Since we first mentioned it last year, turkey autoclaving has picked up steam — although we have to admit we’re far from the first to suggest the convenience of autoclaving your Thanksgiving guest of honor. In fact, no less a lab tech than Craig Venter — among the first scientists to sequence the human genome — has dabbled in autoclave cookery. In his memoir, A Life Decoded, he tells a tale of cooking a feisty 75-pounder (!!!) via autoclave back in the early 1970s (if that link gives your browser trouble, just Google venter “75-pound turkey”). The resulting beach-BBQ feast fed more than 100 hungry grad students.
One update: Our calculations from last year were wildly conservative. Based on heat, average bird weight, and an educated guess about the impact of pressure on cooking time, we called for a cycle time of “less than 2 hours.” But the following empirical study demonstrates you can git ‘er done in a single 45 cycle:
The presentation might need work (as per Venter’s method and our suggestions from last year, a touch of post-cycle fire-roasting or a last-minute application of a propane torch will crisp the bird nicely) — and tidy chefs and lab techs always use solid trays in their autoclaves, keeping clean-up a snap! — but there’s no doubt: That meat is moist, tender, and easy to carve. And taking a standard family-sized bird from counter-top to dining room table in under an hour?
It’s a fundamental truth: You can’t beat the efficiency of a cylindrical chamber steam autoclave.
FINE PRINT: Priorclave does not recommend the use of laboratory autoclaves for the preparation of foods for human consumption. Always consult FDA regulations and guidelines and Julia Child or another qualified celebrity chef. The Michigan Department of Agriculture reminds you that consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness. Professional driver on a closed course. Do not try at home. Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.