Thanksgiving is almost here! Are you ready?? If you are not yet prepared, you can start by planning your menu, determining how much food to make, making a list of necessary ingredients, and so forth. Despite all the advanced planning in the world, it can be difficult to pull of a Thanksgiving meal without making any cooking mistakes. If you make a mistake, its okay. Everyone does. However, it is ideal if you can avoid making turkey mistakes since good old Tom Turkey (or Tabitha Tofurkey if you are a vegetation) is typically the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving spread!
Here are some tips to help you avoid making turkey mistakes this Thanksgiving.
Make sure you give your turkey adequate time to thaw out if you have chosen a frozen turkey. The larger the turkey, the longer it takes to thaw out. The typical recommendation is one day of thawing per 5 pounds of turkey.
Don’t cook the turkey at excessively high temperatures. This will cause the skin to burn and dry out, and for the meat to be under-cooked. It is better to start out at a high temperature (475 degrees) for around 30 minutes and then reduce the heat to around 400 degrees.
Use a roasting pan. If you only use a regular baking pan, the bottom of your turkey will burn and become dried out.
Don’t stuff the inside of your turkey! This part of your turkey takes the longest amount of time to cook. By the time the stuffing (or filling) is fully cooked, your turkey will be dried out. Instead, make your stuffing in another pan.
Don’t rely on the plastic pop-up thermometer to indicate when the turkey has finished cooking. Invest in a good meat thermometer. When the thigh meat hits 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it is fully cooked through.
Be sure to season your turkey on the inside and outside! This gives the turkey meat flavor.
Let your turkey sit out at room temperature for approximately one hour before you begin cooking it. Allowing it to sit out will give it consistent moisture throughout the turkey.