Machining a Turkey Starts Upside Down

My take away from this shop visit, besides a good story, was a lesson in turkey preparation I have successfully used for many years now.

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Visiting shops is the life blood of my job. Through the years, it’s been a pleasure to make the trips and report what I see. Most of the time, the report is about a shop’s technique, technology, practice or application that may be helpful in running your business. But on occasion, a shop visit turns out to be more than just an article about manufacturing. Sometimes there is a life lesson to be garnered.

Since this article posts during Thanksgiving week, I wanted to share one lesson I am thankful for that has served me well for over a decade. It started with an editorial assignment at RPM Carbide Die in Arcadia, Ohio, where I was to report on the company’s use of grinders to process carbide for a variety of industries.

My visit was also close to Thanksgiving, and the wife of shop owner Eric Metcalfe prepared a turkey for the employees and “lucky” me. I am the turkey cooker in our family, never failing to prepare our annual bird. I have messed up a few, but generally, we have a good feast.

My take away from the RPM visit, besides a good story, was a lesson in turkey preparation I have successfully used for many years now. Mrs. Metcalfe cooked the bird upside down. She said cooking with the breast down allowed the turkey to self-baste and eliminate dryness.

More details emerged from the interview, such as coating the bird inside and out with butter (not margarine) and using a cooking bag. She also instructed to coat the bag with flour to avoid sticking, put the turkey in a pan and cook it like normal.

The result is perfect and it has never failed. I guess the moral of the story is that machine shops have many interesting things to teach.

From all of us at Production Machining, we wish you a happy, heathy and safe Thanksgiving, and thank you for your support.