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A Guide to Preparing and Cooking a Turkey

No doubt that roast turkey is a showstopping addition to your table. We’re here to help you with our handy guide to Preparing and Cooking a Turkey and give you advice that will result in the best possible meal.

Turkey roasted to perfection

A handy guide to Preparing and Cooking a Turkey

Make a moist and tender roast turkey that your family will enjoy with simple and specific guidelines here.

Roasting is quite easy to do. After brining and seasoning the turkey to perfection, roast it in a preheated oven, breast-side up. You may wish to cut up and add some potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables before you start. Place the veggies underneath the grated bottom of the pan.

After that, place the turkey on top of the grating and bake it. The veggies will be flavored nicely by the turkey drippings, plus you will be taking advantage of an already hot oven. This foolproof recipe will result in a tender, juicy, tasty turkey with golden brown and crispy skin. Catch up on more details on roast turkey here.

Expert Tips for Perfect Roast Turkey

  • Get a fresh turkey that is big enough to serve family and friends. You can make the serving 1-1.25 pounds per adult and about half a pound per child. Plan 8 pounds of turkey for about 7 people and 10 pounds for 9 people.
  • I recommend using fresh turkeys because they are moist and get thawed quickly. On the other hand, frozen turkey may be drier and takes longer to thaw.
  • Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator for about 3-5 days before using it. You need a more extended day to thaw so that the ice on the inside and outside can dissolve completely. An icy turkey can turn out to be unevenly cooked – “a disaster.”
  • Remember to tie the legs with twine and stuff the turkey with about ¾ of the turkey’s inner cavity.
  • Some turkeys are already brined. Ensure that you check the label. You don’t need to brine it if it has already been brined.
  • You don’t need to wash the kitchen. Washing it with water doesn’t remove bacteria; it spreads bacteria. Roasting it is enough to clear bacteria.
  • Don’t skip the resting phase. Allow the turkey to rest before carving.

How to Know When Turkey is Done

The best way to know the turkey is done is with the thermometer. The meat is done when the measurement reaches 165 – 170 degrees F. A kitchen thermometer is essential to avoid overcooked or undercooked turkeys. Undercooked turkey isn’t safe for consumption, and overcooked one isn’t pleasant to eat. Undercooked turkeys aren’t safe for consumption, and overcooked ones will turn out too dry. No guesswork; use the thermometer for an accurate result.

Whole Turkey ready to b roasted

How to Check the Temperature of a Turkey

Insert a kitchen thermometer in the thickest part of the breast or inner thigh. Don’t allow the thermometer to touch the bone for an accurate result. Hold the thermometer still for the temperature to register on the thermometer before removing it.

How Long to Cook a Turkey by Pound

Generally, it takes about 13- 15 minutes to cook turkey per pound for an unstuffed turkey. Therefore 10 pounds of turkey will take about 2 hours and 30 minutes to cook. Ensure you use your thermometer to check for doneness.

How Long to Roast a Turkey

This roasting time for a turkey depends on the size of the turkey. The stuffing also adds to the time. This means an unstuffed turkey is faster than a stuffed turkey.

How Long to Cook a Stuffed and Unstuffed Turkey

Stuff vs. unstuffed turkey – Stuffing turkey means putting some veggies, herbs, and more in the turkey cook alongside the turkey. On the other hand, an unstuffed turkey has no fillings in the inner cavity. Whether or not to stuff it depends on you. You can decide to make the stuffing separately.

Stuffing increases the cooking time of the turkey. Ensure that you stuff it lightly if you don’t want to cook it longer. An unstuffed turkey takes about 15 minutes to cook per 1 pound at 350 degrees F. Here is a rough chart to guide you through cooking time for stuffed and unstuffed turkeys.

How do I get crispy, brown skin on my turkey?

The garlic butter rub is the cheat code for getting crispy brown skin. Everything gets better with butter rub. This garlic butter mix will help the skin get crispy and make the meat moist. Take it further by rubbing it under the skin for deep flavor infusion. Be generous with the rubbing, and you will get an excellent result.

How do I keep my turkey Moist?

The first cheat code is the garlic butter mix. Rub it on the back of the turkey generously. Next, cook the turkey slowly at 350 °F. Don’t cook it too fast to avoid drying out the meat. After thawing in the refrigerator, allow the turkey to sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before cooking it and also, resting time after roasting is critical to get a juicy roast turkey.

Leftovers and storage

Store leftovers after eating in the fridge or freezer. The leftovers will last about 3-4 days in the fridge and 2-3 months in the freezer. Feel free to turn the leftovers into another fantastic recipe, like sandwich fillings, salad, turkey fried rice, etc.

What oven Temperature to Cook a Turkey

Cook your turkey at 350 degrees F. Ensure that the oven is preheated to ensure even distribution of heat and even cooking.

What to pair with roast turkey?

Pair this turkey with delicious thanksgiving sides like gravy, Cranberry sauce, mashed sweet potatoes, stuffing, green beans, honey-glazed carrots, sauteed mushrooms, Hasselback potatoes, and baked sweet potatoes.

Other Thanksgiving Recipes

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