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Talk About the Best Turkey Ever

Imagine an online chat room where you can ask professional chefs for their advice, and then eavesdrop as they discuss and often disagree with a variety of tantalizing solutions. That's what provides for web Foodies. We asked Chef Talk's administrator, Nicko Sahlas, for some tips on how to make the best Turkey ever. He started a thread on his pro chef chat room and several heavy weights offered their insights. Here are some excerpts from their mouthwatering conversation:

ChefTalk Founder Nicko Sahlas

My tried and true technique for making a truly tender turkey is to soak it in a brine solution. I started doing this a few years back and when done properly it yields the most tender turkey. For a quick brine ratio I use 1 quart of water, 1/2 cup of kosher salt.'

Culinary Instructor Chef Ed

'Make sure if you are thawing the turkey in water, that it is submerged in the water and not half floating out. After opening the bird in the sink to put in pan, rinse the sink with a little clorox to prevent any cross contamination to something else that will be put in sink.'

Chef Kuan

'Be sure to salt and pepper underneath the skin and inside the cavity. Lop off the drumstick knuckles so the meat balls up against the thigh while it cooks and remains moist.'

Chef Phil

'For safety and tenderness be sure to use an instant read thermometer to KNOW when it's done, not just guess.'

Chef Peter

'Forget the oven, slow roast your Turkey in a kettle grill. Soak 2 cups of wood chips in water, light up about 40 charcoal briquettes and let them burn until covered in white ash. Spread them evenly around perimeter of the grill, place a drip pan, with about 1/2 inch of water in it, in the center and sprinkle on about 1/4 cup of wood chips. Place the grill grate over top and place turkey in the center. Cover and cook. Every 30-45 minutes add approximately 25-30 more briquettes (always burnt down until covered with white ash) to maintain a temperature of about 300 degrees in the grill chamber. Each time you add new charcoal toss on another 1/4 cup of wood chips. After the first 2 hours baste the turkey with equal parts butter and chicken or turkey broth each time you add more charcoal. This process usually takes about the same amount of time as traditional roasting. If the breast seems to be cooking too fast, tent it with foil. Before cooking, season the turkey however you normally do. This technique does not require any special pre preparation before cooking.'

The entire conversation can be found at Chef Talk's 'Essential tips and techniques for making the best turkey ever' thread.

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