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So you always cook your Thanksgiving turkey perfectly



  How-To-Cook-Thanksgiving-Turkey-Best

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This story is part of Holiday Survival Guide 2019 and contains tips for optimizing the holiday season.

Thanksgiving is here, which means it's time to eat turkey, or at least time to talk about it, if you need a little help in the last hours before the ritual festival begins. If you're a freshman or just need a refresher, we've got everything you need to know to cook a Thanksgiving turkey – with tips on what turkey size you should buy (if any are left in the grocery store). how long it will take to cook and when to thaw it (plus what to do if you forget).

We also discuss what tools you need to demolish it, and what to do if you screw it up – because, hey, it happens. Of course, there are countless ways to roast a Thanksgiving turkey (and that's before you even get into smoked turkey and deep-fried turkey), but we'll go with one of the most basic because it always works.

For a Straight On a Calmer Day, see our Thanksgiving Survival Guide for all the tips and tricks you need from travel tips to roadside while driving up to using yours Amazon Echo or Google Home for more than just setting timers and playing music. And of course healthy eating to avoid the dreaded Thanksgiving hangover .

What turkey size do you need?

A normal 12-15 pound turkey feeds between six and eight people as part of a meal, so increase or decrease it as needed. Generally, you should budget one pound per person or up to two pounds per person if you want to have turkey leftovers.

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<h2> 	 	  How and when to thaw a turkey </h2>
<p>  Do not forget this step! If you do not buy a fresh heritage bird, your turkey will be frozen. Thawing a turkey takes between one and six days. So plan accordingly and read our full guide on thawing the turkey (with times, methods and what to do if you forget this – you can cook it out of the freezer, but that will take even longer and is not ideal) , </p>
<p>  You can keep the turkey in the fridge for two days after thawing. So start one day earlier than you think and plan another rest day before you actually want to cook (you). I'll see below why). </p>
<h2> 	 	  How long to cook a turkey </h2>
<p>  The cooking time, of course, depends on the size of your bird, and a meat thermometer is always the best friend when it comes to making sure it is cooked to the right temperature (165 -170 degrees F). That said, here are some general guidelines based on a furnace temperature of 350 degrees, our preferred temperature for roast turkey. (We recommend that you start checking earlier than indicated to make sure it does not dry out.) </p><div><script async src=

How long a 12-14 pound turkey is cooked: About 3 hours at 350 degrees

How long to cook a 15-18 pound turkey: About 3.5 to 4 hours at 350 degrees

How long to cook an 18-20 pound turkey : Approx. 4 to 4.5 hours at 350 degrees

How long does one cook a 21-24 pound turkey? About 4.5 to 5 hours at 350 degrees. Of course, if you prefer a higher heat method, it will take less time, but you risk getting your skin burned. This also applies to the method "start high, then heat down". We do this sometimes (see our recipe for roast turkey with herbs), but generally prefer to keep the oven at the same temperature throughout, as this is the fussy and reliable method.

We start upside down to get a completely wet turkey, but you do not have to do that. see more below.

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Cavan Images / Getty Images

Should you salt your turkey?

This is another optional step, but we always prefer to salt a turkey the day before roasting. It must first be completely thawed, and then you can either salt the bird wet or dry. The recipe below refers to the dry method, as it is easier than dealing with gallons of liquid, but rubbing with salt achieves the same thing: juicy meat that is well flavored. A word of caution: brewing too long can do the opposite and drain your turkey. And if you're cooking a butterball, you do not need to put it down. Most supermarket birds were pre-injected with a saline solution.

What You Need to Cook a Turkey

For a roast turkey, you do not need a lot of special ingredients or equipment, but a frying pan with grid is incredibly helpful, and a turkey baster or brush and meat thermometer will also be useful.

Amazon

A frying pan with a grate is perfect for cooking a turkey (not to mention other poultry and pork ) and beef roast). It is far more stable than a disposable pan, deep enough to catch many drops, and the handles make it much easier to get in and out of the oven.

Amazon

If you water your turkey with dripping noodles, you want one in your arsenal. It comes with a cleaning brush to remove all the grease.

