Do you have a love-hate relationship with Thanksgiving turkeys? You love biting into a moist, succulent turkey, but you can’t stand preparing it because it never comes out quite right. You can change that this year by following these turkey preparation tips. Then your turkey is sure to be the star of your holiday meal.
Thaw the Turkey in the Refrigerator or Sink
Before you cook your turkey, you have to make sure it’s thawed properly. If possible, thaw it in the refrigerator. You’ll need to start early to do this since it takes days to thaw in the refrigerator. If your fridge is set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, keep the turkey in the refrigerator for 24 hours per five pounds of turkey. Thus, you’ll need to thaw it for four days if your turkey is 20 pounds.
What if you already missed the deadline? Then you can use cold water to thaw it. Put your turkey in the sink and fill it with cold water. You need to drain and replace the water every half hour to prevent bacteria from forming. It takes a half-hour per pound to thaw, so if your turkey is 20 pounds, it will be thawed in 10 hours.
Don’t Stress About the Brine
Bringing a turkey takes time and effort, and it isn’t really necessary. You’ll be hard-pressed to tell the difference between a turkey that’s been brined or not brined. Thus, you can save a ton of time this year by skipping this step. Your turkey will be just as delicious, but you’ll have some extra time to handle other items on your holiday to-do list.
Avoid Over-roasting the Turkey
You need to make sure your turkey is cooked all the way through. Because of that, you might find yourself overcooking your turkey. While that will kill the bacteria, it will also remove the moisture and flavor. As a general rule, roast a 16-pound turkey for 2.5 hours. If you have a 20-pound turkey, it needs to roast for approximately three hours. Those times provide a general idea, but you need to take another step and check your turkey with a meat thermometer. Then you won’t have to worry about overcooking or undercooking your holiday meal.
Oil the Skin
Most people think that oiling the skin of the turkey is only necessary if you are frying it. However, it will add some delicious flavor when roasting it as well. Use a liberal amount of oil so your turkey will be on-point when you take it out.
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Let the Turkey Rest
Your family might be ready to dig into the turkey when it comes out of the oven, but give it time to rest. Take it out of the oven and keep the foil on while it rests for a half hour. Then it will be juicy, tender, and the right temperature for carving and eating.
These tips will improve your turkey game this thanksgiving. In fact, your turkey will be so delicious that people will ask you how you managed to do it.