Working on a beautiful Thanksgiving turkey can be quite tricky even for experts in the kitchen. More so, if you’re hosting Thanksgiving for the first time. It is the most significant dish on the table this holiday, and making sure you have the perfect turkey can drive you crazy. Thanksgiving festivities are just a few hours away, but if you are not sure of your cooking powers when it comes to turkeys, let us help you with a few tips on making perfect Thanksgiving holiday turkey.
Choose The Right Turkey
Buy a turkey that fits right into your oven and the baking/roasting pan. Buying an oversized turkey can alter the heating properties and may result in raw, undone undone turkey parts. Make sure you get a turkey that is just enough for the number of guests attending your dinner celebration. An easy way to figure this out is 1.5 of turkey pound per person at your table. So if you have 5 people get a 7.5 lb turkey. If you have “healthier” eaters, then change the formula to 2 pound per person at the table.
Make sure your turkey is properly thawed before you even start the preparation process. Frozen foods usually take lots of time when it comes to cooking as compared to working with the fresh ones. Turkeys that are not properly thawed can also result to uneven cooking or some raw turkey parts. A 10 lb turkey takes about 2 to 3 days and a 20 lb bird takes up to 5 days.
Brining helps keep the moisture and taste of the turkey while cooking. For best results, use the right amount of salt and water mixture and brine your turkey overnight. These are some tips from Gena Knox, founder of Fire and Flavor on getting the perfect brine.
Work with cooking time and temperature in roasting. The time and temperature that you set on your turkey depends the bird’s size. Adjust the time and temperature of roasting according to the size of the turkey you bought. The average temperature when roasting turkeys are between 325° and 375°F.
Let your turkey cool down for at least 20-30 minutes before your serve it to your guests. It helps the meat and juices settle in and makes carving/slicing easier.
Brushing the turkey with a generous amount of melted butter will add flavor and help in achieving a nice brown roast on the out part of the turkey.
For turkeys without stuffing– To check for the doneness of your turkey, you can either use a meat thermometer or you can pierce a fork into the turkey. A properly cooked turkey should have no juices or any trace of pink in the meat.