How Not to Cook a 40# Turkey

We started defrosting our 38.6# turkey last Sunday. It barely fit in our fridge.

Here it is defrosted but still in its plastic wrapping.

Here it is out of the wrapping, I coated it with butter and put fresh sage sprigs in the cavity.

And an above shot to show how huge the breasts are.

Here it is barely fitting in the oven. It is at 325 degrees. I am using the advice of JRJ at

I started the turkey at 8:30

And then did chores. It was a miserable morning with downpours of rain. The animals are not happy with it.

It was nice to come in to the smell of cooking turkey. Here it is around noon. I did use a baster to remove the excess liquid from the pan and cover the skin with foil at this point.

I sat down to watch the Kansas City and Houston game and knitted Tom’s second sock using my new cool yarn bowl/ Christmas present.

At around 2:30 I noticed a smoky odor. I opened all the doors and windows and turned on the bathroom and kitchen fans. Then I looked in the oven. The liquids had filled the pan and overflowed. I had been lulled by the fact that there was not that much liquid at noon and hadn’t checked it. We tried to remove the liquids but the baster stopped working and spilled liquid all over. There was a lot of smoke. We tried to put the turkey back in the oven but more spilled and the flames started. We closed the oven door depriving the fire of oxygen. We turned the oven off, and Tom had the fire extinguisher ready. Tom put a couple of fans in the kitchen and evacuated Steve while I coughed on the back porch. At 3:15 when the oven had cooked I pulled the turkey out spilling more liquid. Here it is.

I cleaned up the mess and checked the breast and thigh temperatures which were good. After I toweled the liquids out of the oven, I tried to restart it. But more smoke came so I turned it off and opted to boil squash, corn and potatoes to complete the meal. Then I made myself a Seahawks cocktail and sat down to watch the game.

When the boiled foods we’re ready we assembled our meals in the middle of the second quarter.

It is a completely homegrown meal including the perry. And it was yummy. The turkey was tender, juicy and somewhat smoked. Now it is starting to snow. If we have a blizzard, at least we will have plenty of turkey.

Go Hawks!!!!!

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5 Responses to How Not to Cook a 40# Turkey

  1. FullyFleeced says:

    Wow! that’s a big bird! No way that guy would fit in our oven. Smoke and flames must have been kind of scary, but now you’ve got that great smoked turkey flavor!

  2. Pingback: How To Cook A 40 Pound Turkey | Schoonover Farm Blog

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