How To Cook A 27 Pound Turkey?

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I always cook the turkey and this year at Price Chopper all they had were small birds and monsters so I got this 27 pound frozen Butterball. It looks like it could be saddled. My plan is to season it the day before and leave it in the fridge overnight then cook it at high heat 450 for 30 minutes and reduce to 325 leaving it uncovered with a thermometer in it,, but I never cooked one this big and the question is will it dry out? I have 21 people coming. 21 very hard to please and picky people. There is no "flipping a bird" this big. Anyone have experience with this size bird?
 
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I have done a 25# before but I always use the rotisserie on my gas grill to cook turkeys.
 

Husky25

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I was told by the butcher at Lucky Goat in East Hampton that the key is to brine the bird for at least 24 hours and to keep the entire thing submerged the entire time.
 
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I was told by the butcher at Lucky Goat in East Hampton that the key is to brine the bird for at least 24 hours and to keep the entire thing submerged the entire time.
I would be very careful Brining a Butterball which most likely is already loaded with injected sodium.

But you know what? Its Turkey. Can you make it worse by way over salting it? Taste wise? Probably not. Just keep some blood pressure meds nearby.
 
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Brine the bird. Go out and get a 5 gallon bucket and lid from home depot, make a brine solution (water, salt, sugar) and then add in some aromatics. I think last year I went with some apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, rosemary, peppercorns, coriander, orange peel) - but go nuts.. it'll only make the bird more tender and juicy. It was cold enough so I just left it in my garage overnight and then pulled it to cook after being in there for about 24 hours.
 
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I always cook the turkey and this year at Price Chopper all they had were small birds and monsters so I got this 27 pound frozen Butterball. It looks like it could be saddled. My plan is to season it the day before and leave it in the fridge overnight then cook it at high heat 450 for 30 minutes and reduce to 325 leaving it uncovered with a thermometer in it,, but I never cooked one this big and the question is will it dry out? I have 21 people coming. 21 very hard to please and picky people. There is no "flipping a bird" this big. Anyone have experience with this size bird?

Whelp.... Yes , I cooked a 26 lb one last year and usually am around there every year.

But I Spatchcock it and throw on my smoker. So its a little different. But I DO cook it at 325 on the smoker.

So to apply some of my trial and error on your question.

1) Forgo the 30 minute high heat. Throw it at 325 for the whole cook. A bird that large is more important to get even, and the constant temp will make that easier
2) baste it periodically
3) Use an instant read thermometer to measure the different parts of the bird, and rotate in oven accordingly, some parts of your oven (near burners) can cook a little hotter than others. use that to your advantage. (to get the Dark meat 5 degrees up from White)
4) dont listen to anyone on here about brining that bird. Look at the ingredients on it. Its most likely already pre-brined. (Check the ingredients label though to confirm that, I bet it mentions "8% solution" or something along those lines. If it does, forget the brine. If it doesnt then brine away)
 
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storrsroars

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How to cook a 27 lb turkey?

Same way you would a 2-year old*.

Just make sure you remove the organs.

*Recipe from "Idi Amin's Kampala Kitchen".
 

Husky25

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I would be very careful Brining a Butterball which most likely is already loaded with injected sodium.

But you know what? Its Turkey. Can you make it worse by way over salting it? Taste wise? Probably not. Just keep some blood pressure meds nearby.
Your views on traditional Thanksgiving cuisine notwithstanding, it's only one day and an overseasoned bird should be the least of anyone's worries. This morning, my wife asked what else we needed as host this year and my thoughts immediately went to what I need to replenish in my liquor cabinet before next Wednesday evening.

For me, I've said on numerous occasions that turkey probably occupies the least amount of real estate on my plate.
 
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Your views on traditional Thanksgiving cuisine notwithstanding, it's only one day and an overseasoned bird should be the least of anyone's worries. This morning, my wife asked what else we needed as host this year and my thoughts immediately went to what I need to replenish in my liquor cabinet before next Wednesday evening.

For me, I've said on numerous occasions that turkey probably occupies the least amount of real estate on my plate.

Just saying that brining a pre injected frozen butterball does more harm than good. (and while saltiness is the main noticeable thing, it will make the texture different too, and not in a pleasing way). I like Jibsey (he possesses my favorite avatar) . Trying to save him some headaches.
 
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Have no fear.

1) Another vote on brining as a must. A basic brine is 1 gallon water, 1/2 cup salt, 1 cup sugar (white or brown). You can double or triple it. Add in garlic, lemons, orange peels, whatever.....but keep the base simple. And brine for 24 hrs.

2) Something that big, I'd roast it over night. Put it in at midnight at 325 with foil tenting it in. Get up once in the middle of the night to baste it. The next morning, about an hour before serving, remove the foil and turn the heat to 425 to brown it for 20-30 minutes. Remove it and let it sit for another 20 minutes to let the meat settle. Unless you're eating at 4 or later, you won't have to worry about overcooking it at that temp with the brining done.

Always use a meat thermometer.
Always empty the bag of innards and neck into the roasting pan.
Always use the pan drippings for gravy.
 
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Whelp.... Yes I, I cooked a 26 lb one last year and usually am around there every year.

But I Spatchcock it
The rest of his post is pretty good advice, but this is the most important. It will allow the dark meat to cook more quickly since you want that to get to a higher temp than the breast.

