Nov 13, 2017

Thanksgiving is a wonderful occasion, where families unite and have dinner together. Turkeys are often associated with the celebration. However, many people find it difficult to cook the whole turkey and are daunted by its sheer size. Here, we present the five important steps that will allow you to cook an amazing turkey dish for your family.

Step 1: Thawing the Turkey

Getting a fresh turkey is difficult for most people. Frozen turkeys are easily available, but cannot be cooked directly. They need to be defrosted first to a workable temperature. There are two ways to thaw the turkey:  the first step involves the use of a refrigerator. and the second  uses cold water, which is faster.

For the first method, place the turkey in a tray and then place it in the refrigerator. A typical time for defrosting is to leave it for one day in the fridge, for every five pounds of weight. This means that a typical turkey around 15 pounds should be placed in the refrigerator for three days, prior to cooking.

The second method is used by placing the turkey in a suitable tray with bent rims to stop liquids from getting out. Dip the turkey in cold water and keep changing the water every hour, until the bird is fully thawed out. This method significantly reduces the time for thawing, but certainly requires more work.

Step 2: Preheating the Oven

Even when defrosted, your turkey is still pretty cold and therefore, you need to ensure that your oven is up to the required temperature. Most experts recommend preheating the oven to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal temperature to cook this Thanksgiving treat. You can reduce the preheating time, by initially selecting a higher temperature for a few minutes, and then reducing it later.

Step 3: Drying Excess Liquids

Make sure that you clean your turkey carefully, before placing it in the oven. Wipe it with a dry cloth, in order to ensure that there is no water on it. The presence of liquids can cause problems during the roasting. Now place the turkey in the oven, with the breast facing upwards and the wings tucked in.

Step 4: Brushing with Oil

A crisp skin goes well with white meat. You can ensure that you get a great appearance by oiling the top of the turkey with a brush. You can also use a spray to put oil on the bird every few minutes. This will ensure that the skin does not burn excessively, but becomes more textured during cooking.

Step 5: Wrapping the Bird

Many people wrap the bird in foil from the start. But this is not a good practice, and does not allow the flavors to pop out in the meat. 

The best way to go about it is to let your turkey cook to about two thirds of the time, as mentioned in the recipe. You should then place the foil, especially over the breast and the drumsticks. Use gloves to protect your hands from the hot bird. You can also add a few vegetables to ensure that your meat remains juicy.

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