ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Make an Easy, Great Tasting Thanksgiving Turkey

Updated on October 29, 2010

A breast down turkey? Learn why it may be a better idea

Tovolo Easy-to-Use, Angle Tipped, Dripless Baster, Large, Clear
Tovolo Easy-to-Use, Angle Tipped, Dripless Baster, Large, Clear

This Tovolo Clear Drip less Baster features a clear, see-through cylinder, allowing you to view the volume of juice inside. The specially designed valve inside the tip keeps its contents from dripping out until you release the juice intentionally. No more messy basting in the kitchen, this baster is a great solution for any home chef.

 

Each year hundreds of people are left clueless and helpless when faced with the star of all Thanksgiving dinners; yes, you got it, Mr. Turkey. Yet, it does not have to be this way. For all those that suffer from relentless turkey-phobia are some easy, simple, clear tips that will help cook the perfect Thanksgiving turkey. So relax and fear not, Thanksgiving does not have to turn into an intimidating event, rather, with a little bit of effort and time, you will be able to unveil the cook within you as you transport the mighty bird on your festive table.

One Week Prior Thanksgiving: Choosing the Big Bird Wisely

It all starts by choosing the best bird. You really want to be somewhat picking when it comes to picking your turkey. Stray away from the so popular frozen birds you find in your local supermarket. You will not need to worry about defrosting it several days prior and its taste will be way much superior than its frozen friends. Fresh turkeys are also much more moist and juicy.

Because fresh turkeys may be in demand, try to order it a week prior from your butcher. Then go pick it up a day prior the holiday so you will eat it at its peak of freshness. If you really want to do your family and yourself a favor, and do not worry about spending a bit more, go organic.

Organic turkeys are not raised in barns, they are actually happy, free range turkeys that gobble-gobble most of the day eating natural grasses and flowers. They are also often antibiotic free, meaning that they were not fed antibiotics to make them look plumper (check the packaging, often this should be stated somewhere).

Depending on how many guests you expect you will have to do some math on picking the size of your turkey. One easy equation: calculate one pound of turkey per person this way you cannot go wrong. Eager for leftovers? Than calculate one pound and a half for each guest. Two smaller birds are preferable than one big bird, because smaller birds are generally tastier. Generally a 10-13 pound bird is quite tasty, over that, you may lose a bit in flavor..

One Day Prior to Thanksgiving :Storing the Turkey

Before heading to your butcher, make sure to make plenty of room in your refrigerator. You do not want to end up leaving your fresh turkey on the counter while you are juggling around yogurt cups, lettuce and eggs. Turkeys are quite bulky beings especially if you are going for the extra large birds.

Once purchased, the fresh turkey should be kept in the coldest portion of the refrigerator to grant freshness. A disadvantage however of purchasing a fresh turkey is the fact that it must be cooked within a couple of days. Keeping a fresh turkey in the fridge beyond three days may be really an unsafe practice.

*For those that want to go an extra mile they may brine their turkey. Brining means simply leaving the turkey in a salty solution for the purpose of increasing taste, moisture and palatability. Important: Kosher turkeys or turkeys that have been pre-basted should not be brined as these already contain enough salt. Brining takes time however, some recipes suggest a 12 hour soak .There are several turkey brine recipes on the web.

Thanksgiving Day: Getting Ready

Turkeys may take a long time to cook so you really cannot procrastinate on Thanksgiving day. Remove the package with the internal organs and neck found inside the turkey and then wash the turkey well with water. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.

Now most people know about the part where some butter is melted and then rubbed all over the skin of the turkey. An alternative way to do this in order to get one of the juiciest and moistest turkeys ever is to simply lift the skin from the turkey breast, and massage the butter directly onto the breast. After all, you want the meat to taste great ad be juicy not the skin!

For those looking for more taste, a sprig or two of fresh rosemary and/or thyme may be placed between the skin and the breast. The whole turkey skin can then be rubbed with salt pepper and some paprika so the skin remains crisp and takes a nice golden color.

It is highly advisable to not stuff the turkey. The stuffing may not cook well as the turkey causing a health hazard. It should be therefore cooked separately. While most turkeys are cooked breast up, cooking the turkey breast down may grant a juicier turkey since all the fluids will flow under

The oven should be pre-heated at 325 degrees. The turkey is then covered with a loose tent of foil so to keep it moist. The tent is then removed in the last hour of cooking and at this time the turkey is put breast up so to allow it to get its typical golden color.

Turkey should cook 20 minutes per pound.The turkey is ready when the food thermometer registers a temperature of 160 degrees in the breast area and 170-175 at the thigh.

Once ready, tent turkey again and wait about 20 minutes before carving. This helps the juices to flow and distribute evenly in the turkey so to grant a juicier bird. Turkey is done at this point, Happy Thanksgiving!

Other Great Thanksgiving Baking and Decorating Ideas

Nordic Ware Classic Turkey 3D Pan, Bronze
Nordic Ware Classic Turkey 3D Pan, Bronze

Sure to inspire oohs & ahhs, the cake you make with our turkey pan will be the star of the table. Heavy cast aluminum bakeware provides superior baking performance. Baked goods rise evenly, cook uniformly, are finely detailed and have delicious golden crusts due to the heavy duty walls of the pan. Our special heat reflective exterior and premium non-stick surface assures perfect stick-free results. Proudly made in the USA by Nordic Ware.

 

How to Brine a Turkey

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)