Soon, we’ll all be sitting around a table with our families and loved ones. Hopefully even both. But the big star of the day, unless you’re partial to tofurky, is the turkey. If you were to ask 10 people for their favorite ways of preparing their bird, you’ll easily get 15 different recipes and techniques. And they’ll all probably work out just fine. This includes brining, deep frying, roasting, stuffing, massaging, etc. So what are some hints that will help you make a terrific turkey, regardless of your preparation and techniques? Here are just a few:
- You don’t have to put the stuffing in the bird. If you do cook it outside the bird, then it (the bird!) will cook faster
- Don’t rely on the white plastic pop-up thermometer that comes with the turkey. My unsubstantiated theory is that the bird will be overcooked if you wait for the thingee to pop-up. Just use an instant-read thermometer to see when the bird is done. And, that temperature should be 165° when you check it at the thickest part of the thigh
- What happens if you’re carving the turkey, and the dark meat (usually the thigh) is still a bit pink? Finish carving the turkey, and put the undercooked parts in the oven, at 350° for 10 minutes or so, until they’re cooked through.
- As a general rule, roast the turkey at 325° for approximately 15 minutes per pound (the bird’s weight, not yours). This may vary, so keep your eye (and a thermometer) on the bird. Of course, if you’re deep frying the bird, you can skip this roasting advice.
- You don’t have to cook even a large turkey for more than 5 hours. Anything more than that will just mean you’ll have a dried-out bird.
- If you want to watch a great video on how to carve a turkey, then here’s where you want to be…