Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Food Science and Technology

Major Professor

Bernadine Meyer

Committee Members

Florence L. MacLeod, Ruth Buckely


Introduction: There has been limited research on methods of cooking poultry in recent years. In the same time, vast strides have been made in breeding, feeding, processing, and marketing of poultry. Improvements have brought about increased production at lower cost. These changes, along with better refrigeration have made poultry available the year around. It is reasonable to assume that certain procedures may be better than others in preparing poultry for the table.

A check of several cook books, material from the Poultry and Egg National Board, and other sources indicates that the method most frequently recommended for roasting poultry is: to roast in an open pan at a constant low temperature of 300° to 350° F., using the higher temperature for the smaller birds. For the last ten years a manufacturer of aluminum foil has been recommending roasting turkey wrapped in aluminum foil. The procedure is to wrap the turkey completely in heavy duty foil, to use a 450° F. oven, and to open the foil for the last 15 to 20 minutes of roasting. This method has been claimed to produce a "juicy, tender, truly roasted turkey" in less time (Reynolds Metal Company, 1961). Other advantages claimed for the method are: (1) need for basting is eliminated; (2) a special roasting pan is not needed; and (3) the oven is kept clean due to elimination of spattering of drippings.

This thesis study compares turkey roasted at 450° F. wrapped in aluminum foil with turkey roasted in an open pan at a constant low temperature of 325° F. Data on palatability, cooking losses, yield of edible meat, heat penetration, cooking time, and fuel consumption were obtained for each method of roasting.

It was hoped that the results of this study would provide reliable information which might serve as a guide for homemakers in selecting a method for cooking turkey.

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