How long do you let your turkey rest?

cookie8October 10, 2013

It's Thanksgiving this weekend in Canada and I was talking with my sister who said she will be doing her dinner Gordon Ramsay style. His recommendation was to let the turkey rest as long as it has cooked before carving. I have always let mine rest no longer than 20 minutes before serving. I think I will let it rest longer so I don't have to rush to get it all done at the same time and not worry about the meat being warm but room temp. How long do you let your turkey rest before carving?

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All depends on when Mr Turkey is done and when everything else is done. Sometimes he will rest for 30 minutes and sometimes for an hour or even more.

I have found the secret to a wonderful T-Day dinner is to not try and have everything ready at exactly the same time.

As long as it's not overcooked hot , warm or room temp works as long as the gravy is hot!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 5:21PM
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Can rest an hour, cover w/ foil or cloth to keep it warm.

Since you're usually making the gravy while the turkey is resting, a nice long rest is convenient.

Have someone start carving the turkey when the gravy is getting close to done.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 5:29PM
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beachlily z9a

I make the make-ahead turkey gravy so resting time (for a turkey breast) is 15-20 minutes. But then, I grill the turkey breast so holding time is in minutes.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 6:45PM
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It depends on how large it is, but 20-30 minutes is suggested for a whole turkey and as beachlily said, 15-20 minutes for a turkey breast. If you don't let it rest you'd better have a cutting board with a deep reservoir to catch all the juices that will flood the board from cutting it too soon after it's taken out of the oven.

We're having Canadian Thanksgiving in Tennessee and everything is done and in the freezer ready to pack for the 12-hour car trip. It's so much easier in October than in November for our family, and we converted several years ago to the October date and love it. It's one of my ties to the Canadian side of my family.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 1:00PM
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I don't know what the Gordon Ramsey turkey message is, but letting cooked meat sit out for,
possibly 4 hours(3 hours for roasting and one hour for serving), is just bad. Yes, it's easier to entertain when you can make a dish and plop it on a serving area, and forget about it, but I won't touch it if meats have been sitting out for hours. A family member does that and it creeps me. As John said, an hour is good.

And I suppose that turkey does sit out for long periods at Thanksgiving and holidays, and it's been ok- so I temper my above comment, so maybe 2 hours before I jump up and load up the baggies of turkey to stash in the fridge.

"You want some more, go in the fridge!"

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 2:04PM
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Man, you guys are making me crave turkey!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 2:30PM
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The purpose of "resting" are two. One is as pointed out by Grainlady.

The other is very important. Resting the turkey allows "Carry over heat" to cook the interior to proper safety temperature. On this, there are no rules of thumb for timing to go by. You will have to get a probe thermometer to make sure.

The size of the turkey, the start out temperature of your turkey, the characteristics of your oven, and whether you have stuffing or not, all makes it dangerous to cook by general hours per lbs rules.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 2:52PM
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Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

We aim for half an hour. Up to an hour would be fine usually but room temp and other factors come into play. The time it is sitting out during the meal, etc. Often some elders are present and young children...the kitchen is active and warm, more room heat may be used so guests are comfortable. The fridge is stuffed and opened often rising its temp. The danger zone of 40-140 for bacteria growth is hard to keep track of.
A half hour is plenty time for a gravy and getting a crowd to sit, and getting sides on the table.

The first thing i do when i have guests for the day or a few days is lower the fridge temp. My fridge has a 'blast' button for the fridge and freezer. Used when you can predict heavy use.

Our turkey is good, organic, cooked properly, but not really the star of the show. Tradition for sure, but the sides are what everyone wants. And leftovers. (i make thanksgiving sliders with the leftover biscuits)
We platter up but the oven stays on for seconds if needed. All sides stay in the 275 oven. A carved platter of turkey, with both legs, the other breast side goes in the fridge right away to chill. The carcass goes right back in the oven to pick later and roast for stock and soup.
A good rule is to keep it hot, or chill quickly and keep it cold.

Here is a link that might be useful: shelf life advice

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 3:44PM
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Mine for about half an hour, while I make the gravy and get everything else on the table. That seems more than adequate

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 4:29PM
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OOps, maybe I misunderstood the very clear question, which was about resting, as dc discussed. To me, the resting time, as everyone said(everyone but me, sad to say) is about juice recovery. Resting, and not holding or serving time-got that Westsider? Juice recovery or stabilization or whatever one calls it-'Resting' relates to 'carving' and not to serving

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 5:09PM
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Yeah, I think I'll aim for no longer than 40 minutes.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 6:21PM
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