10 Turkey Tips from an Emergency Response Company
Whether you’re frying, grilling, or oven-roasting your Thanksgiving turkey — your holiday may be a little different this year. With many choosing to stay home and not gather with their families, we’re forced to find a new way to take part in our holiday traditions. RMC, an Emergency Response Company, wanted to help all of our last-minute turkey newbies with 10 quick tips for kicking off your 2020 Turkey Day. Follow these tips for the perfect oven-roasted bird!
1. Buy the right size
Count on each person eating about 1-1.5 lbs per person.
Turkey takes about 24 hours per 5lbs to thaw out in the refrigerator. If you don’t have enough time for this, do not panic. For the sake of time, it is totally safe to thaw your turkey by submerging it in cold water. Be sure to do so while the turkey is still in its packaging and plan to do this for about 7-8 hours. CDC recommends changing the water out for new cold water every 30 minutes during this process for food safety purposes. Remember: Do not thaw on the counter and do not thaw under hot water!!
3. Soak in Brine for at least a day.
The brine is typically going to be a mix of salt, pepper, sugar, and other desired herbs. Although in some recipes it is used as a dry rub, the brine is usually mixed in with water or stock. Find a recipe that contains the best flavors for you and your guests and make sure to get your brine in every crease of the turkey.
4. When it is time to cook, keep the stuffing on the side.
Cooking the stuffing inside of the turkey may be the tradition, but it actually leaves the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Additionally, a stuffed turkey will take longer to fully cook. This has a tendency to dry out the “white meat”.
5. Style Points
It’s not necessary to tie your turkey up, but there are rumors that doing so helps cook the turkey more evenly. To achieve this, spread and tuck the wings under its body. Then tie the legs up and together.
6. Pre-oven prep
Completely dry your turkey then rub butter or oil ALL over it before placing it in the oven. We recommend also placing tabs of butter under the skin so it melts directly onto the meat as it cooks.
7. Cooking time
The USDA recommends 15 minutes per pound in a 325 ° oven for a fully dethawed bird. Please make sure that your smoke detector is fully functional in advance in case there is an emergency (but we hope there’s not).
8. Basting… it’s controversial.
While it’s more common to hear about basting your turkey throughout your cooking process, it is rumored that the more you open the oven, the more you actually dry your bird out from the temperature fluctuations. This is your call, but as long as you oiled, buttered, and brined your turkey, you should be safe.
9. The final numbers are in:
The magic number we’re looking for to consider our bird done is 165 ° F. Insert an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the turkey around the thigh and avoid the bone for the most accurate read.
10. Finally, let it rest.
Cover your turkey with foil and let it rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Allow room for some of the heat to escape, you do not want the bird to steam under the foil.
That’s it, it’s time to carve! Hopefully, these tips have found you if you’re a first-timer. We recommend looking up different recipes that would fit your tastes best and to follow the basic guidelines that we have provided. Good luck and remember — virtual, surrounded by family, or one on one with your significant other, reflect on your year and be thankful for the presence of the loved ones around you.
Need tips for keeping your kids table entertained while you’re cooking? Check out our 5 Family-Friendly Fall Crafts blog here!