If there’s one occasion to cook the perfect roasted turkey, it’s Thanksgiving. Since people call it “Turkey Day,” you had better not let people down when they take that first bite. Some people like to come up with their own ideas about how to get moist, tasty turkey, but the tried-and-true methods are the best. You’re sure to succeed if you use the following tips.
Choose a fresh bird for your roast turkey
A fresh turkey is always better, and you can reserve your fresh turkey at TBS by calling 541-830-3369 or stopping in during business hours. Frozen birds lose some flavor because the meat gets damaged by the freezing process. This causes the moisture in the meat to drain out when it thaws and cooks, and your turkey will be less moist and tasty.
Roast the turkey upside down
This might seem strange if your family has not traditionally done it this way, but it’s proven to be the best way to ensure the perfect result. For the first hour of cooking, roast the bird with the breast side down on a V-rack. This has two benefits. The juices will run down into the breast meat, and the thighs will cook more thoroughly. Place the bird right-side-up for the remainder of the roasting process.
As soon as the thigh meat reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit, the turkey is finished cooking. Insert a meat thermometer into the thigh to test the temperature, and remove the bird as soon as it’s done. If you leave it in any longer, the meat will start to dry out.
Let it rest
After the bird comes out of the oven, don’t start carving it right away. The juices need time to recirculate from the center back into the meat. Carving too soon will cause the juices to run out. You can use the drippings in the roasting pan to create a fantastic gravy while the bird is resting.
Here are a few optional tips to try for even better results
Brine your roast turkey
If you really want to make a turkey with maximum flavor, brining can do wonders.
Roast two for large crowds
Large birds don’t cook as evenly, and they take longer in the oven. It’s better to cook two smaller birds if you have a large crowd to feed.
Crisp the skin
If you want tastier skin with more appealing color, turn up the heat for a few minutes to darken and crisp up the skin while the turkey is right-side up.
Cook the stuffing separately
If you stuff bread crumbs into the inside of the bird, they will soak up a lot of the juices, and the meat will be less juicy. If you must have bread stuffing, cook it on the stovetop.
If you follow these simple tips, your turkey is sure to impress your guests this holiday season. If you’re looking for top-quality ingredients for your next holiday meal, visit The Butcher Shop for the best locally-sourced meats and vegetables.