Cooking a thanksgiving turkey

How long should you cook a Thanksgiving turkey?

The general rule for cooking a turkey is 20 minutes per pound, but that can vary depending on whether or not your turkey recipe calls for a stuffed or unstuffed bird.

How long to cook a turkey.Weight of Bird Roasting Time (Unstuffed) Roasting Time (Stuffed)10 to 18 pounds3 to 3-1/2 hours3-3/4 to 4-1/2 hours

Can you cook turkey before Thanksgiving?

It’s easy: Simply cook it a day or two in advance, let it cool completely, then carve the bird into large pieces—breasts, wings, thighs and drumsticks. Store in a container in the refrigerator until the big day. This method actually result in juicier meat—and an infinitely more relaxed host.

How can you tell when a Thanksgiving turkey is done?

The internal temperature should reach 180°F. To check for doneness without a thermometer, pierce the thigh and pay attention to the juices: if the juices run clear, it’s cooked, and if the juices are reddish pink, it needs more time. Put the turkey back in the oven and check again after a short time.

How do I keep my turkey moist?

For moist meat without the hassle of clearing fridge space to soak the bird in a vat of brining liquid, try a dry brine. Salting a turkey and letting it rest before roasting seasons it deeply and helps it retain moisture.

Do you cook a turkey at 325 or 350?

Roast the turkey uncovered at a temperature ranging from 325°F to 350°F. Higher temperatures may cause the meat to dry out, but this is preferable to temperatures that are too low which may not allow the interior of the turkey to cook to a safe temperature.

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Do you cook a turkey covered or uncovered?

Q: Should I roast the bird covered or uncovered? A: The Butterball folks recommend cooking the turkey uncovered in a roasting pan. … If you put foil on the breast, remove it about 30-45 minutes before the turkey is done to allow the breast to brown.

Should you put water in turkey roasting pan?

No. We do not recommend adding water to the pan because it creates a steam and may steam-burn the turkey. The turkey will produce its own flavorful juices. After cooking, you can extend the turkey’s juices with broth or wine, then add it to your gravy for extra flavor.

Can I cook my turkey the day before Christmas?

You can do all that in advance, refrigerate it for 1-3 days, and all you have to do is heat it up when it’s time to serve your turkey dinner. Oh, what a relief it is! Sure, you and your guests can’t enjoy that delicious aroma of turkey roasting in the oven on the day of the big meal.

How often should you baste a turkey?

Basting is optional when roasting a turkey. To ensure a moist turkey, the key is to not overcook it. Try using a remote digital thermometer that will alert you when the turkey is fully cooked yet still juicy. If you choose to baste the bird, do so every 30 minutes.

When should I take my turkey out?

We recommend that you remove the bird from the oven when the breast temperature reaches 165 degrees and the thickest part of the thighs reaches between 170 and 175 degrees. To take the temperature of the breast, insert the thermometer into the deepest part of the breast, holding it parallel to the bird at the neck end.

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Should I put butter or oil on my turkey?

Don’t butter your bird

Placing butter under the skin won’t make the meat juicier, though it might help the skin brown faster. However, butter is about 17 percent water, and it will make your bird splotchy, says López-Alt. Instead, rub the skin with vegetable oil before you roast.

Why is my turkey always dry?

Because dark meat has more connective tissues, it takes longer to break down, so if you cook the turkey whole, by time the legs and thighs are done, the breasts are overcooked and dry. … After cooking, let the meat rest until it’s close to room temperature in order to let the juices redistribute.

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