Thanksgiving! The time of year where an entire holiday fully centers around the food that’s served at the table. I call it “The Chef’s Holiday”.
Looking at incorporate sous vide into your Thanksgiving feast this year? Excellent choice! Since sous vide is very forgiving with the timing (the joys of not having to worry so much about overcooking at high temperatures), sous vide can drastically reduce the stress of cooking for the holidays.
Since sous vide uses low temperatures, there’s no frantic rush to hit that exact timing for fear of overcooking as you would have with an oven. No need to constantly check on if the meat is ready because the precision of sous vide guarantees your food will be cooked to your exact specifications and lets you choose when is most convenient to stop the cook.
Here’s my favorite list of resources from around the web for cooking sous vide on Thanksgiving.
Can you sous vide a Thanksgiving turkey?
The main course of most Thanksgiving meals – the turkey. Can it be done sous vide, though? The answer – yes! LifeHacker has an excellent write-up of different ways they tried to sous vide a Thanksgiving turkey, and what they found works best is to dissassemble the bird first, then place in a bag with your seasonings/spices, and let it sous vide.
They did 5 hours at 167ºF for the legs, and 3 hours at 149ºF for the breast the day before Thanksgiving. Then after storing in the fridge overnight, put them in a roasting pan in the over for 15 minutes at 325ºF to warm them up and crisp the skin. If you want extra crispy skin, check out our guide to sous vide torches.
ChefSteps Complete Guide to Thanksgiving Turkey
ChefSteps has the most comprehensive guide to a sous vide turkey I have seen, complete with lots of great photos and video.
Their article takes you through selecting the turkey, to day-before prep, and how to handle preparation of the bird on Thanksgiving.
Favorite Side Dishes
If you’re looking to do some side dishes to go along with your meal, you have a ton of options available. Many of my sous vide recipes would go great with Thanksgiving including the Honey Glazed Carrots, Asparagus, or even Bananas Foster for dessert.