How to Cook A Thanksgiving Turkey
         Perfect Turkey Every Time

Unexplained Turkey Disasters
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Unexplained Turkey Recipe Disasters
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  • I am sorry to say that I was very disappointed in your directions. I had an 11 lb. turkey. After the initial 20 minutes in a 475 oven, I set the oven at 275 degrees instead of 250, and I baked the turkey for over 4 hours – longer than your directions stated. I don't have a meat thermometer, so I couldn't use that. But I thought I was fairly safe with a higher temperature and a longer baking time. My turkey came out pink. We had to finish cooking the meat slices in the microwave. The turkey was very juicy, but that's because it wasn't fully cooked.

    Next year, I'm going back to the Joy of Cooking cookbook and their turkey-cooking guide. And I'm sticking to 350 degrees as the lowest temperature for my future turkeys. Alena L., 12/5/11
  • I have wanted to try this "slow-cook" method for quite a while now but was afraid to in case it didn't work. This year we have two events so we are cooking a separate turkey the day before our event. I decided to try your method.  We have a 10.3 lbs fresh turkey, never been frozen.  I added the spices and butter under the skin, put the bird into an aluminum pan and covered it with foil.  We tested our oven yesterday using a thermometer and it was right on target.  That didn't surprize me since the oven is only a few months old.

    I calculated that we would need about 3 hours and 20 minutes after the initial 20 minutes at 475.  We cooked it at 475 for 20 minutes then leaving the bird in the oven the temp was turned down to 250 degrees.  Three hours and 20 minutes later the bird is just warm (not hot) and white.  It is no where close to being done.  I doubled checked my calculations against your "chart" and it seems my timing is correct.

    Not sure what happened but I am thankful that I don't have a houseful of people waiting on dinner. Do you have any suggestions on what might have gone wrong?  I have another turkey to cook tomorrow which I will be cooking at 350 as usual.  I just liked the sound of a nice, moist bird.

    Thanks. No name provided.

    Note: The problem may have been that the you covered the turkey with the shiney side facing out. The shiney side should be facing in... against the turkey... and the dull side facing outward. Making this mistake can affect cooking times significantly.

  • I will explain your cooking method flaw.  IT won’t reach 180 degrees cooking at 250 / 20 minutes per pound.  Your web site should be shut down! A turkey need  to cook at 325. Art B., 11/23/12.

    Response: You're too kind! Have you ever actually tried it? It does work for me and a couple of million other people. But for those of you interested in another way to cook a turkey you can contact Art at http://www.agamarvel.com/. It looks like they sell some cool stuff.