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Sous Vide role in Frozen Turkey? Practice run Thanksgiving

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  • Hugh
    Club Member
    • Jun 2017
    • 357
    • My setup:
      Gas Grill - Weber Genesis II 310
      GrillGrates (2 flipped over for searing)
      Anova Sous Vide
      22" Kettle with SnS and Drip/Griddle
      Thermapen Mk4
      iGrill2 with 4 probes

    Sous Vide role in Frozen Turkey? Practice run Thanksgiving

    I'd like to do a turkey and the only source I have is frozen. What have you folks found to be the best approach?

    Traditional thaw and cook with traditional BBQ with a quartered bird?

    Thaw the bird (at what temp) with SV, cut into pieces and BBQ?

    Cook the bird whole in SV from frozen all the way and finish with a sear to make it look pretty?

    Thoughts appreciated

  • Thunder77
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 2713
    • Halethorpe, MD
    • Weber 26.75" Kettle with SnS. Broil King Baron 5 burner. Akorn Kamado, and Akorn Jr kamado. Primo Oval Junior. Love grilling steaks, ribs, and chicken. Need to master smoked salmon Favorite cool weather beer: Sam Adams Octoberfest Favorite warm weather beer: Yuengling Traditional Lager All-time favorite drink: Single Malt Scotch

    #2
    Thaw either in fridge, or submerged in cold water. If you want a showpiece, spatchcock and cook whole. Then you can even rearrange it on a platter to look like a regular roasted turkey.
    Alternatively, here’s a great idea from chefsteps.com.
    https://www.chefsteps.com/activities...est-feast-ever
    Last edited by Thunder77; October 1st, 2017, 05:23 PM.

    Comment

    • Potkettleblack
      Club Member
      • Jun 2016
      • 1878
      • Beautiful Downtown Berwyn
      • Grill: Grilla Original / Weber Genesis EP-330
        Thermometers: Thermapen / iGrill 2 / Fireboard
        For Smoke: Chunks / Pellet Tube / Mo Pouch
        Sous Vide: Joule / Nomiku WiFi
        Disqus: Le Chef - (something something something)

      #3
      What do you want to see the end product look like?

      Comment

      • Hugh
        Club Member
        • Jun 2017
        • 357
        • My setup:
          Gas Grill - Weber Genesis II 310
          GrillGrates (2 flipped over for searing)
          Anova Sous Vide
          22" Kettle with SnS and Drip/Griddle
          Thermapen Mk4
          iGrill2 with 4 probes

        #4
        Potkettleblack - I'm going back and forth between quartering the bird, SV and finish with a sear. Or, sort of halving it if you know what I mean so I have a big hunk of breast (both sides) and a back half. I would skip the SV with this method and just BBQ with indirect heat. Finish with a sear.

        To defrost, I think I'll throw it in my large water container with the SV and set the temp to around 45? I'm assuming it will take 4 hours to defrost. Then I can cut the bird up.

        More to your point. I'm struggling with my dear wife. She likes meat well done and not juicy. So does her family who I cook for every Sunday night. I did a chuck roast last night and did 145 degrees which is the high end of what you suggest and there was a line up at the microwave. I've concluded that going forward I have to cut roasts in half and cook to two temps (like steak and burgers) instead of trying to find the perfect temp in between.

        So back to your question - I don't mind my dark meat being a little over done. It seems to retain enough juices so that I enjoy it. Breast meat is a different story. There is no compromise there. As I write this, I just concluded I will quarter the bird no matter how I cook it and cook the breasts to two different temperatures.

        So question #1 - do you vote SV or traditional BBQ?

        If you vote SV - what temps/times do you suggest a) for dark meat a little to the well done side, b) one breast normal c) one breast well done

        Gawd this is complex but I guess that is what makes it fun. It's Thanksgiving up here Monday so this is a big cook. I was thinking of doing a practice run with SV but I'm running out of runway. Kind of makes me lean towards BBQ for full cook.

        Comment


        • Potkettleblack
          Potkettleblack commented
          Editing a comment
          PS: I think I found this year's project:
          http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2...ta-recipe.html

        • EdF
          EdF commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah, I've had my eye on that Turkey Porchetta a couple of years now.

        • Hugh
          Hugh commented
          Editing a comment
          That does look like an interesting project. Let us know how it goes!
      • Ernest
        Founding Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 3133
        • Dallas, Texas
        • Pit Barrel Cooker AKA The Chicken Whisperer, WSM 14.5 AKA Smokey, WSM 22.5 AKA Big Worm, Weber Performer Platinum. KARUBECUE

        #5
        Get two turkeys, satisfy both camps.
        Cut up one sous vide at 165 degrees and finish.......quick hot deep fry!
        Or cut up one, Sous Vide at 155 (I do this with chicken) and finish........quick hot deep fry.
        Thaw the other one, cook whole on the grill. This should look thankgivingy on the table. DO it well done.

        Comment


        • Potkettleblack
          Potkettleblack commented
          Editing a comment
          Turkey have bilateral symmetry, so, really, for this crowd, you could get one turkey and bisect it to do both crowds.
      • Hugh
        Club Member
        • Jun 2017
        • 357
        • My setup:
          Gas Grill - Weber Genesis II 310
          GrillGrates (2 flipped over for searing)
          Anova Sous Vide
          22" Kettle with SnS and Drip/Griddle
          Thermapen Mk4
          iGrill2 with 4 probes

        #6
        That is not a bad option. A bird is not an expensive proposition and I can freeze the meat. I'm thinking that if I have the two breasts separated though, just as easy to cook the breasts to two different temps.

        I don't have a deep frying option. I'll have to sear on the BBQ.

