Deconstructing Technology, Holiday Shenanigans

Turkey Timers: Simplicity Defined

This is a pop-up turkey timer. Basically, there a soft metal or wax plug in the bottom. When it gets to a point where it melts, the red stick indicator is released and pushed out by the spring. Make sure the metal or wax melts at an appropriate temperature (165 F if I remember my food safety license video correctly) and you have turkey that won’t give the entire family salmonella or ebola e coli.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  • $kaycog

    I wouldn't cook a turkey without that pop-up timer. I also use a Reynolds Turkey Bag which shortens the cooking time, and you have the moistest turkey ever………….and no basting.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • craigsu

      So there's no crispy skin to munch on when you use the bag? And no caramelized brown bits to add to the gravy? How do you know when to look at the timer to see if it's popped up?

      • $kaycog

        The turkey browns and has a somewhat crispy skin, but no brown bits for the gravy. Sorry. You can look through the oven door window when it get close to cooking time per instructions to see if timer is up or not.

        I've used the following method to cook a turkey also. It's waaaaay more fun.

        1. Go buy a turkey.
        2. Take a drink of whiskey.
        3. Put turkey in the oven.
        4. Take another 2 drinks of whiskey.
        5. Set the degree at 375 ovens.
        6. Take 3 more whiskeys of drink.
        7. Turk the bastey.
        8. Whiskey another bottle of get.
        9. Ponder the meat thermometer.
        10. Glass yourself a pour of whiskey.
        11. Bake the whiskey for 4 hours.
        12. Take the oven out of the turkey.
        13. Floor the turkey up off of the pick.
        14. Turk the carvey.
        15. Get yourself another scottle of botch.
        16. Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkey.
        17. Bless the dinner and pass out.

        • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

          Hey that somewhat resembles my getting all the lights on the Christmas lights strands to work procedure. Though I did not bless them, or can't remember if I did. Oh man I know where the holy water came from now, never eat turkey at Skaycog's everybody!

          • $kaycog

            Whiskey is a friend in doing lots of things for the holidays. I'm sure your Christmas lights are going to be delicious.

  • I did not know one needed a license to safely remember a video. Good to know.

    • The Professor

      Good lord! That's all I need, another reason for the Feds to hassle me. I haven't even brought down the grid yet. Lately.

      • craigsu

        Another reason? What are they hassling you about that they aren't already hassling the rest of us about? What makes you so special? (Opening can of worms)

        • The Professor

          Hmph, the Feds, usually pillocks from the DOD are always sniffing around. The University does work for DARPA on occasion, and there are always bored bureaucrats wandering around, looking for trouble to get into. The last time I got into a serious snit with the DOD was when I was testing a new booster for a mobile phone jammer that I was tinkering with, and they accused me of interfering with military satellite communications. Well, I was, but not intentionally. When I boosted the signal, I had no idea that it would reach to geosynchronous orbit (at least, evidently), and I only ran it for about 5 minutes or so. Ye gods they got shirty about it, armed Marines and everything when I was raided. The chancellor pulled some strings for me, and they ended up buying the thing. Not that I saw any of the proceeds though. Bastards.

          • craigsu

            This is why patents and trademarks are so useful.

          • The Professor

            Not happening on this deal. The school got the rights and I stayed out of Quantico. Probably a fair trade off.

          • craigsu

            Ah yes, the world of academia. I'd forgotten about those rules.

          • tonyola

            It's not just academia, it's the way of the business world too. Develop something patentable on company time and/or using company resources and the company usually claims the patent. The policy is usually stated in an employee agreement.

          • The Professor


          • craigsu

            Indeed. I remember back in 1991 when I was a new employee at Microsoft our class went through the entire 2 weeks of initial training before being turned loose on the support lines. There was one class member in particular who had been a real PITA the entire time. None of the instructors were ever right according to him and he made life miserable for everyone around him, even to the point of "correcting" veteran support personnel by jumping into phone conversations with customers when he was supposed to be listening and learning. Despite this behavior he made it through to graduation with the rest of us. He did some development work on the side and when we were presented with the employee agreement he refused to sign it since it would assign all rights to his development work over to MS. He promptly got up and left the room, never to be seen again. There was a collective sigh of relief when he left the room. I'm surprised we didn't burst out in spontaneous applause.

  • Abe

    I cheat and use a digital thermometer with a wireless alarm. I pull the turkey out of the oven at 10 degrees below cooking temp, cover with foil and let it rest at least 15 minutes while the temperature gets up to safe level.

  • Be safe with the help of Shatner…

    [youtube EYkRF_FmD40 youtube]

  • alewifecove

    I do not trust those pop ups. They are never in the hardest to heat spot and when they do pop up, the top is over done and the bottom not done.

    I stick with my trusty digital thermometer. NSF rated of course.

    • OA5599

      We once had one that wouldn't pop. After about 1.5 times the recommended cooking time the thing still was showing the turkey as not being ready, but of course it was overdone by then.

  • Charles_Barrett

    FoodTV did a live call-in Thanksgiving help line on Sunday, 11/20, with several of their on-air talent answering questions fielded by phone, Skype, Twitter, etc. Moderator Alton Brown opined that by the time the pop-up does its thing, the turkey is overcooked & dry, due to the poor location of the pop-up.

    Alton advocates a thermometer (either a continuous oven-safe electric one, or the traditional stabby-with-a-dial kind) into the thickest part of the thigh, brought to 165F, AND a quick reality-check slice of the flesh to confirm the juices are running clear, not pink. And a subsequent 30-minute rest before carving.

    • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

      I wondered about that 30 minute rest myself. On Thanksgiving during America's Test Kitchen they explained the meat reabsorbs some of the fluid that way.

  • Deartháir

    You know, I've probably cooked twenty turkeys, and I've never even used a thermometer. I just carve into it, or try and pull off a drumstick. After you've done it a few times, you can tell if it's cooked at a touch.