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How to Cook a Turkey on a Stove Top

author image Susan Peterson
Susan Peterson is the author of five books, including "Western Herbs for Martial Artists and Contact Athletes" and "Clare: A Novel." She holds a Ph.D. in text theory from the University of Texas at Arlington and is an avid cook and gardener.
How to Cook a Turkey on a Stove Top
Braised turkey doesn't brown as deeply as roast turkey. Photo Credit: bonchan/iStock/Getty Images

The most common way to cook a turkey is to roast it in the oven. If you don't have an oven, however, or if you just want a change, you can try cooking it on the stove top. Cooking a turkey in a large, covered pot with a small amount of liquid in the bottom is called braising. Braising produces a moist, flavorful meat and a rich sauce that can be turned into gravy. It is also a relatively quick method for cooking turkey.

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Step 1

Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator.

Step 2

Heat some vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or pot large enough to hold the turkey. Saute the onion, carrot and celery in the oil until they brown lightly.

Step 3

Place the turkey on top of the sauteed vegetables. Add about 1 1/2 inch of liquid.

Step 4

Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot tightly with the lid.

Step 5

Simmer the turkey gently. Check the liquid level every 20 to 30 minutes. If it's boiling, turn down the heat. If it drops below an inch, add more liquid.

Step 6

Test the turkey at the two-hour mark. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Continue cooking if the temperature is low.

Step 7

Test the turkey every 15 minutes. When the temperature in the thigh reads 165 degrees, check the thickest part of the breast as well. It, too should read 165 degrees. Cooking will probably take three to four hours.

Step 8

Remove the turkey to a carving board. Allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

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