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Thanksgiving 101: How to Fry a Turkey Slideshow

Thanksgiving 101: How to Fry a Turkey Slideshow


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Begin with a clean, dry turkey, with the giblets and neck removed. The turkey should be room temperature before proceeding.

Prep the Turkey

iStock

Begin with a clean, dry turkey, with the giblets and neck removed. The turkey should be room temperature before proceeding.

Season the Turkey

iStock

Rub the turkey with your preferred dried seasoning. Be sure to season the turkey thoroughly, both outside and inside the cavity, to ensure deep flavor.

Commence Frying

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Fill the fryer no more than 3/4 full with peanut oil. Too much oil can cause a fire — do not overfill! Heat the oil to 350 degrees and carefully lower the turkey into the fryer, wearing an oven mitt to protect your hands.

Cook The Turkey

iStock

Calculate the cooking time at three minutes per pound plus five minutes per bird. (So a 20-pound bird would require 65 minutes of frying time.) Make sure the turkey remains fully submerged while it cooks and keep the temperature at 350 degrees while frying.

Safe Frying Practices

iStock


Using an electric fryer indoors is a great way to get that crispy texture and delicious flavor without having to brave the elements. Given the high temperatures and dangers, be sure to follow these simple instructions:

  1. Completely thaw your turkey, or use a fresh turkey.
  2. Take the wrapper off of the turkey, and remove and discard the neck and giblets. Pat dry.
  3. Add oil to the fryer, but do not exceed the maximum fill line. Preheat oil in the fryer to 375° F.

Pro Tip

To completely drain excess moisture, place on an empty can, bottle or tube pan and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.

  1. While the oil is heating, prepare your turkey with any seasonings, marinades, or injected flavors. Tuck legs.
  2. Once the oil is heated, place the basket in the fryer for 30 seconds. Remove basket from oil, place turkey in basket. Slowly lower the turkey into the fryer. The turkey may not be totally immersed in the oil. This may cause the top part of the breast to remain white even though it is cooked to the proper end temperature.
  3. Set the timer and cook the turkey about 3 to 4 minutes per pound.
  4. Cook all dark meat to an internal temperature of 175° F to 180° F, and all white meat to an internal temperature of 165° F to 170° F. Here's some help on how to check your turkey's temperature for doneness.
  5. When the turkey is done, slowly lift it from the pot and place it in a pan or on paper towels to drain.
  6. Let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before removing it from the rack or basket to carve.

If your turkey is 14 lbs. or less, you can deep-fry it whole. If it’s 15 lbs. or more, separate the legs and thighs from the breast and fry them separately or use a Butterball XL Turkey Fryer.

Be sure your turkey is completely thawed.

Do not stuff you turkey when deep-frying. Cook the stuffing separately.

To minimize sticking to the basket, submerge the empty basket in the hot oil for about 30 seconds remove and place turkey inside and resubmerge.

When cooking turkey parts, oil temperature should be 325° F may take 4 to 5 minutes per pound to reach the recommended temperatures (dark meat to an internal temperature of 175° F to 180° F, and white meat to an internal temperature of 165° F to 170° F).

You'll need 2.5-3 gallons of oil.

The oil takes about 25-30 minutes to preheat.


The Turkey

A turkey breast can be a more affordable and faster-cooking option if you don't want tons of leftover turkey. For a how-to, see the video at the top of this page.

If you want the experience of cooking the whole bird — or are already excited about eating Thanksgiving leftovers — make sure to plan in advance.

Most of the time, large turkeys are bought frozen and need to thaw in the fridge. That can take as long as three days, depending on the size.

The timing below is for a 14-pound turkey. Butterball has a calculator that can help you figure out how long to cook the size of turkey you pick up.

To thaw the turkey in the fridge, keep it wrapped in its original packaging. Put the bird in a pan to catch any liquid and avoid a mess.

Frozen turkeys typically come with extra giblets in the main cavity and the neck area. Remember to remove all of it before you start cooking (Save the giblets for the bonus gravy recipe in the video above!).

Seasoning the turkey is as easy as rubbing olive oil, then salt and pepper over the skin. Put roughly chopped celery, carrots and onion into the main cavity.

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To cook the turkey, use an oven bag or tent it with aluminum foil.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees then roast. Use a meat thermometer to start checking the temperature after about an hour and 45 minutes. For any size turkey, you want the thickest part of the thigh to reach the safe temperature, 165 degrees.

