Year after year on the fourth Thursday of November our families sit down with family and friends to enjoy a homemade turkey dinner. Whether it’s baked in the oven, or fried outdoors, turkey on Thanksgiving is as American as fireworks on the 4th of July, armed with our top 10 Turkey Tips, you’ll come out looking like a pro on Thanksgiving Day. Whether you’re hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner or your fiftieth, these indispensable tips will help you turn out a terrific turkey.
1. Choosing the right type of turkey:
Heritage? Organic? Fresh? Frozen? There are a lot of choices out there. A heritage turkey is right for you if you want to try and old-fashioned breed of turkey often leggier and leaner and more flavorful and don’t mind paying a little extra for it and remember, fresh may not necessarily be better than frozen, frozen turkeys are snap-frozen just after butchering.
2. Figure on 1-2 pounds of turkey per person:
To buy the right size turkey for your party, simply tally up the turkey-eating guest. Add a few pounds on for bones and you’ve got your turkey weight.
3. Cook the turkey on a rack of vegetables:
Create a natural roasting rack for your turkey by layering carrots, onions and celery on the bottom of the roasting pan. Lifting the turkey off the base of the pan helps to increase hot air circulation around the whole bird so that it will get crispy all over plus the veggies add great flavor to the gravy.
4. Brining keeps it moist:
Brining is an easy, sure-fire way to a moist and flavorful turkey, A typical brining solution contains water, salt, sugar and a variety of spices and aromatics.
5. Keep the stuffing on the side:
We suggest your cook the stuffing in a separate pan. Cooking the stuffing in the turkey can provide fertile ground for the growth of harmful bacteria, in addition it takes longer to cook which could result in drier white meat.
6. To tie or not to tie:
To help ensure that poultry cooks evenly many professional cooks like to truss their birds, which is just a fancy term for tying them up, while it’s not necessary step in cooking a terrific turkey, it can be fun to show off your skills.
7.Rub the turkey with butter or oil:
Before putting it in the oven, make sure the skin of the turkey is a dry as possible, and then rub it all over with butter or oil.
8. Skip the basting:
Basting means more oven door opening, resulting in temperature fluctuations than can dry out your bird.
9. Invest in a good meat thermometer:
Check for doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the turkey around the thigh, avoiding the bone. At 165 degrees F, it’s done.
10. Give it a rest:
To lock in juices, tent your turkey with foil and let it rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Be sure you don’t cover the turkey too tightly as you don’t want the bird to steam under the foil.