Today’s tips are similar to
what I talked about a couple of weeks ago, but I added more information about
cooking a turkey:
*Cover with foil and let
rest 20-30 minutes out of the oven before carving to allow the juices to settle
back into the meat. This is one of the most critical steps in roasting any kind
of meat because the turkey or roast will continue to cook for another 10-20
minutes outside the oven AND this process will produce a moister meat.
Breast meat and stuffing
should register 165 degrees and the thickest part of the thigh should register
175-180 degrees on a meat thermometer
If you aren’t planning on
stuffing your bird fill the empty cavity with cut up fruits like apples, oranges
or lemons and fresh herbs to add to the flavor of the meat
Fold the wing tips under
the bird to keep them from getting over cooked
Brining- don’t brine
self-basting turkeys. Brining is great for fresh, natural and minimally
processed turkeys. Brining creates a very moist turkey. Brine a 14-16 pound
turkey for 6 hours. The turkey can be brined the day before you plan to cook
it. Make sure your brine is cold before putting the turkey in the liquid. Brine
only in plastic or stainless steel. Rinse the turkey thoroughly before cooking.
Butter/seasonings under the
skin- . With your hands, carefully separate breast skin from the meat and spread
seasoned butter, herbs, and spices in between. Season outside with salt and
pepper before cooking. DON’T deep fry.
Roasting- low heat (325°
F) 10-12 minutes per pound, recommended that you roast upside down and covered
with foil until there is about ˝ hour left in your cooking time. Remove foil
and flip the turkey breast side up to brown. This unusual step boasts of a
moister turkey breast. Another method is to simply tightly cover the
breast with foil and remove for the last ˝ hour to brown- no turning necessary.
Roasting/stuffed- low heat
(325° F) 12-15 minutes per pound. Loosely pack the stuffing into the turkey’s
cavity. The stuffing should register 160-165° F to be safe to eat. If the
stuffing isn’t hot enough and the turkey is done, remove the stuffing and put in
a greased casserole and continue to bake while the turkey is resting.
Roasting- high heat
(400°-425° F) 10 minutes per pound for a stuffed turkey, 8 minutes per pound for
an unstuffed bird. This process creates a very crispy skin and doesn’t dry out
the meat as much as a low heat roasted turkey. A self-basting turkey is not
recommended for this cooking method. Use a heavy duty roasting pan and not a
disposable aluminum one. Make sure that the liquid in the pan doesn’t run dry.
Try not to open the oven door because that will drop the temperature of the
Roasting in an oven bag-
medium heat (350° F), 15-16 minutes per pound, make sure to spray the inside of
the bag with cooking spray so it doesn’t stick to the bird. Place the stuffed or unstuffed bird on top of cut up vegetables inside the bag for added flavor to
your gravy. Make sure to cut a few slits in the bag to allow steam to escape.
Deep fat frying- use a
fresh turkey that has been brined and no more than 14 pounds. Use only peanut
oil. To determine the correct amount of
oil place the turkey in the pot. Add water until it reaches 1 to 2 inches above
the turkey. Remove the turkey and note the water level, using a ruler to measure
the distance from the top of the pot to the surface of the water. Pour out the
water and dry the pot thoroughly. Dry the
turkey thoroughly before putting in the hot oil. Do not deep fry a stuffed turkey or a
Grilling- use a small turkey no larger than 12 pounds.
Allow 15 minutes per pound. The turkey will have a great smoky taste, but
there won’t be any juices available to make gravy. Make gravy with
chicken stock and cider as an accompaniment.