Another tip: Take the bird out of the fridge a bit before you want to start cooking it, but put some ice in a bag and cover the breast ONLY with it, so the breast starts at a lower temp than the rest. Don't leave it out for longer than 2 hours for food safety reasons. (And obviously remove the bag before you start cooking).

Cook it all until the breast gets to 150. If you have a thermometer with an alarm, put it in the coldest part of the breast, and set it for 150. When it hits 150, start a timer. Pull it out once 4 minutes have elapsed. According to USDA guidelines, turkey will be pasteurized at 165 instantly, or in 3.7 minutes at 150. Muuuuch juicier at 150 than 165.

Yes, dry brine (lightly salt under skin) a pre-injected turkey the night before. Don't waste your time on a wet brine, a lot of work for minimal gain. Spend your energy making a better gravy and just do the dry brine, which is the most important part. They under-season the injections for a wide palate and saltier drippings makes for better gravy so it's fine to do it on a pre-injected bird.

Credentials: I have a 2 page outline for how I do my turkey each year so I don't forget any steps.
 
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The rest of his post is pretty good advice, but this is the most important. It will allow the dark meat to cook more quickly since you want that to get to a higher temp than the breast.

Another tip: Take the bird out of the fridge a bit before you want to start cooking it, but put some ice in a bag and cover the breast ONLY with it, so the breast starts at a lower temp than the rest. Don't leave it out for longer than 2 hours for food safety reasons.

Cook it all until the breast gets to 150. If you have a thermometer with an alarm, put it in the coldest part of the breast, and set it for 150. When it hits 150, start a timer. Pull it out once 4 minutes have elapsed. According to USDA guidelines, turkey will be pasteurized at 165 instantly, or in 3.7 minutes at 150. Muuuuch juicier at 150 than 165.

Yes, dry brine (lightly salt on skin) a pre-injected turkey the night before. They under-season the injections for a wide palate and saltier drippings makes for better gravy.

Credentials: I have a 2 page outline for how I do my turkey each year so I don't forget any steps.

Some people dont like to Spatchcock for Thanksgiving because it ruins the TV/Movies notion of the whole picturesque golden bird sitting on your table deal. Thats fine.

But from a proper cooking standpoint? Its the way to go, for all large birds.
 
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Butterball should not dry out. 325 oven, If you are stuffing...around 15 minutes per pound. So 27 pounds stuffed will take a long time Unstuffed 12 to 15 minutes per pound. They do not need basting. Cover with aluminum for the last hour. since it is your first time....probably don't want to get too fancy. These are good basic instructions. Last year I made a 23 lb BB and it came out perfect.
 
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The secret, jibs, is pimento sticks. You might have to drop about $200 but the flavor!!!

I have a few left. Doing a Jerk Turkey is a great idea, but the fire/temp management in this weather would be a nightmare
 
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The rest of his post is pretty good advice, but this is the most important. It will allow the dark meat to cook more quickly since you want that to get to a higher temp than the breast.
If you spatchcock a 27 lb bird, what do you put it in/on? A grill or smoker would work, but a conventional oven and roasting pan would be too small, no?
 
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The rest of his post is pretty good advice, but this is the most important. It will allow the dark meat to cook more quickly since you want that to get to a higher temp than the breast.

Another tip: Take the bird out of the fridge a bit before you want to start cooking it, but put some ice in a bag and cover the breast ONLY with it, so the breast starts at a lower temp than the rest. Don't leave it out for longer than 2 hours for food safety reasons.

Cook it all until the breast gets to 150. If you have a thermometer with an alarm, put it in the coldest part of the breast, and set it for 150. When it hits 150, start a timer. Pull it out once 4 minutes have elapsed. According to USDA guidelines, turkey will be pasteurized at 165 instantly, or in 3.7 minutes at 150. Muuuuch juicier at 150 than 165.

Yes, dry brine (lightly salt under skin) a pre-injected turkey the night before. Don't waste your time on a wet brine, a lot of work for minimal gain. Spend your energy making a better gravy and just do the dry brine, which is the most important part. They under-season the injections for a wide palate and saltier drippings makes for better gravy so it's fine to do it on a pre-injected bird.

Credentials: I have a 2 page outline for how I do my turkey each year so I don't forget any steps.
Yes the bird has 8% solution already injected in it. So let me get this straight, I should put an "ice bra" on my turkey?
 

Husky25

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Some people dont like to Spatchcock for Thanksgiving because it ruins the TV/Movies notion of the whole picturesque golden bird sitting on your table deal. Thats fine.

But from a proper cooking standpoint? Its the way to go, for all large birds.
I always picture the Griswold Family Christmas Turkey jerky. The vision is so not worth the subpar flavor of an improperly prepared meal.

He's going to be in Albany (us in CT), but we typically know that dinner is about to be served when we hear the whirl of my Dad's electric carving knife from 1976. I may have to order one just for the occasion. It won't be the same, but close enough.
 
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If you spatchcock a 27 lb bird, what do you put it in/on? A grill or smoker would work, but a conventional oven and roasting pan would be too small, no?
I skip the roasting pan and go rimmed sheet pan with wire rack on top for more air contact. It's true that's a big bird, would probably measure to get the dimensions. Oven size might be an issue, too.
 
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I normally fry it but you need to make sure you get a fryer that can handle the size.
 

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