NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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Not Just for Ovens

Not Just for Ovens

 

          The traditional way to roast the traditional turkey for holiday meals is in the oven.  But circumstances, a suddenly inoperable oven, or the desire to try something new, may result in that turkey being cooked in a different manner.  The following methods suggested by the USDA  Meat and Poultry Hotline are alternate methods for cooking a turkey safely.

          Electric Roaster Oven – This tabletop appliance serves as an extra oven for cooking turkey or large roast. Generally the cooking time and oven temperature setting are the same as for conventional cooking. Always check the roaster oven’s use and care manual for the manufacturer’s recommended temperature setting and time.  Remove to leave the lid on throughout cooking, removing it as little as possible to avoid slowing the cooking process.

          Grilling – Outdoor cooking a big bird for the holiday meal is becoming a popular cooking method. During grilling, remember to place the turkey in a large pan with sides to catch the juices or a separate pan on a second grill level to again catch the juices.

          Deep Fat Frying a Turkey – Size is an issue when deep fat frying a turkey – most deep fat fryers can accommodate turkeys no larger than 12 pounds.  You may want to do a water test to determine oil level.  Fill the deep fat fryer with water, and then lower your chosen size of turkey into the fryer noting how much the water rises and where a safe, not overflowing level of oil would be.  Empty the fryer, dry thoroughly and fill with oil at the safe level you noted.  Double check the location for your deep fat fryer- level, away from pets and children, sheltered from the wind and away from flammable materials – which includes wooden decks.  Allow approximately 3-5 minutes per pound of turkey for cooking time.

          Slow Cooking a Cut-Up Turkey – A cut-up turkey can be safely cooked in a slow cooker.  Cut the turkey into parts or quarters.  A whole turkey simply takes too long to reach a food safe temperature in a slow cooker.  Even with cut-up pieces, it is recommended to, begin cooking on the “high” setting for an hour or more.  And as with roaster ovens, keep the lid on. It can take 20-25 minutes to regain the lost steam and temperature each time the cover is removed.  And we want to enjoy that tasty turkey as soon as possible!

 

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