If you use aluminum foil, remove it during the last 25 minutes so you get nice, browned skin.

You can use the juices of the turkey for a hearty gravy. Watch how Megan McGrath does it in the video above.


Holiday Turkey 101

The turkey is the most important part of your holiday meal. But it’s also the hardest to prepare. The legs cook slower than the white meat, which often turns out dry and chalky before the dark meat is safe to eat. What’s more, the skin often fails to crisp, and the meat tends to be bland. We’ve cooked hundreds of turkeys and know what works when it comes time to roast your holiday bird. And since no turkey is complete without gravy and stuffing, you’ll find our best tips for those recipes as well.

How to Prepare a Turkey for Roasting

A frozen 20-pound bird can take four days to thaw in the refrigerator. Plan on one day per five pounds of turkey, and always thaw in the refrigerator.

1. After removing the outer wrapping from the turkey, remove the neck and giblet package from the turkey cavity. Be sure to check both cavities of the turkey.

2. Pat the turkey thoroughly dry with paper towels.

3. Secure the legs by tucking the ankles of the bird into the band of skin at the tail end. If the band is missing, tie the legs together at the ankles with kitchen twine.

4. The bird will look neater if you tuck the wing tips under the bird. Grasp each wing tip and twist it toward the bird. Tuck it under the bottom of the bird.

5. Brush the breast and legs with melted butter.

6. Place the turkey breast-side down in the V-rack and brush with melted butter.

Foolproof Make-Ahead Gravy

1. Brown, then sweat the onion, neck, heart, and gizzard (but not the liver) to build a deep base of flavor.

2. Deglaze with chicken broth and water, scraping the flavorful brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

3. Strain out (and discard) giblets and onion the broth can be refrigerated until ready to use.

4. Stir flour into melted butter, whisking constantly, to make a roux, which thickens the gravy and adds nutty flavor.

5. Slowly add broth to roux, whisking constantly, until full incorporated. This mixture can be made a day in advance.

6. While the turkey rests, pour defatted drippings from the roasting pan into gravy for extra richness.

Turning the Turkey

Our favorite method for roasting a turkey calls for roasting the bird breast-side down for the first hour and then flipping it onto its back until it's done. We developed this unusual technique through much trial and error (and literally dozens of turkeys) to ensure the dark and white meat get done at the same time, thus preventing chalky, dry breast meat. The dark meat, exposed to the high heat of the oven at the start, gets a head start while the leaner breast is afforded some protection. We freely admit our technique adds a step, also that the cook will have to briefly tussle with a hot, cumbersome turkey. But the payoff is very much worth the effort. The method guarantees a moist, juicy turkey from tip to tail or, more accurately, breast to thigh. And did we mention the golden, crackling skin? One word of caution: The bigger the bird, the harder it is to flip. Make sure to insulate your hands with clean pot holders or kitchen towels.

TIP & FLIP

Tip the turkey so the juices in the cavity run into the pan. Then, with kitchen towels or potholders, flip the turkey and set breast-side up on the rack.

How to Take the Temperature of Turkey

Nothing ruins turkey timing like a faulty temperature reading, leaving the turkey unpalatably dry or, worse, undercooked. To be sure we've cooked our turkey correctly, we take the temperature in multiple spots. And forget about those pop-up timers. They are set to go off when the turkey is overcooked.

TO TAKE THE TEMPERATURE OF THE BREAST:

Insert the thermometer at the neck end, holding it parallel to the bird. Confirm the temperature in both sides of the bird. The breast should reach 165 degrees.

TO TAKE THE TEMPERATURE OF THE THIGH:

Insert an instant-read thermometer between the breast and drumstick and into the thickest part of the thigh, staying away from the bone. The thigh should reach 175 degrees. Confirm the temperature in the other thigh.

Carve Turkey Like a Pro

Despite the clichés of proud dads slicing at the table, carving is a messy job. Better to get down and dirty in the kitchen, where you can break down the turkey and carve neat, picture-perfect slices without anyone seeing. To serve the meat, transfer it to a pretty platter and bring to the table.

