Who does not love a moist turkey when shining on the table! For me, there is nothing more comforting than the smell of a slow-cooked turkey in the oven!
There are so many amazing turkey recipes. But, to make a success of this poultry requires having certain knowledge and skills! For this reason, I will share with you, in this article, all the tips you need to make a beautiful golden turkey like a pro!
4 Tips For A Perfect Turkey:
1- To Buy:
- Count about 1 lb (500 g) of turkey per person.
- Get the poultry from a place where they sell a lot of them.
- Make sure the packaging is not torn or pierced.
- Choose a turkey that is cool to the touch (refrigerated turkey) or completely frozen and frost-free (frozen turkey).
- There exist two grades according to the turkey shape and appearance; grade “A” and grade “U” (Utility). There is no difference in taste between these two categories, but there may be a piece of meat or part of the bird (drumstick, wing) missing from the “U” category turkey.
- We can buy a natural turkey or an impregnated one which means injected with butter, broth, fat, etc. The advantage of impregnated turkey is that it waters itself during the cooking process, resulting in a juicier and less dry flesh. This type is more expensive than untreated turkey which requires more attention during the cooking process (it must be basted).
- The larger the turkey, the lower the cost per pound.
2- To Store:
A fresh whole turkey can be stored for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. Frozen, it can be kept up to 12 months in the freezer.
3- To Defrost:
a. Defrosting the Turkey in the Refrigerator:
Thaw the turkey in its original packaging, breast up, on a tray in the refrigerator. Count about 5 hours per pound (500 g). So, a turkey of 10 pounds would take approximately two days.
b. Defrosting the Turkey in Cold Water:
To save time, put the turkey in the sink, still in its wrapping, and cover it completely with cold water (change the water from time to time). Allow about 1/2 hour per pound (500 g). So, a turkey of 10 pounds would be thawed in about 5 hours. Water-defrosted turkey must be cooked immediately unlike the one defrosted in the refrigerator (it can stay there up to 2 days before cooking).
Never thaw a turkey at room temperature.
4- To Cook:
During the cooking process, check the turkey 40 minutes before the recommended time, using a thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the fleshiest part of the thigh but without touching the bone. The internal temperature should reach 180°F (82°C) for a stuffed turkey and 170°F (77°C) for an unstuffed turkey. For convection ovens, reduce cooking time by 25%. The times shown below were calculated for an oven temperature of 325 °F (160 °C).
|10 to 12 lbs (5 to 6 kg)||3 1/2 to 3 3/4 hrs||3 to 3 1/4 hrs|
|12 to 16 lbs (6 to 8 kg)||3 3/4 to 4 hrs||3 1/4 to 3 1/2 hrs|
|16 to 22 lbs (8 to 11 kg)||4 to 4 1/2 hrs||3 1/2 to 4 hrs|
|22 to 25 lbs (11 to 12.5 kg)||4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hrs||4 to 5 hrs|
I hope you find these tips so helpful!
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