Turkey is not the easiest bird to cook, but if you follow the great tips below, you are sure to impress your whole family with a wonderful tasting turkey this holiday season!
1. Make a bed of vegetables for your turkey.
Cut up some carrots, celery, and onions and arrange them at the bottom of your roasting tray. Place your turkey on top. This keeps the air moving under your turkey and ensures even cooking, plus the drippings will keep your vegetables super tasty.
2. Move the oven rack.
For even cooking throughout, position your oven rack so the center of the turkey is in the center of your oven. You can move your rack down a notch if you are cooking a particularly large bird.
3. Glaze your turkey.
Why is your turkey not as brown as in Thanksgiving commercials? You need to add a glaze to help with the browning. Just baste your turkey with molasses, honey, or jam to get a nicer color.
3. Separate the stuffing.
Here is an excellent beginner tip: cook your stuffing outside of the turkey. Your bird will cook faster and there is no danger of undercooking your stuffing.
4. Try spatchcocking your turkey.
Worried that you may overcook or undercook your turkey? Learn how to spatchcock it and have an easier time cooking it. This technique also exposes more of the meat inside the turkey which allows you to add more herbs and seasonings to ensure big flavor in every bite.
5. Just cook turkey breasts.
Do you always have dark meat leftovers after Thanksgiving? Consider buying turkey breasts and just serve white meat to your guests. You can easily order a whole, bone-in turkey breast from your butcher. It is easier to cook, too!
6. Dry the bird for the crispiest skin.
This simple trick will give you really crispy skin. Just pat dry the bird with paper towels before seasoning and roasting. Any excess moisture on the surface will create steam inside your oven and lead to soggy skin that nobody wants.
7. Wrap it in bacon.
Get a few strips of raw bacon and blanket it over your turkey. This will keep your bird moist and flavorful, plus the gravy gets bacon flavor, too!