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Turkey: breast up or down?

Prof DanProf Dan Posts: 339
edited 10:50AM in EggHead Forum
Almost all of the recipes on our forum call for roasting the bird with the breast up. In an offline email, Uncle Milt wondered about breast down, and I mentioned to him that this is how I do a whole chicken in the oven [because the chicken fat runs down over the breast meat, continually basting it]. He said he had seen other recipes that recommend turkey breast down, too.[p]He's right -- I found several other smoked turkey recipes that say to do it breast down. Most don't, though.[p]Has anyone here done it that way? Thanks!!

Comments

  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,821
    Prof Dan,
    The last issue of Cook's Illustrated (which I can't seem to find right now!!!) suggested that your bird be cooked breast down for at least the first hour for the same reason you said. I'll be doing that this T-Day myself.

    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • RRP,
    Try Cook's Illustrated..Nov.-Dec. 1999

  • Prof Dan,[p]Breast down is the way to go. I turned it over for the last hour of cooking so the breast would brown up for cosmetic effect. One odd thing to be aware of if you use the EGG v-rack. The combination of the weight of the bird plus the smoke gives the bird deep light colored horizontal grooves. They plump up when you cook it breast up, but the light color remained. Kind of the same effect as on the "bikini" turkey that was posted here a few days ago.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,821
    Strmn2smoke,
    I finally found the Cook's Illustrated I was referring too and it was not the 1999, but the most recent one of Nov-Dec 2002. On page 18 is the articile called "Roasting the Big One". Rather than paraphrase they said,
    "After roasting a dozen birds or so, I finally hit on the right combination of temperatures for a large turkey; 425 degrees for the first hour breast side down and 325 degrees thereafter with breast up. The breast meat was firm and juicy, the dark meat rich and tender, and the skin a breathtaking rosy mahogany brown."

    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
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