STEP 1

Slice through the skin between the breast and leg and, using your hands, pull the leg quarters down until the joint between breast and leg is exposed. Remove the leg by cutting between the hip joint and any attached skin. Repeat with opposite leg. Remove the wings by cutting through the wing joints.

STEP 2

Separate the thighs from the drumsticks by cutting between the joint that connects the two. Leave the drumsticks whole and slice the thigh meat off the bone.

STEP 3

Remove the breast meat from the carcass by running the tip of the knife along the breastbone.

STEP 4

Use your other hand to hold and pry meat from the bone as you cut.

STEP 5

Slice the removed breast meat crosswise into slices. Repeat with the other breast.

Turkey 101

Although you might think a frozen bird is easier (no need to put in an order for a fresh bird from the butcher), a frozen turkey requires some planning, unless you want to deal with a rock-hard bird on Thanksgiving morning.

What’s the best way to thaw a frozen turkey?
Defrost the turkey in the refrigerator, calculating 1 day of defrosting for every 5 pounds of turkey. Say you’re cooking a 12-pound turkey. The frozen bird should be placed in the refrigerator on Monday so that it’s defrosted and ready to cook on Thanksgiving Day. If you plan on brining your bird the night before the big day (see question below), start thawing that 12-pound bird on Sunday.

What if I don’t thaw the turkey ahead of time?
Don’t panic. You can still save the situation. Fill a large bucket with cold water. For a 12-pound bird, thaw the turkey (still in its original wrapper) in the bucket for 6 to 8 hours (or 30 minutes per pound). Change the cold water every half hour to guard against bacteria growth.

How should I brine a turkey?
We sometimes brine turkey to make it moist and flavorful. Our overnight brine (12 to 14 hours) uses half a cup of table salt per gallon of cold water. For a quicker brine (4 to 6 hours), we use a whole cup of table salt per gallon of water. Depending on the size of the bird and your brining bucket, you will need 2 to 3 gallons of water. Keep the turkey in the refrigerator while brining to keep it at a safe temperature. If your refrigerator is full, use a big cooler and ice packs. Don’t leave the turkey in the brine longer than we suggest or it will be too salty. At the recommended hour, rinse off the salty water and pat the turkey dry with paper towels.

Is it better to stuff the turkey or serve dressing?
In the test kitchen, we prefer to cook the stuffing, or dressing, separately. Cooking the stuffing inside the bird to a safe internal temperature takes too long: By the time the stuffing is safe to eat, the meat is overcooked. Instead we bake our dressing in a dish alongside the turkey, or while the turkey rests. The crisp crust is an added bonus. Still, we recognize that every family has its own Thanksgiving traditions. If yours demands a stuffed bird, take the turkey out of the oven when the meat is done, scoop out the stuffing, and finish baking it in a dish while the turkey rests. Stuffing should reach a minimum temperature of 165 degrees.

Do I need to truss the bird?
To prevent the legs from splaying open, which could make them cook unevenly, we tuck them into the pocket of skin at the tail end. Not all turkeys have such a pocket. If yours doesn’t, simply tie the ankles together with kitchen twine. There is no need to fuss with trussing.

What about basting?
Despite what you’ve been told, basting does nothing to moisten dry breast meat. The liquid simply runs off the turkey, meanwhile turning the skin chewy and leathery. Also basting requires that you incessantly open and close the oven, which means you won’t be sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner anytime soon.

Does the turkey really need to rest before I carve it?
Yes. Thirty minutes or so gives it time to reabsorb the meat juices otherwise they’ll dribble out when you slice, and the meat will be dry. Don’t tent the turkey with foil to keep it warm while it’s resting it will make the skin soggy and is unnecessary. As long as the turkey is intact, it will cool quite slowly.

Turkey Cooking Times

Anyone who's cooked a turkey knows that timing the bird is tricky. No one wants to serve dinner in the middle of the football game, and a midnight supper is no good either. Use the chart below to help plan your meal. For absolute precision, gauge doneness according to the internal temperature—the thickest part of the thigh should register 170 to 175 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. If cooking a big bird—18 to 22 pounds—you may decide it's too heavy to rotate in that case, roast it breast side up for the entire cooking time.

