Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey-related program activities

I'm a few hours into a Mystery Science Theater 3000 marathon, and I've got a turkey slowly reaching the ideal temperature, and smelling awesome.

I picked up Alton Brown's book on a recommendation. He gets into the reasons behind certain techniques and methods, and while I'm not as interested as getting into some of the gear-fetish geekdom, I was sold on the notion of accurately measuring cooking temperature. At least with roasting, which I often over-do.

I also decided to try brining. Essentially, soak the turkey in a salt/sugar/spice solution for a number of hours before popping it in the oven; it infuses the cells of the meat with the liquid and flavoring. For sugar, I decided to use Guinness, and my fingers are crossed that I got the proportions right.

One thing I couldn't bring myself to follow his recommendation on was stuffing. I really think the whole point to stuffing is to actually stuff the bird. His point was that, in order to cook it to the right temperature to eliminate samonella (165F), you have to overcook the rest of the turkey, which dries it out too much. However, he also describes that brining lets you get the cooking temperature higher w/o that problem, so it's a win/win, I think.

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