HELPFUL TURKEY DAY TIPS

Use these tips to enjoy your Thanksgiving Feast


TURKEY COOKING TIMES

Estimated turkey roasting times are based on a 350° oven, but cooking times can vary depending on many factors, including oven temperature and accuracy, the type of roasting pan used and how frequently you open the oven door. If you are cooking a stuffed turkey, add an additional 5-7 minutes per pound.

Begin to check for doneness about 30 minutes before the first suggested roasting time. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh (don't hit the bone). When it reads 165°F, take the turkey out of the oven. Check that the juices run clear when you pierce the thigh.

TURKEY SIZE        —     APPROXIMATE ROASTING TIME 

  • 14-16 pounds      —      3-4 hours
  • 16-20 pounds      —      4-5 hours
  • 20-25 pounds      —      5-6 hours
  • 25-30 pounds      —      6+ hours

TURKEY TIPS


1.BASTING

Baste only at the beginning of the roasting process. Basting later may make the skin soft instead of crispy.

2. TEMPERATURE

Use a meat thermometer, preferably instant-read, to check for doneness. Test at the thickest part of the thigh not touching bone. When the thermometer registers 165°F, it’s ready. If you choose to stuff your turkey, plan for an extra 5-7 minutes cooking time per pound, and be sure the stuffing and turkey both register 165°F separately.

3. TIMING

At 350°F, you can expect to cook your bird for about 13 minutes per pound.

4. TENT IT

If the drumsticks begin to brown too quickly, cover loosely with foil.

5. FLIP IT

Start roasting your turkey with the breast side down to protect white meat from overcooking and help absorb juices as they run downward into the bottom of the pan. Later, flip the bird over with the breast side up so the skin crisps up and gets golden brown.

6. A BLAST OF HIGH HEAT

A blast of high heat at the beginning or end of cooking when the turkey is breast side up can bronze and crisp the skin.

7. KEEP IT CLOSED

Resist the urge to frequently open the oven door and check on the turkey. It causes temperature fluctuations and lengthens the cooking time.

8. GIVE IT A REST

Turkey needs to rest for about 30 minutes. This redistributes the juices and makes for smooth carving. If you want the skin to stay crisp, don’t cover it.


Suzanne's Turkey Stock Recipe


Ingredients

  • turkey carcass
  • cold water
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Instructions

  1. Place the turkey carcass into a large pot.
  2. Fill the pot with cold water until it rests one inch above the turkey carcass.
  3. Add salt to the pot.
  4. Place the pot onto the stovetop and bring the water to a simmer.
  5. Simmer for 4+ hours. (I cook mine for at least 24 hours -- make sure that it's on low and bubbles are gently coming up and that there's enough water to cover bones at all times.)
  6. Use tongs to remove the carcass and compost it.
  7. Place a mesh strainer on top of a large container in the sink (to prevent spills and splashing).
  8. Pour the mixture into the strainer to remove excess fat and other items from the turkey stock. Soft meat and non-brittle bones can be fed to the dog or cat. (The longer you cook the stock, the more likely you'll be able to feed the soft, almost disintegrating bones to the dogs without sharp pieces, which I pick out.)

You now have a hearty, delicious turkey stock that you can use for cooking or drink like a tonic to stay well.