Put Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and Montreal steak seasoning (not too much, as it tends to overpower the meat - just maybe 1 tablespoon.)
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees and put the meat in when hot. After cooking it in the oven for 30 minutes, lower the heat to 325 and cook the meat. (Try not to open the oven door. If you want to check, I’d suggest putting a meat thermometer in to make sure it’s cooking inside)
- Estimate about 12 minutes per lb of meat, but check constantly.
- Take out the meat 10 minutes before serving and cover loosely with foil tent. (to bring the juice back to the meat)
- Slice and serve with dipping sauce.
RECIPE for Dipping Sauce (for 10 people)
- 1 cup Yoshida or some type of sweet soy-based sauce
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
- 1 tsp fresh chopped garlic
- ½ chopped red onion
- ½ cup fresh chopped cilantro
- Put all the dipping sauce ingredients into a pot, minus the chopped red onion and cilantro.
- Bring to boil.
- Turn off heat after about 3 minutes.
- Add red onion and cilantro, then serve the sauce while it is still warm.
- The meat goes well with any kind of salad and steamed veggies.
- Cook less time if you want the meat to be medium to medium rare. (only for beef)
- Cooking pork is a little more delicate as you don’t want to overcook it since it gets really dry, but it also has to be thoroughly cooked. When in doubt, just cut into the meat and see if juice comes out bloody or clear.
- If you are pressed for time, prepare the meat the night before and keep it in the fridge. Pop it in the oven the next day.