Pastured Turkey Cooking Tips

turkeyhomepageWe’ve learned from cooking many a pastured turkey that the following few pointers will really make a difference!  Keep them in mind as you plan and prepare your whole roasted turkey for Thanksgiving, Pesach, or any other holiday occasion!

We can help!  If you have any questions at all as you prepare to dive in, whether this is your first turkey or your fiftieth, please contact us and we’ll do our best to set you on the path to a successful Turkey dinner!
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– Phone: 888-790-5781

  1. Allow time to defrost in the fridge.  Figure 24hrs per 5lbs meat (put the bird on a plate, tray or newspaper).  If you need to defrost the bird more quickly, follow these guidelines.
  2. Pastured Birds are leaner and cook more quickly than conventional birds.  Estimate ~12-15 minutes per pound at 325F.
  3. Get the juices flowing.  Cover the bird with shmaltz (rendered chicken fat) before roasting, and baste with pan juices frequently.  Throw a couple quartered onions in the bottom of the pan to make delicious drippings, which will add depth and flavor to your gravy.
  4. We don’t recommend brining since kosher meat is already salted.  If you really want to brine, soak the bird in a few batches of cold water to remove salt before you start.
  5. Use a meat thermometer and check it regularly.  This is the best way to ensure you won’t overcook your turkey.  Remember the temperature will continue to rise about 10F after you take the bird out of the oven.  We cook our turkey to 165F.
  6. The breast may cook more quickly than the legs and thighs.  If the breasts are done, cover them with foil to prevent drying out, or even better, carve them off when they are done, then return the carcass and drumsticks/thighs to the oven to finish baking.
  7. The meat may still look “pink” even if it has reached appropriate temperature.  Don’t continue to cook the bird.  It’s done, even though it may look a little pink.

Find whole kosher pastured turkeys and a variety of select turkey cuts at Grow and Behold Foods!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Mike Moskos says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. Ruined my first pastured turkey by trying to cook it like a grocery store “product”, but have learned a lot since. Based on another turkey farmer, I have had really good luck with 425F as the roasting temp. My solution for the breast cooking faster is to dissect the whole bird first, but leaving the breast intact (not cut in half) and roasting it things separately. For a big meal like Thanksgiving, most people just eat the breast any way. Cook the dark meat and wings before Thanksgiving and then you have all the bones for stock to use for stuffing, etc. I’m still trying to come up with utopia, but for the dark meat, I’ve found starting at 375F works, then turn over so they’re skin side up and increase to 425F. But, I’m going to try your 325F method. 425F by the way, is AWESOME for chicken parts–juicy inside, to die for crispy skin.

  2. Monica says:

    Any cooking tips for roasting half a turkey

    1. Naomi Heisler says:

      Hi Monica,

      Thank you for checking in with us–go ahead and check out this post for some great half-turkey cooking tips!

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