size turkey should I buy? Experts suggest allowing 1 to 1 1/2 pounds
How long will my frozen turkey need to defrost? A
frozen turkey will need to be defrosted in the refrigerator. The rule of thumb
is 24 hours for each 5 pounds. This means a 20 pound turkey will need 4 days in
the refrigerator to defrost. Don't forget to..... Remove
the giblet's from the cavity of the turkey. Giblets are the turkey's neck, gizzard,
heart and liver. You'll want to add these giblets while making your turkey
stock . Once they're cooked you can chop them and add them to the gravy and
stuffing for extra flavor.
off the turkey. Rinse it under cold running water, also washing out the cavity.
Pat it dry outside and inside with paper towels. Also rinse the giblets. Wash
any surface that comes into contact with the raw juices very carefully to help
prevent cross-contamination. How do I choose a roasting pan for the
turkey? A metal roasting pan is much safer than a disposable aluminum
one. If you must use a disposable
aluminum roasting pan be very careful moving it in and out of the oven as it could
possibly collapse. Don't crowd the turkey into the roasting pan. Make sure the
roasting pan allows for at least 2 - 3 inches of air space all around the turkey
which helps to insure even cooking and browning.
How much stuffing
will I need to stuff the turkey based on it's weight?
You'll need 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup per pound of turkey. Don't overstuff the cavity
with the stuffing as it needs to expand as it cooks. If you have extra stuffing
cook it on the side in a baking dish.
can I be assured of a beautiful browned and flavorful turkey? You'll need butter. Add some light olive oil to some very softened butter.
Add to that salt, pepper, sage and just a bit of rosemary. Mix together well.
Make sure the skin of the turkey is very dry, if not, pat it off with some paper
towels. Carefully work your hands under the turkey skin (don't tear it) and work
butter mixture directly onto the meat. Also, slather it all over the turkey
skin before you put it in the oven.
often should I baste
the turkey? This
is often debated. Some "experts" say that basting makes no difference
in regards to moisture of the turkey. Today a lot of frozen turkeys are "self-basting"
which means they don't need basting. Also, every time the oven is opened the temperature
goes down, which can add a few minutes to the cooking time. I baste every 20 or
so minutes once the foils comes off and do it quickly to help prevent too much
I cover the turkey with aluminum foil while it's baking? Yes, keep
the turkey covered with aluminum foil for 2/3 of the cooking time.
What temperature should the turkey be when it's done? Temperature
is important in determining if turkey is properly cooked. The thigh temperature
should be 175 degrees and the stuffing 160-165 degrees. Make sure the thermometer
you're using is not touching bone when you take the reading. If it's a degree
or two under that's OK. As the turkey rests tented with aluminum it will rise
a degree or two.
long should I let the turkey rest after I take it out of the oven?
When you remove the turkey from the oven place it on a platter and tent it with
aluminum foil. Let the turkey rest between 20 and 30 minutes before carving.
This is the perfect
time to start your Madeira
gravy using the dripping from the turkey.
for Turkey Roasting - courtesy of USDA.gov Roast the turkey at 325
°F oven temperature
Use the timetables below to determine how long
to cook your turkey. These times are approximate. Always use a food thermometer
to check the internal temperature of your turkey and stuffing. The
thigh temperature should be 175 degrees and the stuffing 160-165 degrees.