I have my SV turkey cooking process, except....

After SV cooking my turkey leg quarters at 150F for 12 hours, I am to lower the temp to 131F and add the boneless breasts portions. The directions didn’t specify if I immediately add the breasts to the water as the temp drops, or do I wait until the temp drops to 131F and then add the breasts to the water with the legs?
I’m going to recover the lid with foil when the breasts go in, and I’m afraid this will slow down the amount of time it will take for the temp to drop, and possibly cause the breasts to cook “oddly”, ie: making them tough on the outside, because of the much higher than 131F temps needed to cook the breasts.
Also, I plan on using my Searzall to sear the skin. Could I put a fat on the skin before searing? After drying the bird.Or is the skin still fatty enough after the SV cook that a fat isn’t necessary?
I have a 12 lb organic turkey.

You can just add a few ice cubes to quickly lower the temperature.

I have not cooked a turkey so I won’t offer an opinion on times or process.

Thanks for replying, john. I did a test debone and cook with a whole turkey breast. I forgot about using ice cubes, thanks for the reminder!

Jen, remember you are now using your precision cooking technique. For precise cooking times with small and delicate products always add the food to the water bath when you hear the Anova signal the target temperature has been attained. That’s its purpose. It’s saying, “OK Jen, set my timer and let’s start cooking.”

For large items and long cooks precise timing isn’t particularly important so add the items as you will. The turkey breasts should be cold so it will only take a few minutes for the water to attain the set temperature. In that short length of time heat penetration will only be a few mm at most and not enough to toughen meat. The foil cover has no impact on the changing water temperature.

Do you really enjoy a pink turkey breast?

And yes you can rub on some clarified butter or oil before searing. Go gently with that torch, turkey skin browns and crisps beautifully at 350ᴼF.

Jen, when cooking you need to slow down and consider what’s happening when SV cooking so you can better understand your best use of the technique. You usually sense the correct procedures, just consider the whys and you will be just fine.

Here’s how i recently advised Community member Esquared on how i prepare crisp turkey skin:
“At Family home preheat oven to 400ᴼF.
Quickly remove skin and close chest to preserve heat.
Spread pieces of skin on a sheet of parchment paper set into a sheet pan. Season with S & P.
Cover skin with another sheet of parchment paper and smooth paper against skin while pressing down to express any pockets of air.
Cover with another sheet pan pressing it down and place in oven for about 40 minutes.”

Hello, chatnoir. I’m not sure why you asked if I really enjoy pink turkey breast. The directions I found, on the Chefsteps site, state that the breast will be done in 8 hours, and can go as high as 14 hours (which will be 5:00 pm for me) at the 131F temp. I did a test cook the other day using a whole breast that I deboned at 135F, and the breast was a little dry. But it made great turkey salad. Are you suggesting that I up the temp from the 131F as to not have a pink breast? If so, how about a 133F cook for the breast?
I do understand that temp determines doneness and time determines tenderness.
I’ve been researching the SV cooking of a turkey, as to not ruin Thanksgiving with a badly cooked bird.
My oven will be busy on the big day, so I’ll still be using my torch. Or, if weather does not permit, I’ll use the Chefsteps heavy skillet sear technique.
Thanks again for replying and advising, your input is much appreciated.

Hi Jen:
I’ve made the ChefSteps sous vide turkey in the past. Once you lower the temp in the app, the breasts are fine ti drop in. You will a mild pinkish hue towards the center, but its not a food safety concern, though some people will argue that point.

Hi Brian, thanks for your reply, now I understand why chatnoir asked if I like pink turkey breasts. How did your bird turn out? Besides pink breasts.

Jen, a while back there were frequent Community panic posts about pink SV cooked poultry. That’s all.

It has been my experience that the pink disappears above 140ᴼF / 60ᴼC while the meat is still moist and tender. It really depends on your mouth feel and appearance preferences, - and that of your guests.

I also believe it is of critical importance to Pasteurize poultry, particularly parts that should be considered contaminated through handling when breaking down a raw bird. At Thanksgiving it’s likely even more important due to service delays resulting from preparing the many traditional side dishes most contemporary Pilgrim families enjoy.

For me, 131ᴼF requires too long a cook to achieve Pasteurization in a thick item. Many cooks trust your reference site and i understand that it would require those long cook times. 135ᴼF is about as low as i would cook poultry.

FYI, at that temperature Pasteurizing a 2-inch thick item requires 4 3/4 hours and a 3-inch thick piece about 8 hours. The recommemded 8 to 14 hours would be too long for this cat. And I wouldn’t SV cook anything thicker than 3 inches.
Too long to cook and too long to cool, but i most often advance-cook for future service.

Also, recall that SV cooking time depemds on both desired tenderness and the thickness of the item.

Make it a great Thanksgiving!

wait till target temp is reached. 131 is too low that’s why she asked if you like pink breast. And you are not pasteurizing your meat anyway. just cooking till a safe temp. I find when doing breasts about 143 works great

I picked up a farm fresh turkey, butchered it and started cooking on Monday. Cooked dark meat at 150F for 24 hours then chilled in an ice bath and refrigerated. While that was chilling, I added the white meat at 131F and cooked for 24 hours as well then chilled that. Thursday morning they all went for a swim at 130F for a couple of hours while I prepared some last minute items. Seared dark meat under the oven broiler while I used a torch on the white meat. Best turkey ever. You could cut the white meat with a fork and yes it was pink in the middle, very juicy, and I will be doing that again.

Sounds like you did basically what I had thought of doing before finally deciding on the cook I did.
Glad you also had a great turkey!