Best Sous Vide Turkey Thighs

Who doesn’t love tender, moist, flavorful meat? It’s even better when it’s homemade, right? You can take it up one more notch by making it stress-free. Knowing how to glaze turkey thighs is the way to discover the best sous vide turkey thighs.

For those of you who think you don’t like dark meat, maybe you just haven’t had it fixed right yet. When it comes to cooking poultry, including turkey, dark meat is much more forgiving than white meat. Using sous vide can yield a great-tasting poultry dish you can enjoy time and time again.

What is the Sous Vide Cooking Method?

The sous vide cooking method involves a unique way to cook food. The food, turkey thighs, in this case, is sealed in a bag and then immersed in a water bath. It is then cooked at a precise, constant high heat temperature. This method cooks the meat to perfection. The temperature determines how thoroughly the food is cooked. For instance, if you want meat that is medium rare, the maintained temperature will be lower than if you want your final product to be well done. Meats cooked using sous-vide turn out amazingly tender. It’s a relatively easy and stress-free method for preparing meats.

A Few Tips On Sous Vide Cooking

If you are just experimenting with sous vide cooking, you’ll find these tips interesting and informative. A little bit of practice and you’ll have it down in no time!

Prepping Tips

It’s very easy to prep to get ready to cook sous vide. Basically, you just season the turkey meat and seal it in a bag. Water is heated to the desired temperature and the bag is placed in the water bath to cook. You may want to experiment with different seasonings. Sometimes it’s good to season it both before and after sous vide cooking. You will want to avoid some seasonings such as acidic condiments and raw garlic. Using fresh herbs, garlic powder, and salt and pepper works perfectly though.

Tips for A Quicker Setup

  •         Filling the cooking pot or sous vide machine with hot water saves some time getting the water bath to the right temperature.
  •         Start with high-quality meats.
  •         You can use either zipper freezer bags or use a vacuum sealer. Some prefer zipper freezer bags because they don’t require special equipment and you can include more marinade in the bag.
  •         Fold the top out and over before adding food to the bag. This creates a wider opening and avoids getting food along the seal.
  •         If the bag is big enough, you can add some other cuts of meat with your sous vide turkey thighs. As long as they are the same thickness and fit, feel free to add pieces of chicken, fish fillets, or a steak. You can use this same method to create sous vide turkey breast too. There’s nothing that says you can’t create your own sous vide turkey leg recipe!
  •         You may choose to sear your meat after sous vide cooking. Some people prefer it, and others do not.

Timing and Temperature Tips

It’s important to set the temperature to the exact degree for the thickness and type of food you are cooking. It may take a few times to figure out what cooking temperature helps you achieve the texture and juiciness you prefer. Sous vide dark meat turkey thighs require a higher temperature and longer cooking time. Start your best sous vide turkey thighs at 150 degrees (F) for 2.5 to 4.5 hours. Adjust for your preferences.

Make Ahead Tips

You can create your marinade and place de-skinned turkey thighs in a sealed bag a few days before cooking. Keep the sealed bag in the fridge for no longer than 24 hours before cooking. You can also cook turkey thighs ahead of time and leave the sealed bags in the water for up to an hour. Then just glaze and broil the thighs to perfection before serving them.

How to Make the Best Sous Vide Turkey Thighs

Photo of Turkey thighs

You may choose to use boneless turkey thighs or use bone in turkey for a little flavor boost.  Add fresh rosemary, a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning to the bag. Then, seal the bag with a vacuum seal or with the zipper lock. Sous vide the turkey thigs for two and a half to four and a half hours at 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Making the Glaze

When the turkey thighs are almost done, make a basic glaze. You will need:

  •         Maple syrup
  •         Orange juice
  •         Balsamic vinegar
  •         Dijon
  •         Fresh rosemary

Half of this mixture will be used to glaze the cooked thighs. You can use the other half for making a sauce.

Broil the Thighs

After the thighs have cooked, remove them and pat dry with a paper towel. Cover them with the glaze and place them in the broiler for two to three minutes. This will create a crispy outside that’s as good as crispy skin. Then brush them with more glaze. Slice the turkey thighs and sprinkle with parsley and orange zest. The thighs can be seasoned to your preference, most use some type of citrus peel combined with woody herbs like rosemary, thyme, or sage. There are plenty of spice rubs that work well on sous vide turkey thighs.

Finishing Tips

The sous vide method does take the extra step of broiling the meat. This may be frustrating at first, but it only takes a few more minutes to create a crispy outside and make the meat look pretty. You may choose to broil or grill the meat in this final step. You may also choose to cook the meat ahead of time and then brown it a few minutes before serving.

If you would rather sear the meat, you’ll need to sear it for only a minute on each side. If this doesn’t give you the brown crust you want, you can allow the meat to cool, then sear it for about two minutes on each side, but no more.

In conclusion

Making the best sous vide turkey thighs is not difficult. The entire process takes a little over three hours, but you only have hands on for about 20 minutes of that. It’s a simple way to create a tasty dish that is sure to be a family favorite for years to come.

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