Turkey Tips

Turkey Tips

Whether you are cooking your first turkey or your fifteenth, you might want to take a look at these tips.  Some of them may break some myths that you’ve heard about how to cook a turkey.

  • Did you know a frozen turkey takes four days to thaw in the refridgerator?
  • Planning to brine your turkey?  Most turkeys are already brined.  Check the label!
  • Let your turkey come to room temperature before roasting (take out one hour before).  That will help it to cook more evenly.
  • Dry your turkey thoroughly (inside and out).  It will make the skin crispier.
  • If you don’t brine your turkey (or if it’s not already brined), you need to season thoroughly.  Don’t forget to put salt inside too.
  • Always use a roasting rack or the meat on the bottom will end up overcooked and dry and your kitchen will probably fill with smoke.
  • Don’t stuff your turkey.  Cook your stuffing separately.  Otherwise, it’s basically salmonella pudding in there.
  • Roast your turkey in a really hot oven first to crisp up the skin.  Bake at 475⁰ for the first 30 and then turn it down to 350⁰.
  • If your skin does brown too quickly, don’t turn down your oven!  Put foil over the areas that are starting to burn.
  • Don’t baste!  Everytime you open the door, you let heat out and extend your baking time.  Plus the juice in the tray isn’t just fat and can make your turkey skin soggy.
  • Use a real thermometer.  Not the one already stuck in your bird.  They are designed to pop up at 180⁰ which will make your turkey overcooked.  Get a real meat thermometer and cook to 165⁰.
  • Let the turkey rest for 15 minutes before carving so the juices stay in the turkey, not on your cutting board.