Amazon

A meat thermometer is the only way to know when your turkey is actually done (do not trust it) the little plastic pop-ups that can get into the bird). Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chest or thigh, making sure that the probe does not touch the bone when measuring the internal temperature.

If you do not have a proper frying pan with a grate, you should not purchase any of these disposable aluminum pans (they can pose a fire hazard). Instead, you can chop them with a baking sheet and roughly chopped vegetables (or slightly less tasty, but still functioning aluminum foil). See how to cook turkey without a frying pan.

How to season a turkey

For the raw ingredients, you need a few herbs, spices and aromas in addition to the turkey itself. The following list is a good starting point, but you can improvise as you like. Poultry seasoning is fine as long as it's fresh (do not use the bottle left over from last year), but we prefer fresh herbs. Here is a basic grocery list for turkey spices:

  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • vegetable oil (or olive oil)
  • half a bar of butter, softened at room temperature
  • half a lemon
  • half Onion, cut into four pieces
  • a celery stick, cut in three pieces
  • fresh sage
  • fresh thyme leaves
  • bay leaves (fresh or dried)

preparing a Thanksgiving turkey

1 Make sure the turkey has thawed the day before roasting and remove the contents from the recess. Discard the innards (heart, liver and stomachs), unless you like them as a sauce or filling (or you would like to cook them for your pets). Reserve the neck!

2. Rub the thawed turkey with several pinches of salt, including a few under the skin that covers the chest.

3. Place the turkey on a plate or baking tray, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until next day. This improves the taste of the bird and helps it stay juicy. You can omit the plastic wrap if you want (the drier the skin, the better it gets brown and crispy), but make sure nothing else in the fridge touches the raw turkey.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees the next day and place a rack in the lower third. It takes about 20 minutes for the stove to reach the temperature. In the meantime, take the turkey out of the fridge and prepare for the next steps for frying.

5. Pat dry the turkey inside and out with paper towels and put the wing tips backwards and downwards. Rub a generous amount of vegetable oil into the cavity, outside and under the skin, and then season well with salt and pepper, also inside the cavity.

6. Stir the fresh herbs (sage and thyme) into the soft butter, cut into small pieces and place under the skin covering the chest. Place the lemon, onion, bay leaf and celery in the cavity. (That's it, not a filling.) The Food Safety Police strongly advise against cooking the stuffing inside the turkey, and cooking it separately will give you a more crusty surface anyway.)

7. Put the Put the turkey breast side-down on the grill and place the reserved neck in the bottom of the pan for extra flavor. Stir in the oven for 45 minutes and douse the turkey every 20 minutes as soon as the pan juices have accumulated.

8. Turn the turkey on its back after 45 minutes and roast it for another two to two and a half hours.

9. If a meat thermometer inserted into the inner thigh indicates 170 degrees and the juices are clear, remove the turkey from the oven and allow it to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. If you plan to make your own turkey sauce, set aside the frying pan and store both the vegetables in the bird's throat and the neck.

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Chowhound

A simpler method

If you do not want to turn turkey, you can simply roast it in the normal position for the entire cooking time. Just pinch the breast often to make sure it does not dry out, and tent the pan with foil if the skin starts to brown too soon before the meat is done (but remove the foil in the final few minutes to get a nice, crispy skin cooking). Or try the buttered cheesecake trick. This is preferred by many as you lower the oven temperature each time you open the door when stapling.

Getting up on turkey breast

If you want to try a bit of butchery, carve the turkey escalope before you roast it – this will help it cook faster and more evenly, resulting in juicy white meat and a lot of crispy skin. It's also fun to say. If you choose this route, you do not need to start the turkey down with your chest and check it sooner than you would normally, as this happens earlier.

How to Repair a Cooked, Dry Turkey

Sometimes things go awry despite all efforts – but they can usually still be repaired. See how to fix a dry turkey when you have overcooked the bird. (You need a lot of sauce or broth.)

How to repair undercooked raw turkey

If it turns out that your deceptively golden brown turkey is inadequate inside, you can quickly repair the undercooked turkeys as follows. Tip: Do not just put it back in the oven and hope for the best.

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Chowhound

For more tips, tricks, hacks, and recipes, see Chowhound's Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving.

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