Every year at Thanksgiving so many fret over how to cook their Thanksgiving Turkey just right. Will it be too dry? Will it get too brown? How long will it take to defrost? How can I add flavor? Well, fret no more……
Here are some easy, fast and fool proof tips to be sure that your Thanksgiving Turkey is spot on perfect this year!
1. Once you put the turkey in the oven DO NOT PEEK! If you continually open and close the oven door you are increasing your chances of the turkey being dry due to temperature fluctuations.
2. If your turkey is fresh plan on allowing 10-15 minutes per pound for cooking time in a 350 degree oven of if a defrosted turkey your cooking time will be approximately 20 minutes per pound.
3. For a crisper turkey skin in the end result unwrap your turkey the night before and leave unwrapped in the refrigerator.
4. If you need to defrost a turkey be sure to put in the refrigerator AT LEAST 3 days prior to cooking. PATIENCE is definitely required when it comes to defrosting a turkey!
5. Don’t over stuff your turkey. A turkey with denser stuffing will not cook as evenly as one that is loosely stuffed. There are also debates as to whether to stuff the turkey or not……personally, I do my stuffing on the side which give me a better opportunity to flavor the turkey by stuffing the cavity with other things such as carrots, garlic, celery, onions, etc. We ALWAYS have fresh herbs for our turkey and simply slide sprigs in under the skin.
6. Always coat the outside of your turkey with olive oil or vegetable oil and then lightly season with salt and pepper. Simply “tent” the turkey with foil before placing in the oven to prevent over browning. About 45 minutes before your turkey is done remove the foil so your turkey can get a beautiful brown skin.
7. For even roasting your should truss your turkey. Don’t know how to truss a turkey? No worries – there is a video at the end of this post.
8. Your turkey will be done when the internal temperature at the deepest part of the bird (between the leg and the breast) reaches 180 degrees. If you have stuffed your turkey you need to have the stuffing temperature reach 165 degrees. Yes, there are turkeys with popup buttons but I just never have trusted them.
9. Once you remove your turkey from the oven you need to place the foil tent back over it and let it rest for AT LEAST 15 minutes before carving. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the turkey and give you a very moist turkey.
10.ALWAYS use a sharp knife or an electric knife for carving. A little confused on carving? Check out the video at the end.
I hope you ALL have a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with friends, family and those you hold dearest to your hearts!