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Turducken Problem

irishrogirishrog Posts: 375
edited 5:33AM in EggHead Forum
This year for Christmas lunch I cooked a Turducken.
My turkey was 17 pounds, my duck was 8 pounds, and my chicken was 6 pounds. Add to that two pounds of sausage meat stuffing, and some bread stuffing, and the whole thing probably weighed about 24/25 pounds when it went into the EGG.
I stabelised the EGG for a full hour at 260 before I put in the turducken at 1.00 a.m. on Christmas morning, expecting it to take 11/12 hours to cook.
I woke at 4.30 a.m. and checked the EGG. It was faithfully holding temperature at 260, so I went back to bed. Got up at 8.30 a.m. and againg checked the EGG, again 260. I decided to check the bird(s). To my dismay the breast of the turkey was at 185, and the thigh was at 180. The internal of the bird was at 170. I had to take the Christmas lunch out of the EGG at 8.30 a.m. I wrapped the lot in 3 layers of foil, a couple of towels, and put it in a large cool box to hold for lunch.
The breast of the bird was as dry as if I had cooked it in the oven.
I have to say here that I got rave reviews but I was very dissapointed with the result.
The legs, thighs and duck/chicken were gorgeous, but what went wrong.
Why would a massive piece of meat cook so quickly at such low temperatures. What should I do the next time to avoid the dissapointment of a dry breast on Christmas day? Has anybody else cooked a Turducken and had this problem. Was I wrong to expect the bird to take 12 hours to cook in the first place.
Any ideas would be appreciated, because I will definately try this again.
Roger

Comments

  • irishrog,
    I allow 20 minutes per pound on a turkey at 325 degrees, so 17 pounds would be approx. 5 1/2 to 6 hours at 325 degrees.. In my opinion, it was simply cooked too long.

  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    I think the problem is that you are dealing with three pieces of meat totaling 25 pounds instead of one piece of meat weighing 25 pounds. I think the fact that the pieces were separate changes the cooking times somewhat. I know that when I cook butts, even if I stack the butts on one another, it only takes as long as the largest single butt. I think the real trick is in getting all three pieces done at the same time. Sounds like you did OK though - good this year, even better next year!
  • irishrog,
    Sorry, I miscalculated your weight. 25 LBS should be about 8 1/2 hours cooking at 325 degrees. I still think 17 hours was too long.

  • irishrogirishrog Posts: 375
    Dublin Dawg,
    I was estimating 11/12 hours at 260 degrees, but it was cooked in 7.5 hours. This was indirect heat with a bowl of stock on the platesetter to collect the juices for gravy. The stock did not even evaporate during the cooking time, which would suggest that the EGG did not get up in temperature during the cook. The thermometer was correct.
    Roger

  • irishrog,
    I have heard that sometimes the pan with water (or stock) can effect the cooking cycle. That may have contributed. Did you see Mad Max's post on cooking a turkey? I used his trick, of putting a bag of ice cubes on the turkey breast for 20 minutes, just before putting the turkey on the BGE. This lowers the temp on the breast, and keeps it from getting done before the thighs. It worked for me. But if you still got rave reviews from your family and guests, sounds like it wasn't all that bad......

  • irishrogirishrog Posts: 375
    Dublin Dawg,
    I have been egging whole turkeys for 5/6 years and know just how good it can be. That is why I was dissapointed with the turducken. I was expecting wonderful results, and got only good, not like the EGG at all. and therefore dissapointing. Thanks for your help and your interest, and best wishes for a happy, and prosperous, new year.
    Roger
    P.S. Does your handle suggest an Irish connection, I am in Limerick, Ireland.??

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    irishrog,
    were you using pork-butt thinking to come up with the time?
    pork butt takes about 2 hours a pound at 250.[p]the thing is, pork butt goes to 200 degrees, AND it spends a good chunk of time not climbing in temp as it sits in the plateau. turkey has no plateau, since you aren't breaking any collagen down.[p]22 pounds of pork butt would take much longer than 22 pounds of pork roast, or turkey, etc.[p]

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • irishrogirishrog Posts: 375
    stike,
    I googled turducken, and found a site that seemed very comprehensive regarding preperation etc. All the indications were that 11/12 hours at 250/260 was just right for a bird like mine.
    I saw a post here recommending 5/6 hours at 350, so I decided on the longer cook.
    I'll know better the next time.
    Roger

  • irishrog,
    Whenever I try cooking something new for the first time, I use a meat thermometer and a timer, just to be on the safe side. I have found the "rules of thumb" sometimes do not apply. When I did my Xmas turkey, I used my new remote wireless thermometer, but I also set my timer for 3 1/2 hours - I didn't trust the thermometer, but it turned out to be correct. Practice, practice, practice!

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    irishrog,
    sounds like you did your homework

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    Any chance your dome thermo was touching and/or poking into the bird giving you a false temp reading? That's a pretty common problem with large birds.[p]Happy Holidays,
    Jim

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