Have 40 lbs turkey. How do I cook this thing?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by 2pinkmom, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. 2pinkmom

    2pinkmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some lovely friends of mine offered to cut me a discount on whatever turkey they didn't sell to their farmer's market clients in exchange for help on processing day. I got this giant Tom because nobody would buy such a large turkey - it would have sold for $280. How do I cook this sucker? If I roast it whole at 325, will the meat on the outside get dry and chewy before it cooks through to the bone? I'm thinking of just cutting it for parts. It would be so much fun to see everyone's faces when presented with this ginormous thing roasted whole, but my primary concern is that I don't want to ruin the meat. I think it will fit in the oven, and I think it will just fit into my big Mauviel roasting pan. Right now, it is taking up most of the refrigerator. Any ideas?
     
  2. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. litterbitt

    litterbitt Out Of The Brooder

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    Brine it, then split it in half... cut down both sides of the spine and then cut through the breastbone. It won't be easy, but it leaves you with manageable portions. You can freeze half, and cook half now. I have deep fried halves, or put them in a rotisserie basket over charcoal. But the easiest would be laid out in the oven. Use an internal thermometer to check doneness... It will cook more evenly halved like this.

    Liz
     
  4. halo

    halo Got The Blues

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    I wonder if you couldnt slow roast it but cover it with foil, and baste it now and again. Good grief thats a big un.
     
  5. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Start it now, it'll probably take 10 hours to cook, you may not want to stuff it. Keep it covered and basted. We bought one of those giant countertop crockpot-type cookers for our Turkey some years ago and won't go back to oven cooking the turkey. The countertop cooker frees up the oven for the other side dishes. We're cooking a 24 pound turkey this year and it fills the cooker-------I don't know if they make a countertop cooker that would hold a 40 pound bird. If I knew I would regularly be cooking large whole animals, I would build an outdoor brick oven to size.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
  6. 2pinkmom

    2pinkmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, it is a rather impressively sized bird. I met it before it's demise - it was a hefty free-range Tom. I was loathe to take it at first. I wasn't as much help on processing day as I normally am because I had to bring my 3 and 2 year olds with me. And they could have made good money cutting it for parts/ground turkey. But they were kind enough to work out a great price on it.

    When you say cut on either side of the spine, do you mean like you would normally cut to get the breasts but taking the bone with it? Am I left with the backbone separated from the rest of the bird?
     
  7. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

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    If you decide to cook it whole, I suggest cooking it with the breast meat down. My DH was the one who showed me this trick. You don't wind up with the "picture perfect" turkey in the sense that the browned skin is over the breast meat but the breast meat will be very juicy since the juices flow into the breast as it is cooking. Good luck with such a large bird and I agree with getting it into the oven soon if cooking whole! Happy Thanksgiving!
    ETA - we always put our turkey in one of those roasting bags as well but I don't think that your tom will fit in one. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
  8. JRJ

    JRJ New Egg

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    WE just cooked a 42 pound turkey 2 weeks ago and it was moist and delicous. Rub oil or butter on it and cook it unstuffed. don`t cover it until it`s cooked about 2/3 done,We cooked at 325 for about 4 hrs. and got worried that it wouldn`t be done in time so we upped the temp. to 350 . Our oven has a convection fan so we also turned that on at that point. It took a total of 7.5 hrs. and came out perfect. Watch that the juices don`t over flow,we had to remove some,these large turkeys develop more fat and produce more juices. Good luck and enjoy.
     
  9. 2pinkmom

    2pinkmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Forgot to add that I'm not cooking it today, doing it tomorrow. We are going to my BIL's for Thanksgiving. He never parts with the leftovers, so hubby wanted to do our own turkey later in the week. As luck would have it, his co-worker's family is having a medical emergency, so I'm going to be able to send them a nice dinner (or two, or three) from turkzilla!
     
  10. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

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