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  • Wild or Store Bought

    What is your preference for Turkeys ? I was at a home that cooked both and I have to say the wild turkey was very good. No white meat and very moist in the wild bird. At the end of the meal I think it was a tie as to how much was eaten of each.

  • #2
    Uhhmmm.... jimbo, take it from a turkey hunter. Wild or tame, the breast of a turkey is "white" meat. Legs, thighs and wings are "dark" meat.

    Just like all wild game, turkeys cook up dry. A wild turkey will never be as moist as an infused, injected "ButterBall" from the grocery store.

    That doesn't mean the wild turkey is any less delectable, you just have to understand what you're dealing with.

    I've also offered wild/domestic turkeys on a holiday table.
    Yes! The wild bird disappeared first.

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    • #3
      I have had the occasion only once to have a go at a wild turkey dinner. The preparer must have had a secret of some kind, because the breast meat was not dry at all, moist and excellent ! From that meal, I had always thought wild turkey was no different in taste, maybe even somewhat better 🦃 🤔

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bowhunter75richard View Post
        I have had the occasion only once to have a go at a wild turkey dinner. The preparer must have had a secret of some kind, because the breast meat was not dry at all, moist and excellent ! From that meal, I had always thought wild turkey was no different in taste, maybe even somewhat better 🦃 🤔
        Several years ago ('08?), a nephew wanted a whole turkey for T'giving.
        I killed one that plucked and gutted, weighed 17 pounds!
        First, AND LAST, wild turkey I ever plucked! LOL!
        Thankfully, I have an old cast iron wash pot and was able to scald that sucker before plucking....and yes, he cooked up quite moist!
        Could be that I always skin a turkey. That plucking "bidness" is some tedious work!

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        • #5
          A number of years back my parents hosted a big T-day dinner with extended family. Mom was always intimidated with cooking wild game but ended up roasting two birds, one store bought and one I’d killed that fall. The only leftovers were from the domestic bird, most of the guests thought the wild bird had better flavor.

          Probably didn’t hurt that the wild bird was a 10-12lb Jennie that had been eating bugs and greens all summer and not some 20 lb spring Tom that had been following a manure spreader all winter, lol.

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          • #6
            I do prefer a wild bird, I just haven't been able to get out.

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            • #7
              The cooking process was altered some this year. The breast bone was removed from the bird and the meat was almost flat. Cooked thoroughly and I think a time saving. Meat was excellent.

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              • #8
                I like a Butterball roasted in a cooking bag to keep it moist. However, I have had some delicious wild turkey too, depending on how it is cooked.

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                • #9
                  I had Thanksgiving dinner at a neighbors house, she prepared a smoked turkey. It was okay, but had a definite smoked ham taste and kind of negated the more preferred ‘turkey’ flavor which was the intended purpose to begin with. Oh, well, it filled me up, so I guess.......so what ! Is smoked turkey preferred by some of you?

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                  • #10
                    Roast Turkey for us. Tried this year to take the breast bone out - came out good.

                    I learned why deep fryers are so dangerous. The bird hangs from a hook - when the meat cooks, it weakens, the bird falls into the oil and splashes the burner that then catches fire.
                    Last edited by jhjimbo; 11-27-2021, 11:28 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post
                      Roast Turkey for us. Tried this year to take the breast bone out - came out good.

                      I learned why deep fryers are so dangerous. The bird hangs from a hook - when the meat cooks, it weakens, the bird falls into the oil and splashes the burner that then catches fire.
                      Close, but no cigar.
                      1) people stupidly put too much oil in the fryer and the oil overflows onto the burner
                      2) most commonly, when the moisture (or ice) in/on the turkey hits the hot oil, it immediately turns to steam in an explosive reaction*
                      3) idiots "drop" the bird into the oil.

                      In 99% of cases, when the oil hits the burner and flame flares up, the human reaction is to "drop" the bird and move away from the flame. That just makes a bad situation worse.

