If you happened to click on this article then you must be wondering how to cook the perfect turkey for Thanksgiving dinner this year. Well, have no fear because my mom and I are here! (She’s providing us with the low-down on her secret recipe, so she needs some credit where credit is due).
Listen, holidays are extremely hectic, I get that. But cooking the perfect turkey doesn’t have to be. So let’s start with a simple step-by-step process on how to properly tackle this birdbrain.
How Much Meat To Buy
It all depends on the head-count. You’ll need a larger, 15-20 pound bird if you’re hosting a major family reunion. But if you are like my household and just your immediate family is joining you, then you only need an eight-pound turkey. Think of it this way: one to two pounds per person if the bird is smaller. The larger the bird you figure probably one and a half pounds per person.
I’m not very fluent in math so you may need to figure out the ratios on your own, but definitely use the bone-to-meat ratio as a proper guideline. Just think of it this way, the more you buy, the more you have leftover to stuff your face over the next few days!
How To Thaw Your Turkey
Now that you have the proper amount of meat, let’s thaw that bad boy out. You are going to need to fill a large container with cold water. Every 30 minutes you MUST replace the water. For every pound your turkey weighs, it’s 30 minutes added to your thaw time. (Example: an eight-pound turkey thaws for four hours). You definitely want to make sure the turkey is still wrapped, completely submerged breast side down in the container.
When you have finished thawing, make sure you clean out your sink with hot, soapy water. A lot of bacteria and sickness can come from raw meats, so be careful.
How To Brine Your Turkey
What does brining mean? Good question. Basically, it’s the same as marinating your meat. When people say less is more, they are right. So plain and simple: on Thanksgiving Eve let the Turkey sit in salt, pepper, and two cups of turkey broth. That’s it. Short and sweet… Well salty, but still. You got it.
How To Stuff Your Turkey
Alright, let’s fast forward to Turkey Day because time machines are easily accessible in my fantasy world as we speak. So, we are going to preheat our ovens to 325°F-350°F, depending on how strong your oven is compared to the size of your bird). Meanwhile, melt 3/4 cup butter add onions, celery, carrots. Stir until ingredients start to brown. Add in bread, breadcrumbs, herbs, salt, and pepper to taste. Finish it off by putting your stuffing into a cheese-cloth and then delivering the package to the turkey cavity! Voila, you are done! Or at least you’re done for now.
How To Cook Your Turkey
We are almost there! I know, know, this is almost as nail-biting as waiting on the election results, but patience is key. As a rule, you want to cook your turkey at intervals of 20 minutes for every pound. So our turkey is eight pounds, we will cook it for about three hours. Wait, but you have stuffing still inside your turkey, yes. Let that cook for an hour and a half, then take the turkey out. Let it rest for 15 minutes! While the turkey is resting, take your stuffing, throw it into a casserole dish, and let that rest on the side. After 15 minutes has passed put your turkey back in for the last hour and a half. Make sure you have a thermometer and get an internal temperature of at least 165°F.
How To Eat Your Turkey
Finally, the moment we have all been waiting for: stuffing our faces like a bunch of animals. There is no right or wrong way to experience this miracle, but just wholeheartedly eat your heart out.
There’s everything you need to know on how to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey, you’re welcome! I would love to taste test all the delicious turkeys you make, but I stay faithful to my mother’s cooking. Happy Thanksgiving!