There are so many sensory delights to appreciate in a properly roasted turkey. The skin should have a consistent golden brown hue and a crisp texture that is audible when met with a knife (or a pair of fingers trying to filch a tidbit before it goes to the table). The breast meat should be tender and juicy while the dark meat should be succulent and toothsome. The aroma should be rich and intoxicating, filling the kitchen with a scent that is tangible and evokes memories of Thanksgiving or holiday feasts.
Brining is an option many cooks exercise though we don’t do it every time we roast a turkey. When we do, a couple of our favorite concoctions include salt + sugar + paprika + granulated garlic + granulated onion + peppercorns + water or salt + sugar + aromatics (onion, carrot, celery) + thyme + rosemary + Italian parsley + bay leaves + water. The benefit of brining a turkey is to impart additional flavor to the bird and to add moisture. Of course, if the turkey is cooked correctly, brining is unnecessary! In the tests we did for this post, the birds were not brined. Nor were they stuffed. While stuffing a turkey may be a tried and true part of cooking a Thanksgiving feast for many, we discourage the practice. In order to get the stuffing inside the bird to a safe endpoint temperature, you risk sacrificing the moistness of the white meat by overcooking it.
In one test, we roasted a 10 lb. turkey in a CVap Cook and Hold Oven (CAC) with the Food Temperature set at 190°F, Browning Level at 8, and we cooked it for three hours with Constant Cook ON.
In another test we cooked a bird in a CAC at 180°F with a Browning level of 6 for five hours with Constant Cook ON. As you can see, this test yielded skin that was not as brown or quite as crisp as the other test.
An alternative suggestion might be to cook a turkey at 175 + 0 to end point doneness and then either flash fry or flash roast it to brown and crisp up the skin. Using this method will yield extremely tender and juicy meat.
No matter which of these methods you use, the moral to this story is that a perfectly cooked turkey is something to be very thankful for!
Mark your calendar! Your opportunity to apply for the 2018 Winston Equipment Award is December 1, 2017!
The award provides ten pieces of Winston Foodservice equipment to a school district in need of improving its school meal kitchen facilities through a competitive grant process.
The winning school district can choose any ten pieces from Winston’s product line of CVap Holding Cabinets, CVap Hold & Serve Drawers, and CVap Retherm Ovens.
Winston works closely with the grant winner to determine needs and assist in the final selection of equipment. Winston also arranges delivery of the equipment to the district. Depending on which models are ordered, it could mean over $50,000 in new equipment for your district!
To apply, you must:
- Be an active SNA director-level member, who has been a member of SNA for at least one year.
- Be the person responsible for directing the school nutrition program for the school district.
How can I apply?
The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) will open the 2018 Winston Equipment Award application process on December 1st, 2017. The deadline for the application is January 15th, or once the first 75 applications have been received (whichever comes first). The application spots usually fill up quickly, so don’t delay in applying!
Want to hit the ground running? Prepare your application ahead of time by downloading the Application Preparation Worksheet. Responses may be copied and pasted from the worksheet into the online application. Visit https://www.schoolnutrition.org/equipmentgrants to learn more.
Best of luck to all of you!
The CVap Holding Cabinet HA4511 is our largest half-size cabinet. The A-Series electronic differential control offers premium Controlled Vapor Technology with dual control over food temperature and food texture. Ideal for schools, QSRs, and any other high volume operation. Seven adjustable universal rack supports hold a capacity of seven sheet pans or 14 steam table pans. Built in fan provides for even distribution of vapor heat. Sits on 3″ (76mm) casters for ease of mobility.
The CVap Holding Cabinet HA4509 delivers superior food temperature and texture control. A half-size holding cabinet, it is ideal for schools, QSRs, and any other high volume operation with kitchen space constraints. This model has an A-Series electronic differential control, offering premium Controlled Vapor Technology with dual control over food temperature and food texture. Built-in fan provides for even distribution of heat. Five adjustable rack supports hold a capacity of five sheet pans or ten steam table pans. Sits on 3″ (76mm) casters for ease of mobility.
The CVap Holding Cabinet HA4507 gives you 7 cu. ft. of holding space, while still fitting beneath a standard counter. The HA4507 is ideal for schools, QSRs, and any other high volume operation. This model has an A-Series electronic differential control offers superior food temperature and texture control. The four adjustable rack supports hold a capacity of four sheet pans or eight steam table pans. Sits on 3″ (76mm) casters for ease of mobility. Also available in stacked pair combinations: CAT509/HA4507, CA8509/HA4507 or CAT507/HA4507.
The CVap Holding Cabinet HA4503 delivers superior food temperature and texture control. At 3 cu. ft. (.09 cu. M) of space, it fits under standard counters, and is ideal for kiosks, bars, or anywhere that business volume is high but space is limited. The A-Series electronic differential control precisely controls both food temperature and food texture. Built in fan evenly distributes the vapor heat, helping to ensure optimal food quality. Five adjustable rack supports hold five half sheet pans or four steam table pans. Sits on 1″ (25mm) wheels to easily fit under counter.