November 22, 2004 7:22 AM   Subscribe

Somewhere I saw advertised a metal rod that you stick into the cavity of a turkey to conduct heat into the stuffing to eliminate the bird/stuffing safe temperature conflict. Google fails me. Anyone know about this? Does it work? Where can I get one before Thursday?

I'm doing a turkey for the first time this year and my wife is doing the stuffing. We're at odds about cooking it inside the bird. She says it tastes better inside the bird. I agree, but to cook the stuffing requires overcooking the bird. This rod might solve my problem and save my marriage.
posted by bondcliff to Food & Drink (12 answers total)
Response by poster: Guh. Must. Exhaust. All. Google. Possibilities.

Here it is.

So, skip the first question. Has anyone used these? Do they work? Can I improvise from Home Depot? What we need is ask.altonbrown.com
posted by bondcliff at 7:28 AM on November 22, 2004

This doesn't directly answer the question, but since you mentioned AB, why not try the stuffing-inside-the-bird method he demonstrated on last week's stuffing episode of Good Eats? In case you missed it, it involves putting the stuffing inside a cotton bag (or muslin, or cheesecloth), nuking it, then sticking it inside the bird. He claims they'll be "done" at the same time this way.

I'm shocked that they're not re-running the episode before Turkey Day, but you can probably ask for details over at the fan page; I'm sure someone's got the episode recorded.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:38 AM on November 22, 2004

Or you could just try the FoodTV web site.
posted by Acetylene at 7:42 AM on November 22, 2004

Good point. Silly me. I think I've completely blocked out the FoodTV website as a source for Good Eats recipes because it has been (at least in the past) inaccurate (and sometimes in disastrous ways). The hardcore folks at the fan page tend to pay very close attention. (I wasn't paying particularly close attention during the episode, so I can't say whether or not the temperatures/times are accurate.)
posted by uncleozzy at 7:50 AM on November 22, 2004

Alton's turkey recipe, and an interview from 2001 with Q&A about Thanksgiving. Also, another interview from a year earlier that might be of interest.
posted by bh at 8:22 AM on November 22, 2004

Inevitable derail.

You're still pulling something out of a turkey's very goatsefied asshole and eating it, eww.

I prefer to stuff the bird chock-full of aromatics -- carrots, onions, celery, herbs'n'spices -- and let that help flavor the meat. It's goo-oo-ood.

Filling the bird with bread isn't going to help the bird taste any better, and any flavors the bird adds to the bread you can get by incorporating some pan-juices or finished gravy into the stuffing recipe.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:50 AM on November 22, 2004

I've heard anecdotally that a largeish metal spoon will accomplish the same purpose as that wand. I've never tried it, since I'm a "stuffing outside the bird" guy.
posted by O9scar at 9:13 AM on November 22, 2004

Don't. Nuke. The. Stuffing.

I love Alton Brown with a mad, unholy passion, but he's wrong on this one. If you nuke the stuffing, the bread will be all gummy and horrible.

I always vote for putting some stuffing in the bird, and cooking some in a casserole. That way, those who want to dice with death can eat the bird-stuffing, and those who put salmonella before flavor can eat the casserole-stuffing. Invariably, there will be bird-stuffing left, which you can then remove from the bird and cook in a casserole, and which will be both delicious and safe.

And, having said all of that, metal barbecue/shish kebab skewers work just fine on the same principle, and they are easy to find.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:41 AM on November 22, 2004

And you do cook your turkey "upside-down", right? Because it will never be dry if you do that.

The basic method is that you put the turkey in the pan/on the rack breast down for all but the last hour to forty-five minutes of cooking (depending on size), when you turn it over so the breast skin will be nice and brown. It is the simplest and best way to avoid the horror of a) dry turkey breast, and b) greasy turkey back.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:43 AM on November 22, 2004

You're still pulling something out of a turkey's very goatsefied asshole and eating it, eww.

If you don't like that, you don't want to know what sausages are made of.

posted by shepd at 9:59 AM on November 22, 2004

Jamie Oliver suggested putting the stuffing under the skin of the breast. This pacifies the "stuffing inside the bird" camp, and eliminates the problem of the breast cooking more quickly than the other parts.
posted by grateful at 11:31 AM on November 22, 2004

The new Cooks Illustrated Best Recipes has a section on this topic and, IIRC, they recommend using a microwave to raise the temp in the stuffing past the danger zone. Chris Kimball really, really dislikes using microwaves in any sort of cookery, so if he says to do it, it must not have ruined their stuffing.

Also, I thank the CI crew tried stuffing the turkey with an tube made of aluminum foil, probably the ancestor of the metal rod thing.

OK, now I found some of the CI info here:
What’s your stance on stuffing?

Most of the time, we roast unstuffed birds. Cooking the stuffing in a stuffed bird to a safe internal temperature takes quite a while and usually results in overcooked meat. If it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a stuffed turkey on your table, you can reduce the roasting time (and the risk of dry turkey) by heating the stuffing before spooning it into the cavity of the turkey. Heat the stuffing in the microwave on high power until very hot (120 to 130 degrees), or 6 to 8 minutes.

posted by turbodog at 1:49 PM on November 22, 2004

« Older Firefox problem   |   Help me pick a new monitor Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.