Figuring out how to cook a turkey isn’t hard. The key is to handle the turkey safely before cooking, then cook letting it to the correct temperature.
How To Cook a Perfect Turkey
Most people overcook their turkeys, which explains why turkey sometimes has a reputation for being dry. It is also why there are always new and artistic techniques for preparing food turkey, from brining to roasting the other way up to de-boning to spatchcocking (don’t worry if you don’t know what that’s — only a real food professional would even give it a try).
But cooking a delicious Thanksgiving turkey doesn’t need to be that complicated. Here’s how to do it the simple way:
Tips on how to Cook a Turkey the Stress-Free Way
* Buy a lot of turkey. One pound per one is a great rule of thumb of thumb. If you’ve small children or want leftovers, your estimate will be different. Butterball it provides a helpful turkey calculator on its web site that could show them how much turkey to purchase, just how much stuffing you will need and the best way to estimate cooking times.
* If you are using a frozen turkey, thaw it properly. Even though it is more than possible thaw a frozen turkey within the water bath by immersing it in cold water and changing the water every 30 minutes, doing this is not like a safe or easy as thawing in the refrigerator. (There is an improved chance of bacterial contamination.)
* To thaw in the refrigerator, enter the wrapped turkey on a tray or in conjuction with a roasting pan to capture any raw juices which may leak out during thawing. (The juices are where the bacteria is, so you don’t want your turkey leaking within the fridge.) Be certain the refrigerator is 40 degrees F or below. Allow 1 day for each 4-5 pounds of turkey. So you will need several days to thaw a 12-pound turkey.
* Never thaw a turkey on the counter at room temperature (unless, after all, you want your guests to invest the dark in the bathroom counting ceiling tiles).
* Once you’re able to cook the turkey, remove the giblets and neck within the turkey cavity. This can be a rookie mistake — one I’d bet half of people who’ve cooked turkey have used (including myself). Just reach within and grab a those packets. You don’t want to smell burning plastic from your oven on Thanksgiving day.
* Wash your hands, utensils, countertops and anything else which comes coming in contact with the raw turkey or wrapper.
* Lay a shallow rack or turkey lifter inside the roasting pan before you can include the turkey in it. Lifting a 15-pound turkey not a simple work when it’s raw. Try lifting it when it’s hot and you’ve got 15 hungry people taking a look at you.
* Don’t stuff the turkey. Okay, I know. You want the turkey smell in your stuffing. You want to have the juices. Get over it. It is a pain and also makes the process of cooking the turkey to the proper temperature harder.
* Okay, if you should stuff the turkey, prepare the stuffing right away until the turkey is ready to go directly into oven. Stuff it loosely. Put the surplus stuffing within a casserole dish. And ensure you cook the stuffing to 165 degrees F (confer with be sure you thermometer). Both the stuffing AND the turkey need to reach this temperature. If your are 165 and the opposite just isn’t, you need to have the turkey in until both reach 165 degrees. See? That’s why I cook the stuffing separately; it virtually guarantees the turkey will be overcooked.
* There will be a lot of ways to flavor the turkey, from putting celery, herbs, oranges and onion in the cavity to rubbing butter under or within the skin. I really love making an ingredient butter (butter mixed with herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage), then rubbing it by the turkey skin. This does two things. First, it flavors the turkey. Second, it keeps the breast meat moist, so even when you do overcook your Thanksgiving turkey, it will never be as dried out.
* Rub the skin whatever the turkey with melted butter or oil, too. This gives the turkey a nice brown color.
* Locate the turkey on the bottom rack no matter the oven, uncovered, and roast at 400 degrees F. for 30 minutes. This will deliver you a pleasant brown color. Turn the oven temperature all the way down to 325 degrees F., go through the turkey loosely with foil, and keep on trying roasting till the thickest portion of breast and the thickest portion of thigh registers 165 degrees F. on a instant read digital thermometer (make a price comparison).
* Consider cooking your turkey inside an oven bag. Make sure you make use of an oven bag made for cooking turkey (not a brown paper bag). Here’s a simple recipe on how to cook a turkey with in oven bag.
* Allow the turkey rest twenty minutes before carving. This enables the juices to redistribute, keeping the turkey moist.
* If all else fails, have a lot of Thanksgiving sides and pumpkin pie.
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