Help!! Someone please help me!! I have a 35 # turkey to cook!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Carolyn, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. Carolyn

    Carolyn Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    I have a 35 # white meat type turkey that was killed and dry plucked on the farm where my son works. He asked me to cook it for him; it is their first year of raising them. The bird is huge but is not actually fat at all. There a lot of pin feathers and the broken shaft of feathers in place. I would just skin it if it were a chicken but had planned to roast it whole. However it does not fit any pan and just lifting it hot is going to be a major problem. My options seem to be cut it into quarters; skin it or remove the skin after cooking, use my pressure canner. My idea of a beautifully browned whole bird is pretty much shot so can someone give me some ideas as to what I can do to serve a very tasty bird. How much water, how long and what pressure for cooking, altertnate plan to the pressure cooker. If I cook it with the skin on will the residual feathers affect the taste of the broth, etc.
    I don't really need seasoning advice, just cooking technique. I have him brining in a cooler with plenty of ice. I got a reprieve and instead of having it ready tomorrow we postponed the meal to Sunday. This bird was purchased in early spring and has been in a large pen with other turkeys and laying hens.
    I really appreciate any help you can give me. ( I can't fit it whole into my pressure cooker either.)
  2. TedSheckler

    TedSheckler In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2014
    I don't know what you have available but the way I would probably go about it is to halve it and use 2 large baking sheets (might need to use a baster to move some juices as it cooked to a pot on the stove top) and skin it after cooking.
  3. TedSheckler

    TedSheckler In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2014
    The distance on standard Weber kettle from grate to the peak of the lid is only about 7 1/2" which would only alow a pretty small turkey placed in the middle of one of the larger kettles (22") with indirect coals on each side which makes for horrible cooking.

    Not trying to make a criticism on your suggestion, More so just pointing out the horrible misinformation brand name grill/smoker companies put out there for their products acting as if they fit anything and you should start with 3/4th burnt coals to cook.
  4. Carolyn

    Carolyn Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    Unfortunately I don't have a grill it will fit but thanks. I am going to have to 1/2 or quarter him.
  5. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Songster

    Jul 24, 2010
    Just use your oven. If you don't have 1, get a used Weber charcoal/gas grill from Craigslist for cheap or free. The 35 lbs turkey is very large so I am not sure it will fit the gas grill. I got the older Weber gas grill with 13 flavorbars, which can be remove top layer to increase cooking space.
    The best way to have good flavor turkey is put it in the bag and season with salt, pepper, and garlic for 24-36 hrs. During cooking brush with butter or oil twice on the outside turkey skin. I found wet brine method just create too much trouble.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014
  6. I see your problem with a 34# turkey and finding a pan to fit. I don't think it would even fit in a Hamilton Beach roaster oven or a turkey fryer.

    I would clean off any left on feathers, needle nose pliers should work for that and burn off any very fine ones.

    I would probably remove the legs and wings and leave on the skin for flavor.
    Then cook the breast section separate from the legs and wings (all in roasting bags). Low and slow. I always cook my poultry with the breast side down so it absorbs the juices. (Then all the juices make for great gravy too).
    With sections separated you could probably use the throw-away roasting pans they sell at the dollar stores.

    Good luck and happy cooking.
  7. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    We've got a 38.8lb bird to cook on Thursday but luckily my mom has a roaster that fits it (we will have to trim off the wing tips and tie the legs together). If you don't have a roaster that fits, I would halve it like someone else said and roast it that way. I do halved chickens like that. As far as the feathers, get some tweezers and start plucking!
  8. Morrigan

    Morrigan Free Ranging

    Apr 9, 2014
    My husband jokingly suggested digging a fire pit in the yard. Then he got excited to try it, but I managed to talk him out of trying it for this T-giving.

    In seriousness, I agree with the suggestion that you remove the legs and wings and cook them separately. A lot of chef-y types do that for regular turkeys, as the dark meat takes longer, and it allows you to remove the breast meat before it dryies out.
  9. Funny. I thought about digging a pit too, but not everyone has the yard for it.
    We could pit cook here if necessary. But not worth the trouble for 3 people.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: