Turkey roasting questions?

greenbean08_gwMarch 19, 2010

I'm cooking a 9.5 lb turkey tomorrow. I'm going to try the high heat roasting method. I live at 7000' elevation and from what I read should expect an extra 25% cooking time. The bird is still partially frozen so I plan to give it a cold water bath today. I may be sort of combining cooking suggestions so I want to make sure I'm planning this right.

Open, rinse, remove giblets & let the turkey warm to room temp while covered with moist towel. Preheat (clean) oven to 500. Salt & pepper the bird, stuff with apple & onion.

I found these cooking times online:

Weight: 9 to 10 pounds

Stuffed: 1 hour 45 minutes

Unstuffed: 1 hour 15 minutes

If I stuff it loosely with the apple & onion (just for flavor), do I need to cook to the stuffed time or the unstuffed time?

How long should I leave the bird at room temperature before roasting?

Do I need to use a rack in the roasting pan?

Thanks for any advice! I have dinner guests coming tomorrow. Usually DH is the turkey-cook but he's not here, so that just leaves me!

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Your altitude won't affect the roasting time.
If you are cooking it tomorrow and it's partially frozen today I wouldn't do any water bath today...put it back into the refrig, and get it out tomorrow morning.
Allow 2 hours from into the oven to starting to carve it...perhaps 2 hours and 10 minutes.
You will be fine with the apple and onion inside....that's not stuffing that has to get to a high heat to be safe....but frankly I would use an onion and lemon instead....
As for how long to leave it at room temperature before putting it into the oven...don't let it get warm...it should still feel cold to the touch...if it feels less that quite cool get it back into the frig.
Room temperature makes for a shorter roasting time....but a safe to eat bird is better!
Better to err on the side of putting too cold a bird into the oven than to have one that has begun to grow bad stuff.
The resting time for a turkey, tented under foil and covered with a couple of towels can be as long as an hour....so get the bird done then worry about the rest of the dinner.
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 2:24PM
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I agree, don't bring that bird to room temperature, get it into the oven while it's still at a safe temperature.

I agree, you don't need to count the apple and onion as stuffing, use the time for unstuffed turkey.

I usually let mine rest about half an hour before slicing, that gives me time to drain off the drippings, make gravy, and mash the potatoes before carving the bird.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 3:28PM
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Thanks Linda & Annie for the help. I was having a hard time with the concept of letting it reach room temperature, it's so ingrained in my head to keep it hot or cold... I'd rather not sicken the dinner guests- one couple I haven't seen since high school. If I feed them bad turkey, they'll not want to see me for another 20 years!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 3:51AM
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Another who says don't let it come to full room temp, it should be cool to the touch.

The cook time of 1 hour and 15 mins for a 9.5 pound bird sounds light to me but I don't use a high heat method soooooo......

Do you have an instant read thermometer? If not it is well worth the investment. I have found there is no better way to ensure "doneness" and not over "doneness" regardless of cooking technique.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 10:38AM
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So, I stuffed the bird with onion, garlic and part of an orange (I didn't have any lemons & no time for the store). I didn't let it sit out terribly long before cooking. The only problem I had was it smoked up my house like crazy. I should have realized it would (we cooked a beef roast that way several years ago), I had forgotten that part. Good thing the weather wasn't as cold today as yesterday as I had doors & windows open. I'm surprised the smoke alarms didn't go off. I did add foil in the hopes that it would reduce the splatter and create less smoke but I don't know that it helped much. It was good though and I did get quite a bit of smoke cleared out before my guests arrived so I guess it all worked out in the end (except now I have to clean the oven again) but I'll think twice about roasting that way when company is coming or the weather is bad.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 2:42AM
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Your pan was likely too big....allowing for the juices from the bird to spread out and burn....for high heat it's best to cook in a pan that just fits the meat....no space around....snuggle that turkey right into a small pan and it will cut down on the smoke.
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 9:16AM
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I agree, I don't use the high heat method for turkey but a smaller pan works best, I've done duck that way.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 10:50AM
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That makes sense, I hadn't thought about the pan size. I'm used to using the metal roasting pan for turkey so that's what I used. Since this was a petite turkey (that's what the package says) there was a lot of space around it. I think I have a rectangular pyrex dish in nearly every size, I could have used one of those instead.

I just may have to try this again...

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 2:00PM
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Wait--Don't use a Pyrex for high heat cooking! Aaack, you'll have broken glass, a really big mess and a wasted turkey! :(

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 2:18AM
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I wondered about that and I'm sure I did a search earlier today to find out the max temp recommended for Pyrex and didn't find anything that told me it was a bad idea. (I must not have searched well b/c I just searched again and found several mentions of Pyrex exploding).

I mentioned the dishes in hopes someone would tell me if it's a bad idea (without having to pose another potentially stupid question), so THANKS!!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 3:25AM
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