Foods | Cooking
Hints & Tips
Do you know that a "frozen" turkey is fresher than a so called "fresh" turkey?
What type of whole turkey should you buy - Fresh or Frozen?
This is what my local favorite butcher told me: The so-called "fresh" turkeys have been sitting around for many, many days.
From the processing, trucking to the grocery store, and then in the grocery store. These are not fresh turkeys! His advice to to purchase a frozen turkey,
as they are flash frozen immediately after being butchered. Frozen turkey are fresher turkeys! The frozen turkey have been frozen immediately upon preparation. The so
called fresh turkeys can sit in your store for days. I always buy a frozen turkey because of this.
Check out my articles on
Turkey Terminology - Types of Turkeys and
Guidelines for Oven Roasted Turkey.
Turkey Roasting Hints and Tips - Cooking a Turkey is Easy!
Use a shallow turkey roasting pans. If you use a deep roasting pan, you wind up steaming the meat.
If you don't have a good roasting pan, you should purchase one a good sturdy one with handles.
BEWARE of the aluminum foil
disposable roasting pans as they are not sturdy enough to hold a
large turkey and can buckle up when trying to remove the hot turkey
from the oven. Most of these pans are not sturdy enough to carry a
12 pound or more turkey. They can buckle and cave in, and have been
known to cause injuries by collapsing under the weight. Make sure
your pan is sturdy enough to handle your large turkey safely.
Do NOT stuff your turkey ahead of time as harmful bacteria growth could spoil the uncooked turkey.
Just before roasting, stuff the body and the neck of the turkey. Do not pack the stuffing/dressing
in the turkey, as the stuffing will expand during
cooking. If packed in too tightly, it will be very dense instead of light.
Using kitchen twine or skewers, tie or truss the abdomen closed and the legs together close to the body so that the stuffing cooks evenly.
Truss or Not to Truss - You do not need to bother with complicated trussing. Instead, secure the legs by tucking the ankle
joints into the pocket of skin at the tail end. Tuck wing tips back under the shoulders of bird (called "akimbo").
Check out my articles
Linda's Favorite Turkey Stuffing and
Advice on Stuffing a Turkey Safely.
Roast your turkey breast-side down on a v-shaped rack
until the last hour or so in the oven, then turn turn the turkey to brown the breast,
if desired. The result is a moister white meat.
Usually my turkey is too big to turn over - so
I don't do this step!
This is optional, but I like to rub some butter over the skin of the turkey before beginning the roasting. Vegetable oil may also be used, but I like
the taste of real butter. This helps the skin brown.
I also like to add 1 cup chicken broth/stock to the bottom of the turkey pan before beginning the cooking.
This will create a steam room-type environment in the oven, which help keep the breast moist but will not prevent browning of the skin.
Basting during the roasting process is an unnecessary extra step. Basing in the last hour of roasting can actually turn a beautiful crisp turkey skin soft.
Baste the turkey with accumulated juices from the bottom of the pan.
Three easy ways to baste a turkey:
Use a Turkey Baster (bulb turkey baster)
Use a basting brush
Use a large spoon to scoop up the juices and drizzle over the turkey
If the turkey is browning too quickly, make a tent out of aluminum foil and place over the top of the turkey.
Never rely on the little plastic thermometer in some turkeys to pop out.
If you wait for it, the turkey will overcook. Instead stick an
instant read thermometer several inches down through the skin between the thigh and the breast so the tip ends up about an inch
above the joint. They turkey is ready when the thermometer reads 165 degrees F. Check out my web page on
Using A Thermometer - Take The Guesswork Out Of Cooking.
is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers
asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the
Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the
right. To learn more about this excellent
thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined:
Let the cooked turkey "rest" after it have been removed from the oven.
While the turkey cooks, the juices are forced away from the heat to the middle
of the turkey. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes after it is removed from the oven. This allows the
juices to redistribute throughout the turkey. A moist turkey is easier to carve
and very delicious.
Prepare your turkey gravy while the turkey is resting.
Perfect Turkey Gravy.
After the turkey has rested, remove the stuffing/dressing and place in a serving dish.
Carve your turkey and serve.
If you need your oven to reheat or cook side dishes, it's better to serve the turkey at room
temperature with hot gravy than to reheat it.
Reheating dries out the meat. The interior of a large turkey will stay quite
hot for at least an hour.
Using A Cooking Bag:
This is an easy way to cook your turkey. It keeps all the juices and flavors in the bag and the turkey is
automatically basted while it cooks. You end up with more juices than the conventional way because they do not evaporate during
roasting. The juices also do not burn and stick to the pan.
Check out Linda hints and tips on preparing your holiday turkey dinner (Click on the underlined below):
Turkey Terminology - Types of Turkeys
Guidelines for Brining Poultry
Linda's Favorite Turkey Stuffing
Advice on Stuffing a Turkey Safely
Using a Cooking or Meat Thermometer
Perfect Turkey Gravy
Gravy Making Tips
Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Advice on Handling Leftovers Safely
Let's Make Turkey Stock
Cajun Fried Turkey
Oven Roasted Turkey