        Comment

        • Hugh
          Club Member
          • Jun 2017
          • 357
          • My setup:
            Gas Grill - Weber Genesis II 310
            GrillGrates (2 flipped over for searing)
            Anova Sous Vide
            22" Kettle with SnS and Drip/Griddle
            Thermapen Mk4
            iGrill2 with 4 probes

          #7
          Is it a bad sign when I start to answer my own posts?

          Here is where I'm landing. I'm going to quarter the bird. I'll cook the legs and one breast to my inlaw's preference - well done in the breast (should leave the legs/thighs passable). I will experiment with sous vide with the other breast and try to create a delicious juicy golden turkey breast for my daughter and I. Turns the cook into fun for me. And, as they say "happy wife, happy life".

          Comment

          • Potkettleblack
            Club Member
            • Jun 2016
            • 1878
            • Beautiful Downtown Berwyn
            • Grill: Grilla Original / Weber Genesis EP-330
              Thermometers: Thermapen / iGrill 2 / Fireboard
              For Smoke: Chunks / Pellet Tube / Mo Pouch
              Sous Vide: Joule / Nomiku WiFi
              Disqus: Le Chef - (something something something)

            #8
            So, white meat turkey is, imo, inedible, at temps where dark meat turkey is just done.

            What I meant with my question is this:
            Do you want a traditional roast style turkey? A smoked turkey? A deep fried turkey? A confit of turkey? Ren Faire turkey legs... There are a lot of different traditional presentations of turkey. Over the years that I've done T-Day, I've done a vertical roast whole bird, a roulade of breast with stuffing, a sous vide leg roulade, a sous vide and close proximity smoked breast, a sous vide leg confit, and an injected and sous vided breast. Each one cooked differently, each one with it's own highs and lows.

            My only general recommendation, for most folks, is to separate light from dark, and cook to appropriate doneness. Your family, as discussed here and elsewhere, prefers meat well done (I can't fathom, but mileage does vary), so I dunno how much help I'm gonna be. I guess I'd do the light to 160-165 or so and the dark at 185. I wouldn't do 185 in a ziplock bag, as that's way above manufacturer's recommended 158* maximum. For the light, I'd either do the deep fry for finish or the close proximity smoking with grill grates, like I did last year. I like confiture, so I'd probably do confit of the wings and legs, with a quick fry to firm up the skin. Your mileage will vary, as your fam doesn't like what I do.

            The key is to figure what you want to present at the end, and work backwards from there.

            Comment


            • EdF
              EdF commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah, it's a delicate tapdance, when the key to familial happiness likes it "cooked"!

            • Ernest
              Ernest commented
              Editing a comment
              Here is the thing, why go to 185 degrees when meat is perfectly safe at 165 or even 155 when held in the hot tub time machine long enough?

            • Potkettleblack
              Potkettleblack commented
              Editing a comment
              Something like half his customers want stuff well done.

              The only thing I do at 185 is vegetable matter. I like min temps.
          • Hugh
            Club Member
            • Jun 2017
            • 357
            • My setup:
              Gas Grill - Weber Genesis II 310
              GrillGrates (2 flipped over for searing)
              Anova Sous Vide
              22" Kettle with SnS and Drip/Griddle
              Thermapen Mk4
              iGrill2 with 4 probes

            #9
            Potkettleblack - actually 1/2 my family and guests like it your way (including me). Its the 1/2 that like it well done that are causing me the headache. My lesson learned this weekend is to always cook in 2 pieces and do 2 different temps/times instead of stressing over finding a way to do it so everyone is happy.

            So I will burn a bunch of turkey on the BBQ for them.

            For me, Joule has turkey breast at 131 for 24 hours. Sound reasonable?

            Thx

            Comment


            • Potkettleblack
              Potkettleblack commented
              Editing a comment
              If it looks good in their video, why not. I think I did mine last year at 131. 8-14h would be more about what I think, but if they've adjusted the recipe in Joule, why not. For your crowd, I think 145 would be a better temp. No real jack of juice at 145.
              https://www.chefsteps.com/activities...est-feast-ever

            • Ernest
              Ernest commented
              Editing a comment
              It will be safe to eat at 131 for 24 hours but the texture will be off.
              I do bird breasts at 145, minimum 4 hours.
          • Hugh
            Club Member
            • Jun 2017
            • 357
            • My setup:
              Gas Grill - Weber Genesis II 310
              GrillGrates (2 flipped over for searing)
              Anova Sous Vide
              22" Kettle with SnS and Drip/Griddle
              Thermapen Mk4
              iGrill2 with 4 probes

            #10
            An interim update on my turkey journey.

            I am chickening out with my turkey SV (is that a pun?). The more I've read/learned about SV and a Turkey, the more I've concluded I have to practice it before I use it for a big event. Thanksgiving here in Canada is this weekend so I need to reduce my risk.

            The 'problem' I want to solve is cooking for two drastically different palates, 1/2 the audience is a 'well done crew' and half are juicy/tender kind of folks.

            I really like the idea of quartering the bird to solve the problem. I'm going to stick with a BBQ cook. I will simply pull one breast at 165 (maybe a little under) and faux cambro it while the other one cooks to some higher point (I'll let that team pick their temp). I'll let the legs cook to the second temp (I'm a white meat turkey guy so I don't care about the legs!).

            Things I"ll learn:
            - thawing a turkey with SV so I can cut up the bird (anyone any thoughts on this?)
            - how to quarter a Turkey (I've only done this to chickens - YouTube will be my friend for this)
            - and most importantly, what a turkey tastes like when it isn't cooked to dry, chalky texture. (I've never been a Turkey fan, I hope this changes me)

            Comment

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