Turkey Cooked FROZEN, No Thawing Stage

Turkey Cooked FROZEN, No Thawing Stage


This method for cooking a frozen-solid turkey,
straight out of the freezer, is sponsored by Squarespace. If you have frozen up with
apprehension when it comes to making that website that you know you really should have,
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or a new site, if you use my link and code down in the description. OK, say you didn’t plan ahead for Thanksgiving.
You’ve got a rock-solid turkey and you’ve got 10 hungry people coming over. As long
as you get up early Thanksgiving morning, you can do this. It is not my favorite method
for turkey, but it does work. Throw the unwrapped frozen bird into a roasting
tray. This is a 12-pound bird, which is my favorite size, though I like to use a tray
designed for a much bigger bird, so that I can easily make a huge amount of gravy. The one complicating factor for this method
is in here: the giblet packet. That little parcel containing the edible organ meats is
locked in that icy prison, and we’re gonna have to melt it out. But for now, I’m just
gonna turn my oven on just 250 F, and pour over enough neutral oil to coat this thing.
Don’t bother using melted butter — it would solidify the instant you put it on. Whole
lot of pepper, whole lot of salt — enough to cover everything, and just smush everything
around. That’s cold! Then just throw her in. I need to clean my oven. A couple hours later it’ll look like this.
There’s the giblet packet sticking out. Bad news is it’s still frozen in there. Can’t
pull it out yet. Good news is it’s paper, and not plastic, which means we don’t have
to worry about it melting. Now, I haven’t seen a plastic giblet packet in a long time,
but if you come across one, you’re gonna have to keep an eye on it and get it out before
it melts. Speaking of safety, I’ll use my infrared thermometer
and check out the surface temperatures for you. Even though that bird is still frozen
solid inside, these temperatures are hot enough to kill any surface bacteria. Not instantaneously,
but over 20 or 30 minutes, easy. Turkey was in four hours before I could get
the giblets out. We need them out because we need heat to circulate inside the cavity
to kill surface bacteria in there and cook the deep meat that’s along the bones. Also you can take the heart and liver and
whatever else is in there and throw it in the pan. It’ll give great flavor to your gravy.
If anything looks like it’s gonna burn on the bottom, you could throw in a little bit
of water, but at this low temperature you shouldn’t need much, or at all. Here’s the turkey after six hours. Now, I
like Heston Blumenthal, but here’s the thing he doesn’t tell you when he advocates extremely
low and slow roasting of un-browned meat: it doesn’t smell very good. It actually smells
kinda gross when it’s cooking, and I think that matters on Thanksgiving Day, when you
want the house to smell, you know, like Thanksgiving. But now that the deepest part of the breast
is reading 135 to 140 F, we’re good to crank the oven up to 400 F, convection roast setting.
If I didn’t have that convection setting, I’d probably do 450 F. And let’s throw in two white onions, cut into
big chunks. Red onions tend to give the gravy a pukey mauve color. Some chunks of celery
and carrot, yes these are old baby carrots that I’ve got there. Doesn’t really matter
what they are, because we’re gonna strain out the solids anyway. Bird goes back in,
and an hour or so later, it looks like that. Now the house smells like Thanksgiving. Deepest
part of the breast reads 163 F, that’s conservative, as far as food safety goes. Carryover heat
will take this past the recommended 165 that kills most pathogens instantly. If I was just
cooking for myself, I would pull that at a lower temperature, but I’m usually feeding
older folks at Thanksgiving who might not have great immune systems. Now, you don’t have to do this, but I really
like to. I have put the tray on my largest burner and turned that to medium heat. I’m
gonna cook the bottom of the turkey some more. Why? Because the dark meat is on the bottom,
and dark meat is really better, I think, when it’s cooked to the falling apart stage. I
normally prefer to do this at the beginning of cooking, but because the turkey was frozen
then, it would have been hard to get good contact between the meat and the pan. I’m just slowly cooking the thighs, here.
The breast is getting hardly any heat at all right now. If you smell anything burning — any
smell that’s not delicious — turn the heat down. Those burned flavors will end up in
