With Fall approaching, it’s only natural that Thanksgiving is on our minds. For those who have never cooked turkey before, the thought can be intimidating. But we promise you that by carefully following your grandmother’s famous recipe and by following a few tips and tricks from us, your first Thanksgiving dinner will be a success. Read on for our beginner tips on how to cook the perfect turkey.
Choosing the Right Type of Turkey
Doesn’t turkey simply involve going to the supermarket and picking up the biggest one you see? Not when you realize that there are plenty of options available to help tailor your turkey to your family’s preferences.
The Food Network tells us what you need to consider before even turning on the oven – choosing the right type of turkey for you.
“Heritage? Organic? Fresh? Frozen? There are lots of choices out there. A heritage turkey is right for you if you want to try an old-fashioned breed of turkey, often leggier and leaner and more flavorful, and don’t mind paying a little extra for it. If organics are important, you may already have your eye on a turkey raised according to organic standards, and fed organic feed. If you’d prefer a traditional fresh or frozen bird, pick the healthiest-looking one in the weight range you need, and make sure it looks well fed for its size. And, remember, fresh may not necessarily be better than frozen; frozen turkeys are snap-frozen just after butchering.”
Consider Brining Your Turkey
There is debate over whether or not you should brine your turkey, with positives and negatives to showing up in every other article on roasting a turkey. However, it cannot be denied that if a moist bird is important to you, then brining turkey is the way to go.
The Spruce Eats tells us how by brining, you can add flavor and moisture to your turkey:
“Seasoning your turkey with salt and pepper, spice blends, dry rubs and the like is all well and good, but they do little more than season the skin, not the meat. The only way to effectively add flavor to the meat itself is to soak it in a flavorful liquid, called a brine, or by injecting the liquid directly into the meat (you’ll need a special tool for this). The simplest brine is water with salt and sugar dissolved in it. But there are a zillion brine recipes you can try, featuring a wide variety of herbs, spices, fruit, even pineapple, and maple syrup.”
To Stuff or Not To Stuff
We’ve had turkey with the stuffing cooked inside, cooked outside, and in some cases, a little bit of both. So, which way ultimately wins when it comes to cooking the most delicious stuffing? While stuffing a turkey does seem the more traditional way to go, it may be more beneficial to cook your stuffing outside of the turkey. Fine Cooking talks about the positives and negatives to stuffing a turkey:
If you’re looking for turkey recipe inspiration or restaurant menu items, check out our list of all restaurants to compare food menus from your favorite restaurants.