How often do you prepare a full turkey with all the fixings? Probably only for big holidays-Thanksgiving being the most often. It takes preparation, cooking time, and then it feeds a lot of people, so you are most likely to cook a turkey when you expect several mouths to feed.
Last year we gave you tips on how to prepare your turkey according to the weight. We also mentioned how long to cook and when to determine when the turkey is finished cooking. Always remember to thaw and remove giblets before cooking your turkey-no matter how you cook it.
Since turkey can be cooked in several ways besides the oven, we wanted to provide options!
Let’s talk turkey!
Grilling your turkey will free up the space in your oven and reduce the heat generated in your kitchen. Meat tends to dry out faster on a grill and may cook unevenly. Make sure you use a digital meat thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the thigh. Temperature should read between 155-165. This will give the men something to do while the ladies work in the kitchen preparing the rest of the meal.
Smoked turkeys can be store purchased or prepared at home with a cooker specifically made for turkeys. Brining is often done to maintain a juicier turkey with the day before. Brining is a way of adding moisture to the meat with wine, water, apple cider, and kosher salt for no more than 24 hours prior to cooking the turkey. The easiest way to brine a turkey is to add a quart of water, salt, and seasonings in a pan to boil.
A deep-fried turkey is a Southern tradition that is cooked outside in a fryer, generally made for large meat, such as turkeys. Many sporting stores offer a selection of deep fryers designed to cook a large turkey. Read over all the instructions that accompany the fryer. Never deep fry a turkey indoors! Do not use on a deck, patio, garage, or near a roof overhang. You can apply a seasoning rub and marinate for a day in the refrigerator. When ready to fry pour peanut oil into pot and attach a thermometer to turkey. Maintain the temperature at 350 degrees and cook for 3 ½ minutes per pound. Never leave turkey in fryer unattended! The oil can be re-used up to 3 times before it starts to be old.
Important Turkey Tips
- Thaw completely before cooking for even cooking of bird
- Pat dry
- Season inside/outside well
- Slow and steady cooking
- Use a thermometer
- Let it cool 20 minutes before serving!
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