The Cookalong Podcast

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Posted in Fixes & Tips, Food, New Methods
October 31, 2018

Perfect Turkey

If you’re tired of dry turkeys, try my method. It’s faster than many, and easy. The only downside is that it might make your kitchen kind of smokey for a short while.

Need help with figuring out how big a turkey to buy? That info is in the blog, “Thanksgiving Dinner: How Much Stuff Do I Buy?

SUPER IMPORTANT!  Move the turkey from the freezer to the fridge on the Sunday before Thanksgiving! If the turkey is huge, moving it on Saturday isn’t a bad idea.

Get your turkey out of the refrigerator 2 hours prior to cooking. Unwrap it, remove the giblet packet from the neck cavity and the neck from the body cavity, pat it very dry (outside and INSIDE), spray it with cooking spray, salt it (inside and out). Add whatever additional seasonings you want, or just trust that the salt will be enough. Put the bird on a rack in your turkey roasting pan. (You can do all that part the night before, if you want.) If it has a pop-up timer, remove it–they lead to overcooked turkey! Let it sit at room temp for that whole 2 hours.

DO NOT stuff your turkey! Make your stuffing separately and cook it in a casserole dish.

Preheat oven to 450°.

Insert a meat thermometer into the thigh. TIP: to get to the densest part of the thigh, insert the thermometer between the breast and the drumstick and push it all the way down into the thigh from there. Calculate approx. 8-9 min per pound. 

When turkey goes into the oven, reduce heat to 425°.

After 1/3 of the cooking time, reduce heat to 400°.

Remove turkey from oven when the meat thermometer reads 165°. (The pop-up timer could have you waiting till 180° to take it out. Hello, dry turkey!)

Let turkey sit at least 30 min before carving. No, it won’t get cold. And don’t carve it all up at once, if you don’t have to. The uncarved part will stay warmer and moister if you carve “as needed”.


NOTE: Clean oven day before cooking turkey to minimize smoke due to cooking at high heat.

Let me know how it turns out!


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