your gravy. So after I’ve done that about 15 minutes, I’ll turn the heat off and lift
the bird out onto a plate, which I do with a spatula on the inside and a clean towel
on the outside. That bird can rest for a long time, well over
an hour, while you get your sides ready and we can turn to our gravy. I like to roast
with as little water in the tray as possible, so by now, most of the water has boiled off.
It’s mostly just fat and solids in there, which means I can pour some flour in there
straight away to make a roux. There’s no separating the fat out from the liquid. Heat is back
on medium now. Can’t use a whisk on a cheap non-stick surface like this, which means I’m
gonna get some lumps, but I don’t care, ’cause I’m gonna strain the finished product. Enough
flour to make a thick paste, and keep it moving around to let the roux cook a bit — that
builds flavor and darkens the color of the gravy. When you’re afraid that there is gonna
burn, you can deglaze with a carton of chicken stock. If you do this a little bit at a time,
you’ll have an easier time integrating the liquid without sloshing it around everywhere.
The wooden spoon helps you scrape the fond off the bottom. The flour reaches its thickening potential
when it boils, and now I can see that I’ve got enough to thicken a second carton of stock,
no problem, which is good. There’s never enough gravy. I think you want to simmer this for
as long as you can, that’ll extract more color and flavor from the solids. I’ll pour in the
resting juices from my turkey. Gravy should be a little thinner than you want it, because
it’ll thicken as it cools. Time to strain. Nice big bowl, sieve on top, and pour everything
in. A second pair of hands really helps here. Now what you’ve gotta do is stick your spoon
in there and just scrape the bottom of the sieve. That’ll push everything through. You’ll
think it’s not working — it is, just give it a minute. There you go. Then you can dump
those solids in the trash, and you got a nice, clean gravy there. Taste it for seasoning.
Needs pepper, and not much more salt. The cartoned stock was salty. Here’s the short version of how I carve turkey.
Rest it until you can handle it. Cut the skin between the leg quarters and the breast, reach
in and just dislocate the hip joints. Those joints will always be a little pink on the
inside. Don’t freak out. The fact that we can just pull those off speaks to how well-cooked
this meat is. I’ll cut the legs off the thighs, and then cut the breasts off the carcass,
all in one big chunk. Then, look under the breast, look closely
at the meat, you can see the grain, the direction of the meat fibers. With turkey, I think it
pays to try to cut against the grain, so you get short meat fibers in each slice. You do
that and you can afford to slice it a little thicker, if you like it thicker. Nice and
tender. I don’t care if it’s going cold. I can heat
it back up in the oven. Slicing it really well-rested is a lot easier and it spills
less juice out of the meat. For the thighs, since we cooked them extra, you pretty much
just tear the meat off with your hands, which I think makes it easier to discern meat from
cartilage. Pour over a little bit of gravy, and that
looks real nice. For a 12-pound turkey, that was about 8 hours from freezer to dinner,
which is manageable if you get up a little early. The flavor and texture? Meh, underwhelming.
I think you need longer high-temperature cooking to really develop the flavor, but we had to
go super low and slow to let that frozen meat thaw and cook evenly. And even then, the outer
part of this breast is noticeably a little drier than the inner part. Serviceable turkey,
but not my favorite. What is my favorite? I’ll show you a week hence. Though boy, that plate does look real nice,
especially here in the built-in image editor that Squarespace has. You don’t have to have
Photoshop and other expensive pieces of software like I do in order to build a big, beautiful
image-heavy website — the kind that’s great for a food blog, or a restaurant, or some
other food business. You got some pictures, you got some words, literally everything else
you need is right in here, including all the e-commerce tools to take people’s reservations,
their orders, and most importantly, they’re money. You can start fiddling around with
a Squarespace template right now for free, but when you’re ready to publish it, or maybe
by a custom domain for it like mine, go here: squarepsace.com/ragusea. You tell them I sent
you, you’ll get 10 percent off. And you know, try to get this done before the holidays,
so you can focus on your what really matters in life — your gravy.

