Sous Vide and Roasted Turkey

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
SMF Premier Member
Jun 6, 2012
Since we have had amazing results with SV chicken breasts, I'm thinking of removing the breasts from this year's turkey and cooking them SV. The rest of the bird I will either smoke or roast using more traditional methods. I'm guessing that these two techniques will give me ideal final temps for both the white and dark meats.

Any forum members see any potential pitfalls to this two-tiered approach?

Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!
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This is Baldwin's A practical guide to Sou Vide

This is the Poultry pasteurization section from the table of contents from this online book.

Traditionally, light poultry meat is cooked well-done (160°F/70°C to 175°F/80°C) for "food safety" reasons. When cooking chicken and turkey breasts sous vide, they can be cooked to a medium doneness (140°F/60°C to 150°F/65°C) while still being pasteurized for safety.
  • Boneless Chicken or Turkey Breast
  • Salt and Pepper
Remove any skin from the breast and reserve for garnish or discard. Reserved skin can easily be crisped using either a salamander/broiler or with a blowtorch.
If brining, place the poultry meat in a 5% salt water solution (50 grams per 1 liter) in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour. (If tenderizing with a Jaccard, do so before brining.)
Rinse and dry with paper towels. Then season with Kosher/sea salt and coarse ground pepper. Vacuum seal breasts (one per bag). The breasts may be frozen at this point until needed.
To cook and pasteurize, place (thawed) breast in a 146°F (63.5°C) water bath for the times listed in Table 4.1. [After cooking, the breasts may be rapidly cooled in ice water (see Table 1.1) and frozen or refrigerated at below 38°F (3.3°C) for up to three to four weeks until needed.]
Remove breast from plastic pouch and dry with a paper towel. The meat can then be served as is or browned slightly by using either a very hot pan (with just smoking oil) or a blowtorch. Serve immediately (garnished with crisped skin).

Pasteurization Time for Poultry
(starting at 41°F / 5°C and put in a 134.5–149°F / 57–65°C water bath)
5 mm2¼ hr1¾ hr1¼ hr45 min35 min25 min18 min15 min13 min
10 mm2¼ hr1¾ hr1¼ hr55 min40 min35 min30 min25 min20 min
15 mm2½ hr1¾ hr1½ hr1¼ hr50 min45 min40 min35 min30 min
20 mm2¾ hr2 hr1¾ hr1¼ hr1¼ hr55 min50 min45 min40 min
25 mm3 hr2¼ hr2 hr1½ hr1½ hr1¼ hr1¼ hr60 min55 min
30 mm3¼ hr2¾ hr2¼ hr2 hr1¾ hr1½ hr1½ hr1¼ hr1¼ hr
35 mm3¾ hr3 hr2½ hr2¼ hr2 hr1¾ hr1¾ hr1½ hr1½ hr
40 mm4 hr3¼ hr2¾ hr2½ hr2¼ hr2 hr2 hr1¾ hr1¾ hr
45 mm4½ hr3¾ hr3¼ hr3 hr2¾ hr2½ hr2¼ hr2 hr2 hr
50 mm4¾ hr4¼ hr3¾ hr3¼ hr3 hr2¾ hr2½ hr2½ hr2¼ hr
55 mm5¼ hr4½ hr4 hr3¾ hr3½ hr3¼ hr3 hr2¾ hr2¾ hr
60 mm5¾ hr5 hr4½ hr4¼ hr3¾ hr3½ hr3¼ hr3¼ hr3 hr
65 mm6¼ hr5½ hr5 hr4½ hr4¼ hr4 hr3¾ hr3½ hr3¼ hr
70 mm7 hr6 hr5½ hr5 hr4¾ hr4½ hr4¼ hr4 hr3¾ hr
Table 4.1: Time required for at least a one million to one reduction in Listeria and a ten million to one reduction in Salmonella in poultry starting at 41°F (5°C). I calculated the D- and z-values using linear regression from (O'Bryan et al., 2006): for Salmonella I used D606.45 = 4.68 minutes and for Listeria I used D605.66 = 5.94 minutes. For my calculations I used a thermal diffusivity of 1.08×10-7 m2/s, a surface heat transfer coefficient of 95 W/m2-K, and took β=0.28 (to simulate the heating speed of a 2:3:5 box). For more information on calculating log reductions, see Appendix A.

Turkey, Duck or Goose Leg Confit​

  • Duck, Goose or Turkey Legs
  • Rendered Duck or Goose Fat (or Lard)
  • Salt and Pepper
Place legs in a 5–10% brine (50–100 grams salt per 1 liter) for three to six hours. The brine may be flavored with sprigs of thyme, bay leaves, garlic, and orange/ lemon slices.

After brining, rinse legs and pat dry with paper towels. Season with Kosher/sea salt and coarse ground pepper. Individually vacuum seal the legs with 2–4 tablespoons of rendered fat.

Place the vacuum sealed legs in a 176°F (80°C) water bath for 8 to 12 hours. Since some of the liquid in the bag will change phase (to gas), the bag will puff and may float to the surface. To prevent uneven cooking, the bags should be held under water using a wire rack or some other restraint. [After cooking, the legs may be rapidly cooled in ice water (see Table 1.1) and frozen or refrigerated at below 39°F (4°C) indefinitely.]

To serve, (reheat and) sear until skin is crispy. May also be served without skin and torn into pieces.
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I’ve got another large bone-in breast going into brine later tonight. Tomorrow morning I’ll sous vide it, then chill in bag, and put I. The smoker to reheat Thursday with the spiral ham. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.