Often one may feel the initial jitters when it comes to cooking a turkey for dinnertime! The occasion of Thanksgiving or Christmas often brings with it some amount of dread for those who are newbies to cooking turkeys! Well, there are certain factors you would need to consider to be able to cook the turkey without any hassles. Cooking a turkey is not really as difficult as it may sound, in fact with some practice, you can master the art of cooking turkeys and whip up the most sumptuous dinner ever!
Tips for Cooking a Turkey:
The turkey should be kept in its original wrapping when it’s bought from the store. Always ensure you check the date of package to ensure you do not pick up a stale pack. Fresh turkey should be purchased not more than 3 days before you plan to roast the same. In case you are buying a frozen turkey, you would need to defrost it in the refrigerator. You can also use cold water for the same process. Defrosting the turkey in the refrigerator is also considered to be the best method for the thawing process. In case you plan to use cold water, remember to change the water every 30 minutes. When you open the package to smell the turkey, you would need to keep a check on the smell to deduce the freshness of the turkey.
While roasting the turkey you would need to maintain a temperature of minimum 325 degrees. When cooking a frozen turkey, one would need to plan in advance for the process. A meat thermometer would certainly prove to be useful while cooking a turkey. Every turkey is different in proportions and differently sized turkeys will take varied time periods to be cooked. A useful tip over here would be to keep the turkey in the oven once cooked and then use the meat thermometer to gauge the temperature. Ensure the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees F. Always remember to place the thermometer on the deepest or the thickest part of the turkey to have the most accurate reading.
Stuffing the turkey would require you to do the same before you place it in the oven. The stuffing needs to be placed loosely inside. If you wish to cook the bird when it’s stuffed, remember to cook it for a longer time to ensure it’s cooked evenly.
Once the turkey is out of the oven, you can simply keep is aside for around 20 minutes. This is because it would be very sizzling on the inside and the ingredients would continue being cooked. Once the juices settle down, you can try to carve the turkey.
Stuffing’s can be cooked separately as well. Generally, expert chefs advice on cooking the stuffing’s separately. Placing some quantity of herbs inside the bird for seasoning would turn out to be a better cooking tip!
Spraying the turkey with some cooking spray before it’s actually cooked will help to keep the bird a little moist. If you wish to avoid this step, you can even use cheesecloth that is sprayed with vegetable cooking spray.
Always remove the stuffing immediately after the turkey gets cooked properly. The turkey and the stuffing need to be stored separately.
Uncooked turkeys should always be placed on non-porous surfaces for hygiene purposes. Remember to take care the turkey juices do not drip over other food kept in the kitchen.
Always maintain a neat and tidy kitchen to avoid cross contamination while cooking a turkey. You can use paper towels to dry the turkey inside out, instead of cloth.