Cooking a Thanksgiving turkey for your family and friends can be very daunting. The first time I had to cook one I thought I was going to have a crazy holiday meltdown.
Turns out the turkey wasn’t the hardest part, it was the mashed potatoes. LOL. It always scared me to try to make such an important part of such an important meal.
So if this is your first time cooking the Turkey Bird of the Day or if you’ve been doing it for years but love learning new cooking tricks, I’ve done the hard work for you.
Here are seven tips for ensuring a perfectly delicious turkey every Thanksgiving.
Roast your turkey in a pan of vegetables
Make a delicious roasting rack with chopped carrots, celery and onions, then place your turkey on it. Using vegetables as a scoring rack helps the turkey cook more evenly and adds to your drippings.
Sugar glaze your Thanksgiving turkey
Just like your Easter ham, you can sugar glaze your Thanksgiving turkey for extra flavor. Mix the brown sugar, maple syrup and honey with a little real melted butter. Brush the sugar mixture onto your turkey’s skin throughout the cooking process.
Never cook the stuffing inside your Thanksgiving turkey
More importantly, cooking the stuffing inside the turkey is a food safety hazard. According to thekitchen.com,
The USDA advises cooking whole turkeys to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill any potentially harmful bacteria. This temperature includes any potential stuffing deep inside the turkey cavity. At temperatures below 165°F, you may be exposed to Salmonella or E.
Also, the stuffing and the turkey should be cooked separately so that each can be cooked to perfection. Each of them requires different times and temperatures to cook properly and achieve the best flavors.
Always Dry Your Thanksgiving Turkey
A little-known trick if you will really crispy skin is to dry out your turkey. Before seasoning, you should use a paper towel to absorb moisture on your turkey’s outer skin. If the turkey is moist, it will create steam in the oven and this can make the turkey skin soggy instead of crispy. If you want to go crazy, you can also blow-dry your turkey.
Pin Your Turkey’s Skin
Pinning the skin of the turkey with toothpicks will prevent the skin from shrinking during cooking and drying out.
Always brine your Thanksgiving turkey
You always brine your Thanksgiving turkey. It brings out the flavor of your turkey. Just let it sit overnight in a mixture of water, salt, and other seasonings. You can put the bangs on it, or even a big cooler. It will be so good, you can also dry the brine too.
Wrap your turkey in bacon
Yes, I said, bacon. My grandmother cooked her turkey like this. You simply cover the turkey with strips of raw bacon. As the turkey roasts, the bacon cooks and drips all the amazing bacon juices onto the skin. Bacon keeps your turkey from drying out and makes the meat so moist it will melt in your mouth.
For even more perfect Thanksgiving turkey tips, head here.
[Taste of Home]
Residents of IN, KY and IL share their thoughts on Christmas decorating ahead of Thanksgiving
We wanted to know where you stand on this burning holiday question. So, we asked this question on our Facebook page, “Is it too early to put up Christmas decorations and go shopping for the holidays?” As we expected, you brought the reviews, and they did not disappoint.
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