Did you know that there are about 40 million turkeys consumed every Thanksgiving in the United States?
Thanksgiving is one of the most wonderful holidays of the year. It’s all about hanging out with family and friends, socializing, and enjoying a hearty meal together.
One of the most important steps in hosting Thanksgiving dinner is preparing the turkey. But many people don’t know how to avoid cooking a dry turkey.
Luckily for you, we’ve got everything you need to know about cooking a juicy turkey that everyone will enjoy! Read on for tips and tricks on how to a whole turkey to keep it from drying out.
Prepare a Brine for Maximum Juiciness
The are a lot of techniques and recipe for cooking a turkey. From traditional to fashion, one of the best tips is to prepare a brine.
To make a brine, you’ll need a container large enough to submerge the entire turkey, water, salt, and your favorite herbs or spices.
Start by adding 1 cup of salt to 1 gallon of water, then heating it for the salt to dissolve. Once cool, add in herbs and spices and add the turkey. Allow the turkey to brine for about 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator for maximum flavor and moisture.
Once done, make sure to pat the turkey dry before roasting. This will help achieve a crispy turkey skin.
Invest in a Meat Thermometer to Avoid Dry Turkey
When cooking a turkey, it is important to reach an internal cooking temperature of at least 165°F. A thermometer can help to accurately gauge the internal temperature.
Additionally, using a thermometer allows you to avoid overcooking your turkey, which can lead to dry meat. It is also important to avoid opening the oven to frequently check in on the turkey as this releases heat. This usually leads to slower cooking times and can lead to undercooking.
Instead, carefully probe the center of the turkey with a thermometer at 45 minutes, 1 hour, and then every 15 minutes thereafter.
Learn the Basics of Basting
This technique is key to ensuring a moist turkey that is full of flavors. To baste, take a pastry brush and dip it in either melted butter or drippings from the turkey.
Brush this melted butter or drippings consistently on top of the skin, making sure to completely cover the turkey. Then, throughout the cooking process, use a spoon or baster to scoop up the flavorful liquids at the bottom of the pan, and baste the turkey with the liquid every 20-30 minutes.
Timing is Everything – Knowing When to Take the Bird Out of the Oven
When cooking a turkey, timing is crucial. Avoiding a dry turkey starts with knowing when the bird is done.
A good rule of thumb is that it takes fifteen minutes per pound to cook the bird. After the cooking time has elapsed, cover the bird’s breast with foil and use an instant-read thermometer.
When the turkey has reached a safe temperature, let it rest for at least 30 minutes before carving and serving. This lets the juices rest and ensures your turkey is succulent and juicy.
Following These Steps Will Ensure a Juicy, Tasty Turkey Every Time
By following the few simple steps outlined above, you can rest assured your turkey will be cooked to perfection on Thanksgiving or any other special occasion. Brine, baste the turkey regularly, invest in a meat thermometer, and allow your turkey to rest after cooking are the thing to remember to avoid dry turkey. It’s time to get cooking!
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