Microwave a turkey the library way

By Kat Gerwig, Carolyn Bishoff, and Hayley Coble

Microwave Turkey
Photo “Your microwave dinner is served!” by Tiffany Reichard

You might have seen a prank going around about cooking a 25-pound turkey in a microwave. It seems like a bad idea but we’re a group of curious, food-motivated librarians and we thought… can it be done?

Foodies may disagree but the microwave is arguably the most influential cooking invention since we learned how to use fire. It shaves hours off of the thawing process. Popcorn doesn’t require a stove. It reheats cold coffee in the blink of an eye! It can certainly cook a turkey. But can it cook 25 pounds of turkey to the requisite 165 degrees needed to prevent food borne illnesses? After throwing out all of your romaine, it certainly won’t do to have folks get sick from an undercooked bird.

We love to follow the information stuffing-crumb trail to see where it leads. With all the power of the internet and the resources at the University of Minnesota Libraries, we can discover if it’s possible to nuke a turkey, safely.

Is it possible?

Well, Mashable did it, but with a 12-pound bird.

Illinois Extension does not recommend using a microwave, but if you insist, they say to keep it small. But hey, there’s not THAT much difference between a 10-pound and 25-pound turkey!

According to the Butterball hotline it is possible to cook a 25-pound turkey safely in a microwave. However, they say nothing about whether this method produces something edible or something akin to turkey-shaped shoe leather.

What else can you do in a microwave oven? Dry flowers! Determine the moisture content of dead forest fuels! Much, much more!

More microwave turkey recipes at lib.umn.edu

Want more microwave turkey recipes (or microwave Turkey) recipes? Try going to lib.umn.edu and enter microwave turkey in the search box. If you really want to narrow things down try putting quotation marks around “microwave turkey” so the database will search it as a phrase. Watch your results go from 22,000+ to 41 mouth-watering (or slightly disturbing) results.

Try this trick with all kinds of foods and cooking techniques! “Cranberry sauce,” stuffing (or dressing!) and “crock pot”, tofurky and “deep fry.”

Have a fun and microwave-safe holiday!

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