Last year my wife and I watched a Thanksgiving les-grizzlys-catalans.org show with Gordon Ramsey and he said you should let the turkey rest for as long as you cooked it. If you cook it 3 hours, it should rest for 3 hours. That seems like an awful long time to me.
Everything else I"ve read looks like 30 minutes to an hour is fine. Any suggestions?
I just watched the Gordon Ramsey Christmas show myself and came online...to confirm the setting/les-grizzlys-catalans.org time. He definitely stated that he took the advice from another top chef to let it set for the same amount of time that it cooked...and that's why I am here!! It seems a bit too long, especially for a stuffed bird..
The purpose- as with any cooked meat- is to let the meat firm up so it doesn"t release juices when you cut into it.
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In the case of a turkey it also helps to let it cool enough to not burn you when you are carving and eating it.
Both of these goals will be met in 30 minutes to an hour.
I don"t know why that chef would recommend 3 hours. At that length of time the turkey would start to approach room temperature and would be less appealing to eat as well as start the clock on the danger zone.
I heard GR say 3 hours this year too, so you"re not misremembering. I recently started letting it rest for 45 minutes to an hour, and it"s worked out great. My reason for choosing that amount of time is: that"s how long veggies need to roast in the oven.
Once upon a time I used to rest it for 30 min, meaning I needed to at least start roasting the veg while the turkey was still in the oven, and the whole thing was insanely stressful. Now I prep the veggies but put them dry on baking sheets. An hour before I want to eat, or when the turkey is clearly cooked if that happens sooner than I expected, I pull out the bird and get it out of the roasting pan and onto a tray to rest with foil over it. I put the fat and juices from the roasting pan into a measuring cup to settle, and get the fat spooned over the potatoes and in they go. Get the stuffing out of the bird, squash (cut in 8ths or 16ths and buttered) into the oven and the cranberry sauce on the stove, that typically takes 15 minutes, so it"s time for parsnips and onions to go into the oven again with some of the turkey fat. Then make gravy in the roasting pan using the not-the-fat part of the settled juices and cook the Brussels sprouts on the stovetop. More room, less panicking, and as long as you understand you will not have a single pause during the final hour, much easier than it used to be.
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We have had no consequences of resting it for up to an hour, and I don"t see any purpose in resting it longer.