Choosing to celebrate the holiday at home? Don't fret. No matter your woes, we can help you create the best Thanksgiving experience your guests have ever had. There are lots of questions that arise when planning a feast of these proportions, from where you start to how to serve the actual meal.
But of all of the advice we could give, teaching you how to cook the Thanksgiving turkey is the most vital information we can give you. If you’re looking for perfect turkey tips, look no further:
Let it Thaw, Let it Thaw
No matter how big of a bird you have, if you bought it frozen, you must give it time to thaw. You cannot successfully cook a turkey if it isn’t thawed thoroughly. Allow it to thaw in the fridge three days before the big feast. If you find that the day before it is still too frozen, let it thaw in the sink for the entire day.
Be Smart About Brining
You want to be sure you brine a fully thawed turkey and give it enough time to soak. At the end of your last thawing day, place the turkey breast-side down into the brine and let it soak up all of that tasty flavoring.
Don’t Stuff the Turkey
No, really — it adds time to the turkey that you just don’t have. Try stuffing it with aromatics instead, and serve the stuffing on the side!
Keep the Door Shut
Roast the turkey at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Then cover the breast area with aluminum foil, reduce heat to 350 degrees, add 2 cups of water or broth to the roasting pan, and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. The rule of thumb is about 13 minutes per pound. Baste frequently to promote even browning, but be sure to keep the oven door shut in between basting so the heat doesn’t escape. — Emily Jacobs