                      "Frying" turkeys has burned many homes.

                      * - that's why bacon and cheap hamburger meat pop and sizzle. You're cooking the water out of it.

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                      • #12
                        jimbo, did you ever mould your own bullets? I've moulded muzzle loader bullets, pistol bullets, sinkers and made my own shot.
                        Melting lead, not only the lead vapor but a single drop of water in your lead pot can lead to an explosive reaction.
                        Mitch had a drop of sweat fall off his nose into his lead pot. His shop looked like somebody shot it with a shotgun. Fortunately, he was untouched.
                        Danny wasn't so lucky. He was making muzzle loader bullets. He washed his dipper (a spoon), dried it and stuck it in his lead pot. It wasn't dry! He spent several hours at the hospital having the lead splatter dug out of his chest, face and stomach!
                        Not only that, his wife made him redo her kitchen! LOL!

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                        • #13
                          Depending on your oven and how the bird is positioned or prepped, you could have breast meat fully cooked and heading for dry, while your dark meat hasn't even reached safe temperature yet. Usually the disparity isn't that extreme, but that's always been the real trick with a whole bird, fully cooking it all without letting the breast meat cook too much. Dark meat, on the other hand, can stand a little overcooking and not get terribly dry.

                          No secret to keeping meat moist: Just don't overcook it.

                          There's also brining. Once I learned how to do that properly, it changed everything. S ome cooks think brining is simply the same as marinating, but it's not. Brining's main purpose is filling the meat up with moisture; extra flavorings may or may not be part of the picture. In a proper 24-hour brine soak, the salt pulls the moisture out of meat, but then over time, helps reabsorption of the moisture back into the meat. Something to do with the water and protein molecules, if I remember my Alton Brown "Good Eats" correctly.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MattM37 View Post
                            Depending on your oven and how the bird is positioned or prepped, you could have breast meat fully cooked and heading for dry, while your dark meat hasn't even reached safe temperature yet. Usually the disparity isn't that extreme, but that's always been the real trick with a whole bird, fully cooking it all without letting the breast meat cook too much. Dark meat, on the other hand, can stand a little overcooking and not get terribly dry.

                            No secret to keeping meat moist: Just don't overcook it.

                            There's also brining. Once I learned how to do that properly, it changed everything. S ome cooks think brining is simply the same as marinating, but it's not. Brining's main purpose is filling the meat up with moisture; extra flavorings may or may not be part of the picture. In a proper 24-hour brine soak, the salt pulls the moisture out of meat, but then over time, helps reabsorption of the moisture back into the meat. Something to do with the water and protein molecules, if I remember my Alton Brown "Good Eats" correctly.
                            I'm not sure, but I think it was you that talked about removing a turkey breast whole?

                            I remove the breast whole and separate the legs and thighs.
                            I use the big, deep, oval foil pans and arrange breast and thighs together in the pan.
                            Pepper, a touch of rubbed sage and at least one onion, if not 2, garlic out the wahzoo.
                            Then two quarts of chicken stock and cover with 2 to 3 layers of foil, making sure it's (the tin foil!) sealed around the top of the pan.
                            In the oven at 350° for an hour. Reduce to 250° and cooked for 3 to 4 more hours.
                            Comes out tender and juicy!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              [QUOTE=FirstBubba;n786445]

                              I'm not sure, but I think it was you that talked about removing a turkey breast whole?

                              I remove the breast whole and separate the legs and thighs.
                              I use the big, deep, oval foil pans and arrange breast and thighs together in the pan.
                              Pepper, a touch of rubbed sage and at least one onion, if not 2, garlic out the wahzoo.
                              Then two quarts of chicken stock and cover with 2 to 3 layers of foil, making sure it's (the tin foil!) sealed around the top of the pan.
                              In the oven at 350° for an hour. Reduce to 250° and cooked for 3 to 4 more hours.
                              Comes out tender and juicy!

                              Comment

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