TURKEY WEIGHT: 12-15 pounds

Oven Temperature: 400 degrees

Roasting Time: 45 minutes breast side down, 50-60 minutes breast side up


TURKEY WEIGHT: 15-18 pounds

Oven Temperature: 400 degrees

Roasting Time: 45 minutes breast side down, 1 hour, 15 minutes breast side up


Recipe Summary

  • One 20- to 21-pound fresh whole turkey, giblets and neck removed from cavity and reserved
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • One 750-ml bottle dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Classic Stuffing
  • 1 cup dry red or white wine, for gravy (optional)
  • Giblet Stock

Rinse turkey with cool water, and dry with paper towels. Let stand for 2 hours at room temperature.

Place rack on lowest level in oven. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine melted butter and white wine in a bowl. Fold a large piece of cheesecloth into quarters and cut it into a 17-inch, 4-layer square. Immerse cheesecloth in the butter and wine let soak.

Place turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack in a heavy metal roasting pan. If the turkey comes with a pop-up timer, remove it an instant-read thermometer is a much more accurate indication of doneness. Fold wing tips under turkey. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper inside turkey. Fill large cavity and neck cavity loosely with as much stuffing as they hold comfortably do not pack tightly. (Cook remaining stuffing in a buttered baking dish for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.) Tie legs together loosely with kitchen string (a bow will be easy to untie later). Fold neck flap under, and secure with toothpicks. Rub turkey with the softened butter, and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and pepper.

Lift cheesecloth out of liquid, and squeeze it slightly, leaving it very damp. Spread it evenly over the breast and about halfway down the sides of the turkey it can cover some of the leg area. Place turkey, legs first, in oven. Cook for 30 minutes. Using a pastry brush, baste cheesecloth and exposed parts of turkey with butter and wine. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to cook for 2 1/2 more hours, basting every 30 minutes and watching pan juices if the pan gets too full, spoon out juices, reserving them for gravy.

After this third hour of cooking, carefully remove and discard cheesecloth. Turn roasting pan so that the breast is facing the back of the oven. Baste turkey with pan juices. If there are not enough juices, continue to use butter and wine. The skin gets fragile as it browns, so baste carefully. Cook 1 more hour, basting after 30 minutes.

After this fourth hour of cooking, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. Do not poke into a bone. The temperature should reach 180 degrees (stuffing should be between 140 degrees and 160 degrees) and the turkey should be golden brown. The breast does not need to be checked for temperature. If legs are not yet fully cooked, baste turkey, return to oven, and cook another 20 to 30 minutes.

When fully cooked, transfer turkey to a serving platter, and let rest for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the gravy. Pour all the pan juices into a glass measuring cup. Let stand until grease rises to the surface, about 10 minutes, then skim it off. Meanwhile, place roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup dry red or white wine, or water, to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the pan until liquid boils and all the crisp bits are unstuck from pan. Add giblet stock to pan. Stir well, and bring back to a boil. Cook until liquid has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add the defatted pan juices, and cook over medium-high heat 10 minutes more. You will have about 2 1/2 cups of gravy. Season to taste, strain into a warm gravy boat, and serve with turkey.


How to Deep Fry a Turkey

  1. Gather your supplies and materials. You’ll need a turkey, peanut oil, propane burner, stock pot, frying basket, temperature gauge, meat thermometer, a rod, an apron, and a fire extinguisher.
  2. Prep the turkey and cooking area by filling the pot with oil, appropriately following the below directions and guidelines.
  3. Fry the turkey using caution and care to prevent oil spills, grease fires, and injury.
  4. Remove the turkey again, without blowing yourself up, burning your house down, or dropping that perfectly cooked turkey on the ground.
  5. Eat, clean-up, and nap.

Warning: If you don’t know already, deep frying a turkey can be very, very dangerous. You might practice frying smaller items before tackling a turkey or enlist a helper who knows something about deep frying. Seriously. Improper frying techniques can lead to severe burns and house fires. Don’t be the guy who burns down his neighborhood all for a fried bird.


Thanksgiving 101: How to Fry a Turkey Slideshow - Recipes

HOW DO YOU DEFROST A TURKEY?
It’s best to thaw your turkey in a refrigerator that’s 40 degrees or cooler. A good rule of thumb is to allow 24 hours of thawing time for every 4 to 5 pounds of turkey.

