It’s that time of year again, when we get nervous about thawing turkeys and finding canned pumpkin at the grocery store. Are you excited? Bored? Panicking? There’s lots around Thanksgiving that we could talk about, but let’s stick to turkey for today.
The best turkeys are between 12 and 15 lbs. Anything much bigger than that isn’t going to cook evenly.
What about brining? Is it worth it?
One thousand percent. I vote for a dry-brine, though, since wet-brining is so messy and unwieldy. A dry brine also ensures a crazy-gorgeous golden skin. Try this one from Bon Appetit.
Do I have to wake up at 3 a.m. to roast a turkey?
Gad, no. An unstuffed 13 lb turkey (and no, you shouldn’t cook stuffing inside the bird) only takes about 3 hours to cook through. It should also rest for at least 30 and as much as 60 min before carving. So unless you’re having turkey for breakfast, you can sleep in.
Start at 400F for 15 minutes then reduce the heat to 325F and roast about 3 hours or until the inner thigh is 175F.
Overcooked is better than undercooked, right?
Neither is good. But it’s easier to put the turkey back in the oven for 20 min than to invent time travel and go back in time to take the overcooked turkey out sooner. Buy an instant-read thermometer. Poked into the bird’s inner thigh it should read 175F. Then rest, rest, rest.
OK, the turkey is 175F, why is the thigh meat still pink?!
Don’t panic, it’s safe to eat — you’re just seeing the myoglobin. Here, read this.
Talk to me about carving.
Don’t do it at the table à la Clark Griswold. Watch this instead. And carve it in the privacy of your own kitchen.
Do I have to make stock from the carcass?
If you don’t you’re a chump. Turkey soup is so easy and so good. If you don’t have time now, chuck the bones into the freezer for up to a month.
Happy Thanksgiving all!
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