Turkey Day is coming......

  • Regular Contributors

    I always de-bone my turkey before cooking… Generally I lay it in a pan similar to a spatchcocked bird, but without bones…

    This year I have decided to order some meat nets from Waltons, and make more of a “turkey roll” or solid loaf of turkey that can then be either cut thin on the slicer for lunch meat or thick for turkey steaks. I plan on smoking a couple of birds and baking (or possibly deep frying) a couple more.

    I have a couple questions, who’s answers may vary depending on cooking method.

    1. What type of netting should I use? I am assuming I should have a natural string netting that I could use universally and don’t have to worry about it melting. Would there be an advantage to using a different type of netting?

    2. When I de-bone a turkey, I end up with (mostly) 1 or 2 large pieces of meat and a smaller amount of “tidbits” or trimmings that will be used… Would I want to add some Transglutaminase to the meat to get it to hold together better as a loaf?

    3. If I make a turkey roll for slicing into lunch meat, would I want to grind the meat then emulsify similar to making hot dogs, using the Transglutaminase to bind the meat, then stuff in a large, collagen tube?

  • Walton's Employee

    @raider2119 First, we have a couple of videos coming out shortly on different ways to cook an entire Turkey so look for those in the next few weeks.

    For your first question I would say you could use either the #12 White Meat Netting it is safe to use up to 450° but if that is not large enough for your purposes you could also use the #16 or #20 which have larger diameters.

    For your second question the answer is yes, transglutaminase will work, it acts like a meat glue and should keep everything together.

    On your third question I have a question for you before I can answer, When you bone it out do you still have the breasts attached with the skin covering it? You might be able to tie it up with regular butchers string.

  • Regular Contributors

    Thanks for the reply, I already have the #12 meat Netting in the cart for checkout… This will work just fine for smoking / roasting to make turkey steaks…

    I also want to make turkey roll (like the thin sliced lunchmeat at the grocery store), I have never done this before… nor have I used the transglutaminase and am wondering if grinding the turkey then adding your carrot emulsifier and meat glue before stuffing it into a collagen casing will give me a sausage texture, or whether it will end up as the solid loaf I am looking for… I am hoping to do this both roasted and smoked…

    When I bone a turkey, I start by making a cut down the center of the breast bone, separating the breast into 2 halves… If the turkey is < 12 lbs, generally I can remove it in one piece and joined by the skin of the back of the bird… If it is >12 lbs, it is too unwieldy to handle and I have to separate it into 2 pieces at the backbone… Either way I try to keep as much skin intact as possible…

    I have tried using butchers string, even tried sewing the skin together but it does not hold together well… it ends up looking like a 3 year old committed surgery… and killed the bird!!!

  • Walton's Employee

    @raider2119 Thanks for the information that helps! If you grind it even if you emulsify it you are going to end up with a Bologna type product at best so I would say do not grind it unless that is what you are looking for. Debone it like you normally would, then use your transglutaminase and wrap it as tight as possible, it might even be worth putting it in a netting like #12 and then coming back through and wrapping it with butcher’s twine to really pull things together. If you do this and you are still having some separation consider scoring the inside of your breast and the “tidbits” before apply the transglutaminase.

    Whatever you end up doing try to really pack it in the casing tightly to give it the best chance to bind together like a deli meat.

    Hopefully this helps and you don’t have to try to create any more “frankenturkeys” or emergency surgeries.

    Let me know if you need anything else!

  • I do this every year. Takes half the time to cook and it literally flies off the plate. There are rarely leftovers, but when there are, slices freeze great if vac sealed and make great, easy dinners.

    I don’t use netting. I truss it up with butcher’s twine. I also make sure not to nick the skin or have any pieces that are separate. I always start at the breast of the bird. I get the carcass pretty clean, but what I don’t get off the bone goes into the stock pot. I don’t bone out the last two joints of the wing either. Those I just throw in the roasting pan and snack on them when they are done early. Here is a great video of the process link text. He has some great butchering videos.

    I also brine all my birds and either use an herbed butter or full blown stuffing inside when I roll it up.

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