If you’ve run out of time, you can defrost the turkey in a sink filled with cold water. Thaw the turkey breast side down, in its unopened wrapper, in enough cold water to cover it completely. Change the water frequently to keep the turkey chilled. Estimate a minimum thawing time of 30 minutes per pound for a whole turkey.
HOW TO DRY BRINE A TURKEY
The benefit of brining? You will end up with a moist flavorful turkey.
The downside of brining? You will need a large space in the fridge to put the turkey in the bag of liquid and the process is somewhat messy. The drippings will be too salty to use for gravy.

Don’t brine a kosher turkey it has already been salted.

Serves 10 to 12
Ingredients
1 turkey (12 to 15 pounds), giblets and neck reserved for gravy, outer wing joint cut off and reserved for gravy
3 tablespoons kosher salt

Directions
Gently separate the turkey skin from the meat on the breast, legs and thighs without breaking the skin. Rub 1 tablespoon salt evenly inside the cavity of the turkey, 1 ½ teaspoons under the skin of each breast and 1 ½ teaspoons under the skin of each leg/thigh. Wrap the turkey in plastic wrap or tightly in a plastic bag and chill for 24 to 36 hours. Pat very dry and proceed with the roasting recipe.
HOW TO ROAST A TURKEY
If the turkey is frozen, thaw in the refrigerator or a sink of cold water (see procedure above).
Should the Turkey Be Rinsed?
Raw poultry shouldn’t be rinsed, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The reason is that when you rinse, you risk contaminating the sink and everything around it with salmonella bacteria.


But, if you’d rather rinse off the juices, you can. You just must clean the sink, countertop — everything else that has come into contact with the raw turkey — with soap and hot water, and then follow that with a little bleach.

To Stuff or Not to Stuff?
It’s safer not to stuff the turkey. The internal temperature of turkey and stuffing should both reach at least 165 degrees. So, if you let the stuffing get to that temperature inside the turkey, the bird temperature will probably already be up to 175 degrees, which means the meat will be overcooked and dry.

Some people really prefer the taste of stuffing that has been cooked inside the turkey. If you’re one of them and the stuffing has not reached 165F inside the turkey when you take the turkey out, just scoop out the stuffing and put it in a shallow baking dish. Cover it and bake it until it has reached an internal temperature of 165F.

Do not purchase prestuffed turkeys. You should stuff the bird right before it’s cooked, and stuffing ingredients should be precooked.

What is the Turkey Roasting Procedure?
Preheat oven to 325 F. Arrange an oven shelf in the lower third of the oven. Remove the neck and giblets from the body cavity of the turkey, reserving them for turkey broth (see turkey broth recipe below). Drain the juices and pat the bird dry inside and out.

If stuffing, stuff right before roasting (see basic stuffing recipe below) and return legs to tucked position.

Arrange the turkey breast side up in a rack (preferably a v-rack), set in a heavy large roasting pan. Melt a stick of butter and brush the turkey all over with one third of the butter. Season with salt and pepper and cover the whole turkey loosely with foil. Pour two cups of chicken broth into the bottom of the roasting pan and roast the turkey in the lower third of the oven for 1 hour. Uncover and baste with another third of the butter, pour 2 cups of water into the bottom of the roasting pan. Recover the turkey and roast until approximately half way through the total cooking time. Uncover the turkey, baste with the remaining butter and roast, uncovered, until a thermometer when inserted in the thickest part of the leg thigh joint reaches 165 F. Add more water to the pan if all the juices in the bottom dry up.

Transfer the turkey to a platter, leaving the drippings in the pan for the gravy (see gravy recipe below) and cover the turkey loosely with foil. Let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes, preferably 30 minutes before carving.

How Can You Tell When the Turkey Is Done?
The turkey must be cooked to a temperature of 165 degrees. Read the temperature of the turkey by inserting a thermometer into the leg/ thigh joint. The temperature will rise to 175 degrees with resting time.

Here’s a guide, by weight, of turkey cooking times (at 325 degrees). This guide comes from the USDA. I recommend that you check your turkey for doneness a full 30 minutes before the earlier times on this chart.

  • Eight to 12 lbs: 2 ¾ to 3 hours (unstuffed) 3 to 3 ½ hours (stuffed).
  • Twelve to 14 lbs: 3 to 3 ¾ hours (unstuffed) 3 ½ to 4 hours (stuffed).
  • Fourteen to 18 lbs: 3 ¾ to 4 ¼ hours (unstuffed) 4 to 4 ¼ hours (stuffed).
  • Eighteen to 20 lbs: 4 ¼ to 4 ½ hours (unstuffed) 4 ¼ to 4 ¾ hours (stuffed).
  • Twenty to 24 lbs: 4 ½ to 5 hours (stuffed) 4 ¾ hours to 5 ¼ hours (stuffed).

