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Why A Turkey Is Like A Tube of Toothpaste

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Nov 17, 2014
Why A Turkey Is Like A Tube of Toothpaste

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player and subscribe in iTunes.

There's more than one way to cook a turkey. Some people baste, some brine, some use a dry rub, some just season and roast.

So which is best?

This week in the Sporkful podcast we turn to food science guru Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats to find out. He says that basting doesn't actually add moisture to your turkey, although it may prevent drying by cooling the bird's surface temperature. Kenji also argues that while brining may result in a juicier turkey, dry rubbing gives you a more flavorful one--and he brings the science to explain why. (He says the best way of all is to butterfly the bird. Here's his recipe.)

Also in this episode, Dan goes to On the Media host Brooke Gladstone's house to see how she makes her patented Thanksgiving dessert, a Mennonite dish with Saltines in it called cracker pudding (recipe), and everything imaginable goes wrong (watch the video). But it still comes out looking like this:


Plus, Dan talks Thanksgiving for vegetarians with Slate's L.V. Anderson. She shares her recipe for cornbread stuffing, and Dan attempts to unite carnivores and vegetarians with one of his trademark dishes: the Veggieducken. It looks like this:


Check out the recipe for the Veggieducken and watch this video of how it's made:

Check out all of The Sporkful's Thanksgiving recipes:

- Kenji Lopez-Alt's butterflied roast turkey with gravy

- Sam Sifton's Roasted Cauliflower with Anchovy Bread Crumbs

- L.V. Anderson's vegetarian cornbread stuffing, adapted from Slate, where she is food and drinks editor

- Brooke Gladstone's go-to cracker pudding (with video)

- Rosie Schaap's Autumn Bonfire cocktail

- Dan's Veggieducken (with video)

Photo: Flickr CC / Tim Sackton

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