Organic Turkey: Cook It Your Way! (Part 2)


Click here to read Part 1 of this story, which covers traditional oven cooking.

Grilling a Turkey


Grilling a big bird for the holiday meal has become a popular cooking method. During grilling, a turkey cooks by indirect heat in an outdoor covered gas or charcoal grill, and a pan of water is placed beneath the grilling surface to catch the fat and juices that drip from the turkey as it cooks. The hot, smoky, steamy air cooks the bird.

Turkeys 16 pounds or smaller are the recommended size for safe grilling. A larger turkey remains in the “danger zone”—between 40°F and 140°F— for too long. Do not stuff the turkey. Because cooking occurs at a low temperature, it can take too long for the stuffing to reach 165°F. Also, smoked stuffing has an undesirable flavor.

Electric Roaster Oven

Generally, the cooking time and oven temperature setting are the same as for conventional cooking. Preheat the oven to at least 325°F. Place the turkey on the roaster oven rack or other meat rack so the turkey is raised out of the juices that collect in the bottom of the oven liner. Leave the lid on throughout cooking, removing it as little as possible to avoid slowing the cooking process. Always check the roaster oven’s use and care manual for the manufacturer’s recommended temperature setting and time.

More Ways to Cook a Turkey

Deep-fat frying, smoking, using an oven cooking bag, roasting in aluminum foil, microwaving, using a pressure cooker and cooking a frozen turkey without thawing it are other ways to get the big bird done.

For information about these methods, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at (888) 674-6854, or click here to read Turkey: Alternate Routes to the Table.

Information and photo courtesy of the USDA

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