During the preamble to Thanksgiving 2018, social media has been awash with a very specific type of trolling. All over America, teenage sons have been making their mothers’ and fathers’ lives a living hell by doing something unspeakable to the meal’s main attraction. If there’s one thing that’s likely to terrify an already flustered chef, it is the prospect of their turkey being put in the microwave.
Given how precise the dark art of turkey cookery appears to the average lay-person, nuking it for a few minutes feels like a disaster waiting to happen. But, incredible though it may seem, it turns out that the threats of turkey annihilation may actually be more empty than they first appear.
Experts from “Butterball”, the American frozen and fresh turkey specialists have revealed that it actually is perfectly possible to cook a sizeable turkey in the microwave, provided you adopt the right technique. To panicking parents, faced with the prospect a broken oven before the biggest meal of the year, this surprising news will doubtless come as quite a relief.
According to an email received by INSIDER, the first stage of prep involves ensuring that your bird is thoroughly thawed before it goes into the microwave. Once you’re certain it is ice-free, the turkey should then be placed breast down on microwaveable plate, before being blasted on full power for four minutes per pound.
After this period has passed, the partially cooked bird should be taken out, have any excess drippings removed, and then basted with natural juices or browning sauce. This will help to ensure you get a golden skin by the end of the process. The turkey should then be flipped and returned to the microwave for eight minutes per pound, this time on 50% power. Cook’s should take note to pause the process every 18 minutes in order to baste and check temperature. According to the Butterball experts, “the turkey is ready and safe to eat when it reaches a temperature of 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit in the thigh and 170 to 175 degrees in the breast.”
All this sounds like a potential shortcut to making Thanksgiving significantly more straightforward. However, there do seem to be a few drawbacks to the method. Those that have trialled it for themselves claim that the end result is nowhere near as aesthetically pleasing as the traditional alternative. In addition, Butterball state categorically that the technique only works for smaller birds, and should not be attempted on anything above 12lbs. This is obviously unhelpful for anyone looking to feed a larger group.
Clearly, this technique won’t work for everyone. After you’ve slaved away for hours in front of a stove, it would take a very brave chef indeed to decide to chance their arm in the microwave. Nonetheless, it’s good to know that if it does all go wrong, you have a get out jail free card.