The turkey should rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
If you loosely cover the turkey with foil, it will remain hot for up to one hour.

Resting allows the turkey to finish cooking. If you carve the turkey right after it’s cooked, without allowing it to rest, the juices will run out and the bird will be dry.


8. 35 Ground Turkey Recipes


Best Recipe Ground Turkey
from 35 Ground Turkey Recipes
. Source Image: diyjoy.com. Visit this site for details: diyjoy.com

If your turkey is not close to area temperature when it goes in the oven, it will certainly take longer to cook. If it is at room temp, it may take less time to cook.


Turkey 101: How to cook a Thanksgiving turkey

Are you cooking the Thanksgiving turkey this year? Even those of us who cook for a living can feel the pressure when it comes to this holiday meal. You’ve got the bird — and it’s big — and one shot to get it right. This is performance anxiety, of the Norman Rockwell kind.

But don’t stress. Take a deep breath, and remember that cooking a Thanksgiving turkey involves nothing really more than a few basic steps: You need a turkey, some seasoning, a roasting pan fitted with a rack, and a thermometer. Oh, and a working oven. (Once I went to cook a meal at a friend’s house only to learn that she stored her winter clothes in the oven and didn’t actually know if it worked.)

Buy your turkey. Figure on buying about 1 pound per person, more if you want plenty of leftovers. If you’re buying the turkey frozen, thaw it before cooking you don’t want to roast a frozen bird. The best way is to let it thaw in the refrigerator a few days before cooking. On game day, if it’s still frozen, run the turkey under cool running water until it is completely thawed.

On Thanksgiving, put the bird in the pan. Remove the neck and giblets bag from the turkey. You do not have to wash the bird — the USDA actually recommends against this as the water splashing can spread bacteria — but please DO wash your hands and any tool or surface that comes into contact with the raw turkey. Salmonella is real, friends, and you don’t want your guests remembering the holiday for anything other than your fabulous meal.

Season and truss bird. Rub salt and pepper both inside and out you can add a touch of spice or chopped herbs if you want to get fancy. Truss the turkey — or at least tie the legs together, which will make it look prettier — and place it on a rack inside the roasting pan. (Be sure to place the bird breast-side up in the pan — the first year I cooked a bird, I didn’t know which side was up, and then couldn’t tell why there was no meat. Funny now, but I was mortified at the time.)

A note on stuffing: Most sources recommend cooking the stuffing separately from the bird. If you choose to cook the stuffing in the bird, you will need to cook the turkey until the bird — and the center of the stuffing — reaches a safe temperature of 165 degrees, which will increase roasting time. By the time the stuffing is safe to eat, your bird will be overdone and dry. It’s way easier to cook it separately in a pan.

Heat your oven to 425 degrees. Meanwhile, baste the bird all over with melted butter. (If you want, you can flavor the butter with a touch of maple syrup, mustard, or juice this will add extra flavor as the turkey cooks.) Place the turkey in the oven.

Roast the turkey. First, cook the bird for 15 to 20 minutes to give it some color, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees. Continue roasting the turkey, basting it every half hour or so with butter or pan juices, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh meat reaches 165 degrees.

Cook it until it’s done. While there are several ways to check for doneness, temperature is the only safe way to tell if the turkey is actually done. The total roasting time will vary depending on the size of the bird but can range from 2½ to 3 hours for an 8- to 12-pound bird to 4 to 5 hours for an 18- to 20-pound bird. I prefer using a digital thermometer with a probe so I can keep track of the turkey’s progress in real time.

Rest the bird and pat yourself on the back. Give your turkey a chance to rest after it comes out of the oven, at least 15 to 20 minutes before carving. If you’re a little nervous about your carving skills, parade the bird out to your guests in the dining room before it’s carved, then carve/slice/hack the bird in the privacy of your kitchen where no one can see. Take your sliced masterpiece out to your guests, grab a seat and enjoy yourself. Congratulations, and well done!


Watch the video: ThanksGiving Day (July 2022).


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