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Cooking the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey - useful tips

Updated on February 20, 2013

The biggest meal preparation project for every family is cooking the turkey. No matter what methods of cooking you choose you can prepare the bird that tastes and looks good every time.

If you are a beginner in cooking a turkey you should know three major mistakes that people may do. In the first place you should allow enough thawing time. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture you should let the bird thawing about 30 minutes per pound in the immersed water or one day for every four pounds in the refrigerator. You should never leave the turkey to thaw at room temperature. In the second place you should remove the innards which are coming with the whole turkey before cooking. In the third place do not stuff the bird. If you want to cook a succulent bird it is very hard to get this result because you have to cook it long enough to heat the stuffing.

Before you put the turkey in the oven you should add extra flavor to it. When you add flavor with moisture, you actually help to increase the chances that the breast meat will stay juicy during the cooking process. You can add juices by injecting it with a mixture of ingredients like butter, water and honey. Beyond moist flavorings, you have other options of seasonings which you can use them as stuffing like, celery, sliced onions, carrots, rosemary.

These days to cook the turkey will take less time than in the past. The USDA changed the rules about how long you should cook the turkey in order to kill the dangerous bacteria. So a turkey will be cooked when the internal temperature will be attained at165 degrees Fahrenheit. The simplest way to check this temperature is by using a kitchen thermometer put it in the thickest part of the raw thigh.

Another good advice is to avoid overcooking the breast. The breast will cook faster than the leg or thigh so to keep the breast by overcooking is to inject it with juices and that way you will also protect the breast from drying out. You can start cooking the bird with the breast side down and after an hour you can flip it. Another method is by raising the temperature right when you put the bird in the oven at around 450 degrees Fahrenheit and after half hour to an hour you should bump down the temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

After the turkey is cooked you should leave your masterpiece undisturbed for 20 to 25 minutes to redistribute the juices before carving.

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