Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Food Science and Technology

Major Professor

Bernadine Meyer

Committee Members

Beth Duncan, Claire Gilbert


(Introduction) Frequently yearling turkeys are available in the retail market during the spring and summer and often may be obtained at a reasonable price. According to the Poultry Division of the Agricultural Marketing Service (Hauver and Kilpatrick, 1961), yearling turkeys are fully matured when slaughtered, "usually under 15 months of age" and are "reasonably tender-meated" and have "reasonably smooth-textured skin." Theoretically, yearling birds have more connective tissue than younger turkeys, and this raises the question as to whether ordinary dry-heat roasting is appropriate or whether a method which is more conducive to tenderization should be used. A great deal of research has been conducted in recent years in the area of poultry cookery. However, very little has been done involving the yearling turkey.

Many homemakers have suggested that cooking turkey in aluminum foil produces a tender, juicy product that requires less cooking time. Also, they have indicated that this method is labor-saving, because there is no spattering of drippings on the walls of the oven. It was felt that these beliefs merited investigation, since there has been only a limited amount of experimental work on cooking poultry in aluminum foil.

This study was undertaken to compare the effects of roasting fully matured yearling turkeys by open-pan and foil-wrap methods. It was based on the hypothesis that cooking poultry in aluminum foil holds in steam and therefore promotes an increase in tenderness. Differences in cooking losses, fuel consumption, cooking time, yield of edible meat, shear values, and heat penetration were determined. Estimates of tenderness, juiciness, flavor and consumer preference were obtained through sensory tests. It was hoped that results would provide a usable guide for homemakers regarding an acceptable method of roasting yearling turkey.

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