1. Choose the right type of turkey.
There are plenty of options at your grocery store including Fresh, Frozen, Organic, etc. Heritage turkeys are leaner and typically more flavorful even though they cost a little extra. If organic is something important to you, make sure to read the label ensuring the bird was raised to standard. Fresh might seem better than frozen to some, but it’s up to you to decide. Some frozen turkeys are snap-frozen, meaning they are quickly frozen just after butchering to save freshness. If you’re looking to save some time, buying fresh eliminates the defrosting process.
2. Select the right size of turkey.
Now that you’ve chosen the right type of turkey it’s time to get down to the size of the bird. Take a mental count of how many guests you’ll be serving, plus yourself, on Thanksgiving and multiple that number by 1–1 1/2 pounds. Add a few pounds to account for the bones and you should have an idea of the size you need. For example, if you’re having nine people over for Thanksgiving, buy a 16-pound turkey.
3. Properly defrost and clean your turkey.
To stifle the growth of bacteria, thaw your turkey breast-side-up on a rimmed baking sheet in the refrigerator. Allow a full day of thawing for every four pounds of turkey. Even if you buy fresh, cleaning a turkey is essential. Simply rinsing the turkey under cool running water and drying it completely with paper towels will do the job.
4. Choose a method to keep your turkey moist.
Brining your turkey is a great way to keep the bird moist and bring flavor into the meat. Brines typically include water, salt, sugar, and spices, so pick a brine that looks the most appealing to you and make sure to properly follow proportions of each ingredient. Rubbing butter, oil, or even mayonnaise mixed with spices on the dry skin will lock moisture in, and should always be done before putting the turkey into the oven. Skip the basting method because opening and closing the oven will create fluctuations in temperature that can effect cooking time.
5. Cook the turkey to the right temperature, then give it a rest.
Avoid over or undercooking a turkey by checking its internal temperature at the thigh and the breast. 165 Degrees is the golden temperature that the thigh, breast, and stuffing inside (if included) should consistently be before pulling the bird out of the oven. When it is pulled out, let the turkey rest for 15–20 minutes before carving to allow the juices to set.
There are so many ways to cook a turkey, but remember to enjoy it too! Hopefully these five tips for a perfect turkey have given you the confidence to be a champion cook this Thanksgiving. For even more ways to impress your guests here are some fabulous ideas for holiday side dishes to accompany your flavorful turkey.
Also make sure your guests arrive and depart safely during the holiday with these Thanksgiving travel tips. Stop by our Fenton area Chevrolet dealership for any auto service, like an oil change, you may need before hitting the road.
Located at 9009 East Lansing Road Durand, MI 48429, Hank Graff Chevrolet Durand is revolutionizing the car buying experience. We provide all the transparency and customer service you need, while simultaneously making your purchase experience fun! Learn more about Hank Graff Chevrolet Durand, or for any questions contact us at (989) 288-2657 or visit our website at www.GraffChevyDurand.com!