to dunk or pluck??

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by BarneyChick97, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. BarneyChick97

    BarneyChick97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 8, 2011
    Mt. Vernon, Washington
    Okay people!! I need opinions!!! We need to process a large turkey within the next 12-24 hours due to an injured leg (from hopping out of her house during a molt--too heavy). Has anyone did the 'dunk in the hot water' to get the feathers off? Last time we processed a bird, we pulled feathers. No one really liked doing it. They ended up tearing the skin a few times. My husband heard somewhere if you dunk them, then the meat won't last as long in the freezer.

    Thanks!
     
  2. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dunking, or scalding, is pretty much how it's done, from everything I've read and watched on YouTube. When we processed 16 chickens last fall, we had a turkey deep fryer outside with us (the kind that sits on a propane burner) and a thermometer to monitor the water temperature. We kept it at about 125° - 130°. Dunk the bird in and move it up and down, up and down, up and down. Pull it out and try and pluck a large wing feather. Does it come out easily? If so, then hang it by its feet and begin pulling the feathers. You'll be amazed at how easily they come out. You can just run your hand from its ankle upwards (or downwards, since he'll be upside down) and all the feathers will just slip right out. If the tested wing feather doesn't come out easily, dunk a couple more times. Be careful not to leave it in too long or the skin will be easily torn.

    Scalding the turkey at this low temp will not affect the length of time it can be left in the freezer at all. "Hard scalds", which are at temps of about 160° can shorten the time the meat stays good in the freezer. Another thing that affects how well the meat does in the freezer is how quickly it is frozen. Slow freezing will actually dehydrate the meat at bit. The faster you can get that sucker frozen, the better. Remember, though, that you'll need to do about 48 hours of relaxing in the fridge, first. I tried 24 and it wasn't long enough. 48 was what my birds needed. We did 4 a day so they would fit in the fridge and we ate up all our leftovers and yogurts to make room in there. =)
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  3. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2012
    Tickfaw, Louisiana
    I have done some very large turkeys and used a seafood boiling pot over a propane burner with an instant read thermometer. 155 is the ideal temp for the water. If ith tail feathers and large wing feathers pull out easily, the bird id ready for plucking. Immediately after plucking it goes in a large ine chest of icey very salty water, for 3 days. The turkey must be completely submerged, so after the initial ice water, put in the turkey and fill any empty space with frozen bottles of water as such:
    [​IMG]When the 3 days are up, wrap and freeze. It will be good for up to a year in the freezer! Before you start processing, make sure it is properly bled out.
     
  4. BarneyChick97

    BarneyChick97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    184
    12
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    Nov 8, 2011
    Mt. Vernon, Washington
    This bird is going to be pretty big. The smallest turkey we've ever processed was 22LBs, the biggest, 44LBS. They were all hens. This one will be somewhere between that. I'd say, in the 30 range for sure. We bought a 100 QT kettle/pot from the food service store. We are hoping that will work. It looks big enough for her.


    The salt water in the cooler soak----is that like a brine?? Sounds tempting to try! My husband is going around now looking for 2 liter bottles to fill with water and freeze!
     

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