The thought of cooking Thanksgiving dinner, whether or not it’s your first time preparing the meal, can be intimidating. Fortunately, roasting the perfect Thanksgiving turkey is easier than you think. Here are some helpful tips on how to cook the perfect Thanksgiving meal that all your guests will rave about!
Choosing the Right Size
The general rule of thumb is to calculate one pound of turkey per person. Of course, if your family enjoys leftovers, opt for a larger size.
It is best not to stuff the actual turkey as this can cause the turkey to cook unevenly. It will also increase your cooking time and the USFDA advises against this method due to food-safety concerns.
Roasting the Bird
To achieve a perfectly roasted turkey, use a high quality stainless steel roasting pan with two-inch sides and a roasting rack. Be sure the turkey is completely thawed before roasting and don’t forget to remove the giblets from the cavity of the bird. Then, rub the turkey with clarified butter mixed with salt and pepper.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, the ideal temperature for cooking a whole turkey. At this temperature, the skin will brown and crisp, and the inside will be moist and succulent. It will take from 2½ to 5½ hours to roast a turkey at 325 degrees depending on the size. Place the turkey breast side up in the pan and roast until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. To ensure that your turkey is fully cooked, simply insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast. Once the turkey is done, cover in foil and let it rest 20 to 30 minutes.
After resting the turkey, slice and serve. Your Thanksgiving meal is sure to be a hit and your meal a success. Most importantly, smile and give thanks!