Turkey and Stuffing

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Mike McGrath

New member

I am a huge fan of turkey on the weber - but I sometime miss the traditional stuffing (crutons, sausage, celery, onion, etc.) stuffed in the bird. Do you have any suggestions for getting a stuffing experience with a grilled bird?


p.s. I sure hope your book tour takes you to the twin cities this summer ...

Jamie Purviance

TVWBB Super Fan
Hi Mike --
It's good to hear from you. I stay away from stuffing turkeys. When the stuffing is inside that bird, it just takes an awfully long time to bring it up to a safe temperature. That give bacteria a good chance to grow in the warm, moist environment. As much as my crazy aunts and uncles get under my skin, I wouldn't want to send them home with plumbing problems, if you know what I mean.

Chris Allingham

Staff member

Here's something from Cook's Illustrated that you might be able to adapt. I believe they used two probe thermometers--one to measure the turkey, the other to measure the stuffing to make sure it achieved a safe temp of at least 165*F:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The Problem

There is something undeniably festive about a stuffed roasted turkey, and for many people the holidays just aren't the holidays without one. Every year, though, we are warned that for health and safety reasons, turkeys are best roasted unstuffed. Despite these warnings, many cooks continue to stuff their holiday bird. For the sake of flavorful, moist, turkey-infused stuffing, these cooks sacrifice perfectly cooked breast meat and risk food-borne illness from underdone stuffing.

The Goal

We wanted to find a way to safely and successfully roast a stuffed turkey, making sure that the breast meat would be succulent and the stuffing fully cooked. Before we began, we decided to limit our turkey to a maximum of 15 pounds, because it is just too difficult to safely stuff and roast a larger bird.

The Solution

Heat the stuffing in the microwave before placing it in the bird to give it a head start on cooking. Brine the bird to add flavor and moisture (brining will not, as we feared, make the stuffing soggy or overly salty). For even more insurance that the easily dried out breast meat will stay moist, roast the turkey breast-side down for the first three hours to protect it from the direct heat of the oven, then flip and finish breast-side up until done (and browned). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Here's a blurb from http://busycooks.about.com/od/.../stuffingscience.htm that gives a bit more detail on the Cook's Illustrated process:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Stuffing a turkey is a must for Thanksgiving dinner. There has been a warning from food scientists that we all risk food poisoning by roasting a turkey with stuffing, since the middle of the stuffing doesn't reach a safe temperature quickly enough. Even with this warning, most people continue to stuff their Thanksgiving turkeys.

Cook's Illustrated has come up with a way around this problem. They heat the stuffing in the microwave on HIGH for 6-8 minutes, stirring twice during cooking, until it reaches a temperature of 130 degrees. (If you don't have a food thermometer [get one!!] the stuffing should be too hot to handle with your bare hands.) Then stuff the turkey and place it immediately in the oven. NEVER stuff the turkey ahead of time; you are just asking for food poisoning. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

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