- Allow time to defrost in the fridge. Figure 24 hours per five pounds of meat (put the bird on a plate, tray or newspaper).
- Pastured birds are leaner and cook more quickly than conventional birds. Estimate ~12-15 minutes per pound at 325F for a Whole Turkey; 10 minutes per pound for Half Turkeys.
- Get the juices flowing. Cover the bird with schmaltz (rendered chicken or duck fat) before roasting, and baste with pan juices frequently. Put some quartered onions in the bottom of the pan to make delicious drippings, which will add depth and flavor to your gravy.
- We don’t recommend brining since kosher meat is already salted, but here are some notes on how to do it if you want to try anyways.
- Use a meat thermometer and check it regularly. This is the best way to ensure you don’t overcook your turkey. Remember the temperature will continue to rise about 10F a er you take the bird out of the oven. We cook our turkey to 165F.
- The breast may cook more quickly than the legs and thighs. If the breast is done, cover it with foil to prevent drying out. Alternatively, remove the leg/thighs and return those to the oven to finish cooking.
- The meat may still look “pink” even if it has reached temperature. Don’t continue to cook the bird! It is done, even though it may look a little pink.
After many years of cooking pastured turkeys, we've developed these important tips and reminders for best success. The key things to remember: the bird will cook more quickly than you are used to, and the meat may still look a little 'pink' even if it is done. Use a meat thermometer to ensure you don't overcook the bird!
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
Anna first fell in love with cooking in her mother and grandmother's kitchen, and all over again when she grew organic vegetables at the Adamah farm. Combining fresh, seasonal produce with incredible quality meats is one of her passions.