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Mon Nov 25, 2013, 11:38 AM

Turkey - baste or steam?

I'm old fashioned and holding out for basting - my son insists that placing a pan of water to provide steam is better.


I think I just came up with my argument - the basting provides the drippings for gravy.

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply Turkey - baste or steam? (Original post)
hedgehog Nov 2013 OP
Autumn Nov 2013 #1
Galileo126 Nov 2013 #2
packman Nov 2013 #3
Phentex Nov 2013 #4
Major Nikon Nov 2013 #7
Fortinbras Armstrong Nov 2013 #5
Warpy Nov 2013 #6
The empressof all Nov 2013 #8

Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 12:23 PM

1. Brine, inject and, baste and roast

perfection.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 12:33 PM

2. I stop basting in the last 90 mins

in order to get crispy skin (if that's your thing).

And yeah, gotta have the drippings for the gravy!

(Also too, if the drippings have evaporated, you can always add more H2O in the last 30 mins to the bottom of the roasting pan. Drippings come back, and ready for gravy.)

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 12:44 PM

3. Butter and Salt

Cover skin before it goes into oven with generous melted butter, sprinkle salt over all for crusty skin and put herb flavored semi-melted butter under skin (around breast and leg-thighs) and rub butter in cavity. Baste , of course, and maybe-just maybe- put some chicken broth into pan if needed. Seriously, butter and more butter make a juicier meal. Some flavor the butter with anything like spices for a cajun taste or rosemary or whatever. Be careful though, spices can enhance, but ruin rather quickly. Pure sweet butter can't be beat. Turkey and butter are a combination made for each other.
Then again, I gave up on roasting a whole turkey years ago and now into brining a breast for perfect Thanksgiving meals.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 01:28 PM

4. Martha bastes, Alton says it just cools down the oven...

everybody's got their own way.

I will brine, seal the skin with flaming alcohol, and let it cook.

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Response to Phentex (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 06:38 PM

7. I agree with Alton

If you are removing the skin, basting might make sense (I'm not sure even then), but otherwise the skin membrane is pretty tough to penetrate by basting and all you are really doing is affecting the outside at the expense of heat loss by opening the oven door.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 03:26 PM

5. If you want crispy skin

Do not steam it.

I coat it with oil (olive oil for preference) and put a cup or so of chicken stock in the bottom of the roasting pan -- to be replenished as it evaporates. This is the basis for the gravy.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 06:00 PM

6. I never went nuts basting.

I buttered the bird and seasoned it. Then I wrapped the breast with cooking gauze and a little more butter. Then I pretty much ignored it until it was done. There was absolutely no difference in taste or texture whether I had basted or wrapped the bird like a mummy. The latter method produced much, much better skin browning. The pan gravy was great. The turkey is always turkey.



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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 07:22 PM

8. I drag out the stand up turkey cooker from the garage

It's a big ceramic roaster with a cone in the middle that I fill with wine and herbs. I stick the turkey over it and roast it standing up. It's based on the beer can chicken method. It produces a fabulous moist bird with plenty of drippings for gravy. I don't need to fuss with it and it cooks faster this way giving me extra oven time for the sides.

I've had it forever so I don't know if they are still making them but if you see one grab it. It's well worth the money even if you do use it only once a year.

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