In Need of Turkey Tips?

23 Nov

Here are some of the best I’ve seen including a few from my dear old Mom.

from Food Network:

1. Thawing a frozen turkey requires patience. The safest method is to thaw turkey in the refrigerator. Be sure to plan ahead — it takes approximately 3 days for a 20 pound turkey to fully defrost.

2. For crisper skin, unwrap the turkey the day before roasting and leave it uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.

3. Cooking times will differ depending on whether your bird was purchased fresh or frozen. Plan on 20 minutes per pound in a 350 degree F oven for a defrosted turkey and 10 to 15 minutes per pound for fresh.

From the Reluctant Gourmet

4. Roast the bird at 325 degrees F. with the legs pointing to the back, the hottest part of the oven. 2/3’s of the way through, tent the bird with foil to prevent the skin from over browning. A 16 to 24 pound stuffed turkey takes approximately 12 to 15 minutes per pound.

5. Use a thermometer! Whether it’s an oven thermometer you poke into the turkey leg or an instant thermometer, forget about those pop-ups. The only thing they tell you is when the turkey is over-cooked. My mom taught me to wiggle the leg to see if it’s loose to determine if the turkey is done. That works as well as those pop-ups with the same results. I’ve looked at several cookbooks to find the correct temperatures to tell when the bird is done. It’s a little confusing because they ranged from 165 degrees F to 180 degrees F. registered from the inner thigh. I usually remove the bird at 165 – 170 degrees F, cover it with tin foil, and let it stand until the temperature registers 180 degrees F.

From Martha Stewart

6. For a large party, you’ll need a big bird — say, 15 to 20 pounds; figure 1 1/2 pounds for each person. Smaller birds — 12 pounds or less — have a smaller meat-to-bone ratio, so allow 2 pounds per person. Remember that the larger the bird, the more likely you are to have leftovers for the next few days.
From Mom
7. Clean the turkey, dry inside.  Put turkey breast side up on rack in roasting pan. Fill pan with 2-3 cups of either water or chicken stock (from the can) melt 1 stick of butter, brush the  butter all over turkey and season. Cover with foil, not a tent, actually cover it and seal the edges.  Leave some room, like with tenting around the bird itself.  Pre-heat oven to 425, put on middle (if it will fit) rack for 1  1/2 hours. Then turn heat down to 375, leave foil on for another 15 minutes, then remove foil, keep heat at 375 and continue cooking, basting every 30 minutes or so.  For a 21 pound stuffed turkey it should take about a total of 4 to 41/2 hours. Use a thermometer to check it. When you prick the skin, the juice should run clear, if it’s pink, it’s not done!! Temp should read 180 degrees at the thickest part.

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