Looking for suggestions, recipes, for cooking my heritage turkey

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by ChanceRider, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2008
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    With Thanksgiving nearing, I've been wandering around the internet looking for the "best" method of cooking a heritage turkey. I've read that some people suggest cooking at 425 - 450... seems high, but what do I know. I'm either going to cook one of our Midget Whites or Bourbon Reds. I have a fryer (but we've fried the last 2 T-day turks), a smoker, large BBQ, and standard oven.

    How do you cook yours? Got any good recipes/methods to share?
     
  2. Kennyog

    Kennyog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fried in peanut oil. No better way.
     
  3. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Kennyog... we've fried the last 2 Thanksgiving turkeys and love them. I thought we'd do this one in the oven and had hoped for advice on cooking times and temps. Hmmm, I guess it's off to search the internet for suggestions....
     
  4. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    I prefer the traditional oven method as I like to come to the table and hear the oooo's & aaaahhhhh's when they gaze upon a fine looking bird. Have you ever seen the birds that come out of a deep fryer [​IMG] they do taste great but look hideous. WTS a heritage breed should have some considerations when cooking, like has it rested the proper amount of time, was it brined, and was the bird (fed) finnished out properly. Normally these breeds tend to be a little more on the dry side so take precautions not to over cook it and add juices and flavor to the bird during cooking. I would tent the bird for the first 1/4 time and then remove it and roast normally at 325 for 15 min per lb, Basting often until golden brown. I would not stuff the bird this time around until you get a good idea of how well it does unstuffed. let the bird rest for 30 min + so the juices can return to the meat, then carve.

    AL
     
  5. longranger

    longranger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My favorite is slow smoked at 200-250 degrees using a smaller heritage bird of 12-15#. Same weight for peanut oil at a temp of 350. For the bigger ones I use an oven just like al6517 described. Use well rested birds, about 5 days. Full 24 hours of salt and sugar brine for the smoker and 12 for the others. This year we will have enough guests to require 3 turkeys so I am doing one of each:lol:
     
  6. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Al and Longranger, thanks for your posts... that's exactly the type of advice I was hoping for! I've never brined a turkey before, but think I'll give it a try this year. We processed 5 turks today and I still can't decide whether to cook one of the the Bourbon Red's or the Midget White's for Thanksgiving. Since there aren't too many of us I can't get away with cooking one of each.

    Dang, Longranger, I'd LOVE to be able to cook 3 turkeys for Thanksgiving. When we process our ducks in early December we're having neighbors and friends over so we can cook 3 ducks... one each smoked, on a rotissiere and on the bbq.

    Thx again,
    Eve
     

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