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How to Cook a Turkey

How to Cook a Turkey

How to Cook a Turke

The turkey is the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal, and there are plenty of techniques for cooking one, from frying to spatchcocking to roasting upside down and turning halfway. But sometimes the classic way is the best. We will talk you through brining, stuffing, trussing and roasting, along with extra turkey tips to help you through the holiday. And visit our How to Plan and Cook Thanksgiving guide for more ideas and advice. 

When Is My Turkey Done?

Start taking the turkey’s temperature at least 15 minutes before you think it might be done. To check its temperature, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh and under the wing, making sure you don’t touch any bones. 

How to Roast a Turkey in the Oven

Oven roasting is all kinds of yum! Tune in to our video to learn how to roast a turkey in the oven. This classic turkey technique is perfect for a first-time cook or a seasoned pro. (Source: www.butterball.com)

Cook's Note:

Be sure you buy a meat thermometer before Thanksgiving; it will be the most important tool in the kitchen that day. 

Easy, No-Fuss Thanksgiving Turke

The BEST Thanksgiving Turkey recipe that packs all of the flavor and juiciness you expect from the perfect Thanksgiving turkey, with none of the stress! Plus a step by step tutorial for how to cook the perfect turkey. 

What Size Turkey to Buy for Thanksgiving Dinner:

First things first: Buy about 1.5 pounds of turkey per person. (So if you’re feeding 6 people, buy at least a 10 lb. turkey). That way you’ll have leftovers. (Source: tastesbetterfromscratch.com)

How to Thaw Your Turkey:

Make sure and allow plenty of time for your turkey to thaw! A good rule of thumb is to allow one day in the fridge for ever 5 pounds of turkey. I always give myself one extra day, just to be safe. Set the turkey on a cookie sheet or pan, to catch any liquid the turkey may drip as it defrosts in the fridge. 

tastesbetterfromscratIf you wash your turkey in your sink you will just contaminate your sink. Remove the turkey from it’s packaging, dry it off with some paper towels, and then prepare it for the oven. Any bacteria on the turkey will be killed in the hot oven while it bakes. (Source:ch.com)Don’t Wash the Turkey.

Don’t Brine the Turkey.

If you buy a high-quality turkey from the store (like Butterball or Norbest), then brining the turkey is an unnecessary step. You can do it if you want, but you can still achieve a deliciously moist turkey without brining it. However, if the turkey is wild, you should brine it the night before to make sure it will be moist and flavorful. (Source: tastesbetterfromscratch.com)

Don’t Baste the Turkey.

Basting is really unnecessary to produce a beautiful golden brown turkey. It also requires you to constantly open the oven, which causes the oven to loose heat and the turkey to take longer to cook–which could lead to a dry turkey. By smearing an herb butter mixture over the outer and inner skin of the turkey you will ensure the skin will brown beautifully, and taste amazing. (Source: tastesbetterfromscratch.com)

Don’t Cook Stuffing Inside the Turkey.

tastesbetterfromscratch.com)If you try to put stuffing/dressing inside the cavity of the bird, the turkey will be overcooked by the time the stuffing reaches a temperature that’s safe to eat. Instead, cook your stuffing in a casserole dish. Then you can fill the cavity of the turkey with things that will give it flavor (and add flavor to the drippings/stock): salt and pepper and any mixture of onion, apple, carrots, celery, or citrus. 

Do Let the Turkey Rest.

After removing the turkey from the oven, let it rest for at least 15 minutes, or up to 40 minutes (that gives you some extra time if you need to bake or warm anything else in the oven). If you’re using the drippings for gravy, remove the turkey from its pan, to a cutting board and tent it with foil while it rests there. If you’re not using the drippings, then just leave the turkey in the pan and tent with foil.

 

 

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