Thanksgiving is a popular holiday celebrated with great mirth and enthusiasm. Turkey is the main highlight of Thanksgiving dinner. Learn how to cook the perfect turkey.
How To Cook The Perfect Turkey
The Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated to mark the gratitude that people feel for being blessed with all the good things in life. On this day, families, friends and neighbors get together and offer their prayers and thanks to God. A splendid feast is prepared on this day, and shared among friends and families. The traditional Thanksgiving feast includes pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn on the cob and a turkey dish. The turkey is the prized meal during a Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey is roasted, smoked, grilled, fried or stuffed. Cooking a turkey right is just as important as Thanksgiving itself. Preparing a perfect turkey on Thanksgiving can be quite intimidating. It is a challenge to cook a turkey without it being overcooked, undercooked, or burnt. Host your Thanksgiving feast with your friends and family with the best thanksgiving turkey. Here are some tips on how to cook the perfect turkey.
Choose Your Turkey
- Estimate the turkey size you need to serve your guests. You can calculate the weight of your turkey by allotting ¾ pounds of turkey per person. Make sure, you have enough turkey for all your guests.
- While shopping for your turkey, make sure to choose the best quality. Several types of turkey are available in the market. It is important to understand which one you want.
Defrosting The Turkey
The Turkey needs to be thawed before it can be cooked. You can defrost the turkey in 3 different ways. First, you could start by leaving the turkey in the refrigerator for a couple hours depending on the size and the weight of the turkey. You could also immerse it in cold water or defrost it in the microwave. Defrosting turkey in the refrigerator will ensure that the meat is free from contamination. Make sure you do not leave the turkey out in the open.
Flavoring The Turkey
Turkey meat has an amazing flavor in itself. Adding extra seasoning will only make the turkey taste even better. Before adding the seasoning, remove the neck and giblets from inside the turkey. Mix and rub the seasoning on the inside and on the outer skin of the turkey. Common seasonings are salt, pepper, garlic powder, celery, basil, sage, thyme, rosemary and parsley. Rub butter or olive oil in and around the turkey to retain the moisture. Whether you want to stuff the bird or not, depends entirely on you. It is safer to avoid the stuffing, especially if it is your first time.
Prepare The Turkey
- Before roasting the turkey, tuck the wings.
- Tie the turkey legs together with a kitchen string, to retain its shape.
- In order to keep the turkey moist and soft, cover the turkey breast with foil. Remember to remove the foil towards the end to thoroughly brown this portion for even cooking.
Cooking The Turkey
- Before roasting, leave the turkey outside for 1 hour.
- Place sliced carrots, celery, onions at the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Now place the turkey over the vegetables.
- Add stock or water on the roasting pan. The turkey will be juicy and moist.
- For safe cooking, insert an internal meat thermometer inside the thickest part of the turkey, which is at the thigh. Ensure that the turkey's internal temperature is at 165°F to destroy harmful bacteria.
- Set the oven to 325°F, for 15-20 minutes for each pound.
- When the thermometer reads 165°F, remove the turkey from the oven.
- To check if the turkey is cooked, pierce the meat with a fork, and ensure that the skin has no traces of pink.
- Cover the turkey with foil and let it rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.
The turkey is the centerpiece of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. There are several things to consider while cooking a turkey. With these tips, you can cook the perfect Thanksgiving turkey. You can also add some finishing touches of your own. Celebrate Thanksgiving with a fine, perfectly roasted turkey and share it with your family and friends.