Just in time for Thanksgiving
November 2, 2005 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Just in time for Thanksgiving... from the people who make Cooks Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen, a free website full of advice for planning your harvest celebration.
posted by crunchland (32 comments total)

 
Cook's Illustrated is a great, great magazine.
posted by selfnoise at 1:06 PM on November 2, 2005


Who likes Turducken?
posted by Viomeda at 1:44 PM on November 2, 2005


So they pooh-pooh the canned cranberry sauce. I love the stuff! It's not a complete table without the cranberry sauce jiggling in the bowl, small ridges from the can glistening in the candlelight. My bro-in-law hated cranberry sauce - until he came to our house and ate the canned stuff. Turned out his dad had been making his own for years and it was practically inedible. So vive le can!
posted by killy willy at 1:47 PM on November 2, 2005


I think the canned variety should be viewed as a completely different substance from actual cranberry sauce, and thus judged on its own merits.
posted by selfnoise at 1:50 PM on November 2, 2005


The only truly pressing question concerning the canned cran is: mash up with a spoon or leave in the pleasing cylindrical shape?
posted by ToasT at 1:53 PM on November 2, 2005


They want you to sign up with name and address just to see the recipes?
posted by caddis at 1:59 PM on November 2, 2005


Considering they usually want you to subscribe to their magazine, it seems like a fair cost.
posted by smackfu at 2:01 PM on November 2, 2005


Canned v. Homemade Cranberry sauce is like jelly v. jam. Your choice usually depends on if you like chunks.

I like home-made because I can add things like orange-zest or apple and walnut bits.
posted by Moral Animal at 2:03 PM on November 2, 2005


Cheesecloth. You can only cook a turkey properly with cheesecloth.
posted by jon_kill at 2:04 PM on November 2, 2005


Come on, make with the login to check out the recipes. The Bugmenot, they doooo nohathing!
posted by mctsonic at 2:07 PM on November 2, 2005


Try using cooksillustrated@dodgeit.com
posted by fourstar at 2:43 PM on November 2, 2005


I think the canned variety should be viewed as a completely different substance from actual cranberry sauce

Matter. Energy. Plasma. Canned cranberry sauce.

Sounds good to me!
I actually like the stuff, it's just ... unattractive right out of the can, with that ... can-shape
posted by dhartung at 2:46 PM on November 2, 2005


Thanksgiving, my butt, it's only November second!
posted by Citizen Premier at 2:57 PM on November 2, 2005


Yeah, BTW Food Network doesn't even roll out their Thanksgiving menu push until November 10th or 12th.
posted by fourstar at 3:11 PM on November 2, 2005


As a foodie, I must admit, I look forward to Thanksgiving more than I do Christmas, so I've been thinking about that one meal for weeks already, C.P.
posted by crunchland at 3:13 PM on November 2, 2005


The only truly pressing question concerning the canned cran is: mash up with a spoon or leave in the pleasing cylindrical shape?

Leave it, for God's sake. Jeez. Next thing you'll be suggesting that it's somehow acceptable to cut a grilled-cheese sammitch into rectangles instead of triangles.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:30 PM on November 2, 2005


Sigh. I wish I knew somebody that was going to be making this. Or even a restaurant that would prepare it. I would pay $$$ for a meal out at a restaurant that served it.
posted by alumshubby at 3:47 PM on November 2, 2005


Turducken, delivered right to your door, from Lafayette, LA.
posted by crunchland at 4:41 PM on November 2, 2005


Has anyone tried deep-fried turkey? It's supposed to be terrific (the frying locks in the juices), but the process sounds expensive and dangerous.
posted by brain_drain at 4:58 PM on November 2, 2005


Deep fried turkey is good, you might find a local with a fryer who will sell you one allready cooked.

Cooks Illustrated recipes just seem to work, gold standard.
posted by stbalbach at 5:40 PM on November 2, 2005


the process sounds expensive and dangerous

Yeah -- every year, or two, I seem to recall seeing television reports of a house, garage or carport lost to ensuing flames!
posted by ericb at 5:44 PM on November 2, 2005


I've done it several times. It is dangerous, but no more dangerous than cooking on your grill, provided you know what you're doing.

The most dangerous part of deep-frying a turkey is that people put too much oil in the pot, and then plunge in the turkey, causing a spill of molten oil over an open flame. Not good. So the biggest tip I can give for anyone planning on doing it for the first time is, before you pour your oil into the cauldron, put your turkey in first, and fill it up with water, so that the level of the water is at least 4-6 inches from the top. Then remove the turkey and note the level of the water without it. This is how much oil you should put in. And when you do put it in, drop it in as slowly as you're able. The water in your turkey will cause the hot oil to boil furiously. Slowly lowering it in will minimize molten oil overflow.

That, and don't try to do it on your stove in your kitchen... I've seen the effects of people trying to do that... after the fire department leaves.

So do it in your back yard, away from any buildings. And you might want to put down a piece of plywood for the inevitable oil spillage.
posted by crunchland at 5:46 PM on November 2, 2005


crunchland speaks Truth. Especially about the Water Before Oil thing.

Common sense ain't that common. The turkey tastes fucking great, though.
posted by Cyrano at 6:18 PM on November 2, 2005


I can't wait for the Indian Pudding for dessert. Pumpkin pie is for the masses.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 7:49 PM on November 2, 2005


Cooks Illustrated is the revealed word of God, as far as I'm concerned.

Their best tip: brine the turkey. Once you have brined, you will never go back.
posted by ottereroticist at 9:40 PM on November 2, 2005


I'm actually thinking about ordering the turducken, but I don't know a whole lot of people where I'm living and most of it would go to waste. Maybe if I do a MeFi meetup...
posted by alumshubby at 3:05 AM on November 3, 2005




Not to dissuade you from your get-together, alums, but if all else fails, they sell a 4-lb turducken, too.

Oh, and don't brine and deep fry. The extra moisture in your turkey would probably cause an explosion of nuclear proportions.

But, yeah, otter ... I think Cooks Illustrated is on the vanguard of the brining technique.
posted by crunchland at 5:15 AM on November 3, 2005


Ottereroticist is right on both counts. I starting brining my Thanksgiving turkeys about three years ago on the advice of Cook's Illustrated and it makes all the difference. The only drawback is that since I've started doing it, my family expects me to make Thanksgiving dinner for everyone every year.

Cook's Illustrated also has a fantastic recipe for beef brisket where you grill/smoke a big honkin' brisket on the grill for flavor and then finish it off in the oven. It's a summer tradition at our house. I bet the same could be done with a whole turkey. Hmmmm.
posted by Otis at 5:19 AM on November 3, 2005


Er... Thanksgiving was last month, people.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:45 AM on November 3, 2005


*fumes*
*Shakes fist*
Crazy Canuck!!!
posted by Floydd at 1:57 PM on November 3, 2005


We did a turkey taste test last year: deep fried vs. barbecued vs. smoked.

Deep fried wins for the crisp salty skin; smoked wins for the flavorful white meat; and barbecued takes the overall flavor and tenderness crown.

For my money, brining then BBQing in the Weber, with extra smoke on the coals, is the way to go.

(Oh, and we did brine before deep frying. The trick is to thoroughly drain and pat dry, then lower slowly into the oil.)
posted by ottereroticist at 2:57 PM on November 3, 2005


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