It is easy to cook the perfect turkey in a CVap® oven. There are so many sensory delights to appreciate in a properly roasted turkey. The skin should have a consistent golden brown hue. The perfect turkey has a crisp texture that is audible when met with a knife. 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:
aromatics (onion, celery, carrot)
To Brine or Not to Brine?
The benefit of brining a perfect 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.
The Science of a Perfect Turkey
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 (new CVap setting would be 190°F Vapor temp/290°F Air temp). 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 (new CVap setting would be 180°F Vapor temp/230°F Air temp) 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!