Over the years I have explored cooking many different foods sous vide style in CVap, but never sous vide turkey. To be accurate, only things that are vacuum-sealed can be called sous vide – it’s a French thing. The literal translation of sous vide is under vacuum in English. However, the same precision cooking that you get by sealing something in a bag and dropping it into a water bath heated with an immersion circulator heater can be done in CVap.
I pulled the turkey out a few days ahead of time to defrost in the fridge. I pulled the organ meats and neck out and gave it a good rinse. Grocery store birds are technically brined with a salt solution at the factory (read the small print on the package). Next, I set up the CVap. My intent was to start the bird early in the morning and get it close to a final temperature of 160 degrees F. Then I could finish it in a 500 degree F oven to add texture. To make sure I had an idea of what was going on inside the bird I bought a new toy. A Bluetooth temperature probe. It sent a temperature chart to my iPhone. Yeah, I’m a sucker for kitchen gadgets and this one is particularly cool.
The temperature charts throughout the process.
The CVap cook and hold was set to 160 doneness and 0 Browning. Essentially the CVap is acting like an immersion circulator at this point. I put the probe in the thigh joint, put the turkey in the oven and went about my day. I knew that at some time during the day the turkey would get to the set point of 160 and that it would stay there. By keeping tabs on the progress I would get an idea of when I needed to get everything else ready.
When the sous vide turkey got to 160 and all of the side dishes were done, I fired up my convection oven to 500 degrees. I put some fresh thyme and sage in a stick of melted butter and basted the turkey with it before browning it in the convection oven.
Ten minutes in the convection oven to add texture and the turkey was done! No trussing of the bird, no hassle and everything done at the same time with very little hassle. This is my method for Thanksgiving (and anytime) turkey from this day on!