J D Farms’ Turkey 101

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Thanks to J D Farms Specialty Turkey Store for sharing their information on turkey.


When ordering, plan on 1 lb of turkey for each adult and 1/2 lb of turkey for each child. This will provide enough meat to go around and leave a little bit left for the next day’s sandwiches.

Thawing Never thaw turkey at room temperature! Leave turkey in its original packaging and follow one of these methods:

Fast Method Place wrapped, frozen turkey in sink and cover completely with cold water. Allow 1/2 hour per pound of turkey. Change water frequently.

Regular Method Place wrapped frozen turkey on a pan in refrigerator. Allow 5 hours per pound of turkey. A 20 pound turkey will take approximately 4 days to completely thaw.

Refrigerate or cook turkey immediately once thawed. NEVER refreeze uncooked turkey.

Preparing Wash hands thoroughly with hot soapy water before and after handling raw JD Farms turkey. All materials used for storage, preparation and serving turkey must also be cleaned before and after use. Remove plastic wrap from thawed JD Farms turkey. Remove giblets and neck from body cavity. Rinse turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

Brining Brining poultry adds tremendous flavour and makes an often dry dish into a succulent one. This recipe starts off with a base brine which you can adjust to whatever quantity you need.

¼ cup kosher salt ¼ cup brown sugar 4 cups cold water

Mix all together so that the salt and sugar dissolves. Add your turkey and then a lot of ice then refrigerate. Here’s the important part – make sure it’s cold, very cold, just above freezing cold. That helps with the brining process and keeps your poultry safe from bacteria growth. Brine 4 pounds of turkey pieces for 4 hours and a whole 15 lb turkey for 15 hours. The rule of thumb is about 1 hour per pound of meat.

Additional Flavors: There are as many kinds of brine as there are types of pizza – you are only stuck with your creativity. Add apples, citrus fruits, onions, garlic, spices, cinnamon sticks, juices or anything that you think might add flavour. The tip here is that whatever you add must be dissolvable so that the flavor actually penetrates into the meat during the brining process. If it doesn’t dissolve well, the flavour generally only sticks to the outside of the meat and really doesn’t add all that much to the brining process.

Stuffing Stuffing is most easily prepared separately and placed in a covered casserole dish to cook during the last hour of the turkey roasting time. For those who prefer to stuff their turkey, follow these simple directions:

  • Prepare stuffing and spoon into body cavity just before roasting. Do not pack stuffing – let it sit loosely in cavity to promote even cooking.
  • Never stuff your turkey the day before it is roasted. It takes too long to heat the centre of the chilled stuffing and food spoilage organisms could accumulate.

Place turkey breast side up in roasting pan. Brush with oil or melted margarine and sprinkle outside and cavity with your favorite seasoning. Insert thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, but be careful not to let it touch the bone.

Roast loosely covered with foil in a preheated 325°F to 350°F (160°C to 180°C) oven. If you choose to baste your turkey, limit the number of times you open and close your oven (once an hour is sufficient). To brown skin further, remove foil approximately 1 hour before done.

The times below have been calculated on the principle of not basting the turkey once it has been put into the oven to roast. Use these cooking times to prepare roast turkey that is moist, tender and delicious.

Weight Oven Times 325°F to 350°F (160°C to 180°C) Barbecue Times Medium Heat, Unstuffed
Stuffed Unstuffed
8-10 lbs. (3.5-4.5 kg) 3¼ – 3½ hours 2¾ – 3 hours 1½ hours
10-12 lbs. (4.5-5.5 kg) 3½ – 3¾ hours 3 – 3¼ hours 1¾ hours
12-16 lbs. (5.5-7.0 kg) 3 ¾ – 4 hours 3¼ – 3½ hours 2 hours
16-20 lbs. (7.0-9.0 kg) 4 – 5 hours 3½ – 4½ hours Not suggested
20-25 lbs. (9.0-11.25 kg) 5 – 6 hours 4½ – 5 hours Not suggested

Begin checking for doneness about one hour before the end of the recommended roasting time.

Your turkey is done when:

  • A meat thermometer in the inner thigh reads 180°F (82°C) for a stuffed turkey
  • A meat thermometer in the inner thigh reads 170°F (77°C) for an unstuffed turkey.
  • When cooked to perfection the turkey meat and juices may have a slight pink tinge.
  • The temperature of the meat is the most important sign of doneness.

When the turkey is done, remove it from the oven or barbecue. Cover it with foil and let it stand for 15-20 minutes before carving.

All that’s left is to enjoy that great turkey dinner!

Looking for recipes; check out: http://jdfarms.ca/turkey-recipes/

Still looking for more information on turkeys; check out: http://www.canadianturkey.ca/wholebird/