Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Perfect Turkey

How To Cook The Perfect Turkey

The turkey is the central element of any good Thanksgiving meal. An otherwise perfect meal can be ruined by a dry, overcooked turkey. Since this isn’t something we cook on a weekly basis, it’s not easy to pull off the perfect turkey… unless you follow these tips and the recipe below. 


Read the entire article at the source: The Frustrated Moms

Start with a quality turkey.

Thaw the turkey slowly in the fridge

When you are ready to cook your turkey, remove the neck, giblets and anything else that may be stuffed in the chest cavity of your bird.

Set it in a large roasting pan.

Cut up vegetables just for flavor. Stick them in the body cavity. They will infuse the bird with flavor as it cooks. 

Melt a cup of butter in the microwave.

Cook the turkey in a 325 degree oven. Baste it every 30 – 45 minutes with the juices that collect in the bottom of the roasting pan. 

Here are some general guidelines for how long your bird should cook:

8 to 12 lbs. 2 ¾ to 3 hrs.
12 to 14 lbs. 3 to 3 ¾ hrs.
14 to 18 lbs. 3 ¾ to 4 ¼ hrs.
18 to 20 lbs. 4 ¼ to 4 ½ hrs.
20 to 24 lbs. 4 ½ to 5 hrs.

A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer.  Don't overcook or it will be dry, but do make sure it is done.
My Notes:

I like to salt my turkey and then slice up butter and place under the skin before roasting.  I also make a foil tent or use a large roaster with lid to keep the moisture in with the bird.  I remove the foil/lid from the pan at the end of cooking just to brown up the skin for a great crunchy taste.

source: The Frustrated Moms

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