100 thoughts on “Turkey Cooked FROZEN, No Thawing Stage”

  1. Q: Did you steal the opening shot from Joshua Weissman?
    A: Joshua is awesome, but I’m sure he would acknowledge we both stole that shot from Alton Brown, who probably stole it from someone else. We all stand on the shoulders of giants.

    Q: Why are you doing a Thanksgiving video almost a month before (American) Thanksgiving?
    A: Because I have three Thanksgiving-themed videos planned, and I think it'll be more helpful to you if I run them now, instead of right before Thanksgiving, when you will likely have already made your plans.

    Q: Why are you doing this two weeks after Canadian Thanksgiving?
    A: Sorey buddy, you can't please everyone, eh? I promise I'll do a Kraft Dinner vid later.

    Q: Why wouldn't you just buy a fresh turkey?
    A: You could, but there are a few reasons people often do frozen. 1) Frozen is usually a lot cheaper, at least in the U.S.; 2) If you wait until right before Thanksgiving, the markets are often out of fresh turkeys; 3) Frozen is often your only option if you want a specialty breed, or an unusual size; 4) Some people think frozen birds are of a more reliable quality; 5) If you want turkey some other time of the year, frozen might be your only option. If you're an athlete doing meal prep for a high-protein diet, I think buying a frozen turkey is a great, cheap option.

    Q: Why wouldn't you just speed-thaw the turkey under running water?
    A: You could, but a bird this size would take about 8 hours to thaw with that method, which I will nonetheless demonstrate next week. Also, I think this is simpler. Just one step. Throw it in the oven.

    Q: Why didn't you put white wine in your gravy?
    A: Because I want my gravy to taste like normal roast turkey gravy. Thanksgiving dinner is more about tradition and memory to me, and to lots of people, I think. I'm not necessarily trying to make the best thing I can make. I'm trying to make something pretty good that reminds me of what I grew up with, and to do it in a reasonably low-stress way.

    Q: Why didn't you put more seasoning on your turkey?
    A: Because I'm demonstrating a basic cooking method. You can flavor your turkey how ever you want to flavor it. Also I want my turkey to taste like turkey, primarily. But you do you.

    Q: What was that plastic thing on the turkey's legs and why didn't you take it off before you cooked it?
    A: It's there to hold the legs in place and to make it easier to lift the turkey. It's designed to be in the oven.

    Q: Isn't there probably some plastic in the paper giblet packet?
    A: I would guess silicon.

    Q: Didn't you just do a video about how plastics are messing with our hormones and we shouldn't get them hot?
    A: Yes. This isn't that much plastic, and I doubt you eat turkey very frequently. Also, we balance lots of factors when we make choices in life.

  2. I'm from Europe so I don't really know what you Americans eat on a thanksgiving day but throwing out those solids from gravy is a food waste, you should've eaten those vegetables and be more healthy or something. Eat your veggies or something like that?
    Edit: by the way you are amongst my fav youtubers and I make it imperative to like every each one of your videos (but i do forget about that sometimes)

  3. “I am usually feeding older folks in thanksgiving, who might not have great immune systems”
    Hhhh it is like what a robot would say.

    Unless…

  4. Adam: as long as you get up early Thanksgiving morning you can get the Turkey done.

    Also adam: wakes up at 11:20 and starts cooking turkey.

  5. Thats not "a lot" of salt or pepper. 1:09 Even if you were gonna season it again. Even if you were under seasoning it so that its up to the consumer to decide how much seasoning to put. I think youre under seasoning food man. Not a whole lot like buzzfeed's tasty but when you say "a lot" Im thinking half a container of pepper and salt. You could have put two times as much salt and pepper for a reasonable amount. You seasoned the gravy which is good. That could probably use more pepper, maybe more salt. Especially since the chicken doesnt have much salt.

  6. 5:47 do you actually throw your food scraps into the garbage (landfill) and not compost them / green waste / give to chickens?

  7. I am starting college tomorrow. Better start Heston Blumenthal's turkey method so it'll be ready by the time I graduate

  8. Uh, you don’t take off the plastic holding the legs? I don’t like heating plastic and food, probably not the best idea. I take off the plastic right away and use butchers twine instead. Even if the difference is negligible…I’d rather not consume plastic in my food.

  9. correct me if i am wrong but i believe flour acc reaches its "absorbency potential" at 85 degrees celsius as apposed to 100

  10. Glad to see that someone understands the forgetful/procrastinating cook! I just wanted to say though if you do spend that much time editing videos at your laptop you should consider making your set up more ergonomic. Just want to see that you can continue making great videos!

  11. Adam, i follow you since the beginning. Trashing vegetables? Really? You could've blend them in the gravy. I hope you'll read this 😉

  12. Would you mind including Fahrenheit and Celsius temperatures?
    It's annoying to always use a calculator for your recipes . 😉

  13. Fucking trashed our turkey one Xmas by not taking out the plastic giblet packet. Spent ages sorting out flavoured butter, prepping…

    Chucked it in the bin 🤦🏼‍♂️

  14. I've never understood how someone could have a frozen turkey on Thanksgiving day. Did they sleep for a month and wake up on Thanksgiving and just realize it's a holiday?

  15. “Welcome to where I video edit, where I spend more hours editing than I sleep.”

    I felt this one right in my spleen.

  16. Hey quick thing, the pizza dough you made is awesome! made 2.5 batches so far and is really tasty! Even made a sandwich for a lunch on the ago this week and made pizzas! So versatile!

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