Thanksgiving is here, and everything revolves around that delicious centerpiece. That delicious turkey that everyone is salivating over. Whether you are hosting your first Thanksgiving or you’re a seasoned professional, you’re bound to find some helpful tips in this article.
How to make a delicious brine if you’re not using a kosher turkey, brining a turkey is an excellent option for extra-flavorful, moist meat. In a large sauce pot, combine 5 and a1/2 oz. Kosher salt (1 cup Diamond Crystal or 1/2 cup Morton’s), 2 quarts cool water and a 1/4 cup of sugar. Put the pot over high heat and occasionally stir until everything has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool. Stir in another 2 quarts water and chill in the refrigerator.
Remove the giblets, neck, and tail (if present) from the turkey; reserve them for making turkey broth. Rinse the turkey thoroughly and double up two turkey-size oven bags and then turn down the edges of the roasting bags a bit to help them stay open. Put the bags inside a heavy-duty roasting pan and put the turkey, breast side down, in the inner bag. Pour the brine over the turkey. Gather the bags around the turkey, so the brine is forced around the turkey and secure the bag with a twist tie. Keep the outer bag together with a twist tie. Refrigerate the turkey (in the roasting pan) for 12 to 18 hours.
Customize your brine
You can customize your brine by adding other herbs and spices like Rosemary and Thyme, a little of a flavorful sweetener (like maple syrup or honey), or replace some of the water with another liquid like apple cider vinegar or coffee.
No matter how you decide to brine your turkey, make sure that you let it dry when you take it out of the brine and wash it off. A wet brine prevents the skin from getting brown and crispy. To prevent that from happening you need to drain the cavity and pat the turkey dry.
Turkey Roasting Tips
I know you’re going to think we’re crazy but trust us on this one. Start out by cooking your turkey upside down. Yes, that’s right. Breast side down is the best way to start cooking your turkey! This will force all those delicious juices down into the breast which, as you know is usually the dryest part of the bird. Cook your turkey upside down for about an hour and a half and then flip it over. Be careful while doing this, it’s going to be hot. You can protect your hands with some paper towels or dishcloths. Don’t worry about the rack marks on the breast; those will disappear as it continues to cook.
If your turkey’s skin is browning too quickly, you can slow that down by loosely tenting it with some aluminum foil and continuing to roast it. If your drippings start to get too dark and you’re worried about them burning, you can add a couple of tablespoons of water to them.
Check your Turkeys doneness
Forget about that little red button that the store puts inside your turkey. Those small plastic buttons are far from accurate. Instead, use an instant-read probe thermometer. Insert the probe in the thickest part of the turkey thigh and give it a few seconds to settle on a temperature. You’re looking for a reading of 170°F. Because your oven can create hot spots in your turkey, check both thighs to make sure both sides are evenly cooked.
Lastly, be sure to let your bird rest once it has finished cooking. The intense heat from your oven forces the juices to the center of the turkey, so after roasting, let the turkey rest for roughly 20 minutes, which as luck would have it is exactly enough time to make gravy! The juices will redistribute, and you’ll get a much moister bird.
We here at The Humor Bible hope you’ve enjoyed our Turkey Tips and we want to wish you all a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving!