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TURKEY BASICS – The Southern Woman Cooks


Turkey Cooking Tips - The Southern Lady Cooks

Listed here are some nice turkey fundamentals on selecting, thawing and cooking your vacation turkey.

The vacations are simply across the nook.  Are you prepared?  Have you ever written up the menu, selected what dishes you might be serving, shopped for recipe components and the turkey?  Do you’ve conventional dishes you put together yearly or do you prefer to strive new recipes and shock your loved ones and visitors?  My vacation menu consists of somewhat of each. There are particular recipes I’ve made yearly for what looks like a lifetime and my household expects to partake of those conventional recipes. These three are at all times on our desk:

Turkey Fundamentals:

Nonetheless you put together and serve your meal there are some fundamental turkey ideas floating round on how to decide on, thaw and cook dinner the hen.  I hope you will see that one thing right here which may provide help to alongside the best way.

To begin with ought to one purchase a recent or frozen turkey?   Normally, recent birds price greater than frozen and there may be not a lot distinction within the style.  I feel it might rely upon how recent is recent.  The way you cook dinner it makes an enormous distinction, too.  If you may get one which was only recently slaughtered that’s what I name recent. Turkeys labeled “frozen” are flash-frozen right down to 0°F proper after processing. They’re each bit as flavorful as recent ones.  Personally,  I feel frozen turkeys aren’t as dry as recent.   You must by no means purchase a recent hen that’s over three days outdated.  Frozen turkeys are sometimes marked down or placed on sale simply previous to Thanksgiving and Christmas and can preserve virtually indefinitely however get drier with age. When selecting my turkey,  I permit 1 lb. of turkey per individual whether or not recent or frozen.

By no means thaw a turkey at room temperature!  In line with the USDA, you ought to permit 24 hours thaw time for each 4  to five lbs. of turkey and thaw within the fridge. Listed here are some thawing occasions to information you:

  •  4 to 12 kilos — 1 to three days
  • 12 to 16 kilos — 3 to 4 days
  • 16 to twenty kilos — 4 to five days
  • 20 to 24 kilos —5 to six days

You may thaw a turkey within the microwave. Microwaves range and it’s best to observe your instruction booklet on this methodology.  When you do use the microwave, it’s best to cook dinner your hen as quickly as it’s thawed as a result of the microwave might have began the cooking course of for you.

You need to use the chilly water methodology of thawing however to me that is the final one I need to do as a result of you must change the water each half-hour.  Your turkey must be in a leak proof plastic bag to maintain it from absorbing the water and, like thawing within the microwave, you must cook dinner it as quickly as it’s thawed.

Listed here are some thawing occasions for the chilly water methodology of thawing:

  • 4 to 12 kilos — 2 to six hours
  • 12 to 16 kilos — 6 to eight hours
  • 16 to twenty kilos — 8 to 10 hours
  • 20 to 24 kilos — 10 to 12 hours

When you neglect to thaw the turkey, you possibly can cook dinner it frozen however it takes for much longer to cook dinner this manner.  It might take 4 to five hours for a 12 to 14 lb. turkey that’s frozen to cook dinner and attain the interior temperature of 165-185 levels.

There are completely different strategies of cooking your turkey.  The USDA recommends that you just cook dinner stuffing or dressing individually for optimum security and uniform doneness. I by no means stuff my turkey however make my cornbread dressing in a casserole. If you wish to stuff the hen, there’s a protected approach of doing it utilizing a meals thermometer.

That is my methodology of cooking my Thanksgiving turkey:  I generously grease the surface of my turkey with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Then, I separate the pores and skin from the breast and put pats of butter underneath the pores and skin, within the neck cavity, and contained in the hen.  Place turkey on a roasting rack so air is allowed to flow into beneath and throughout.  Cowl loosely with foil and take away the final 45 minutes to brown the hen. I baste the turkey a number of occasions whereas cooking with melted butter and the juices from the underside of the pan. I cook dinner my turkey 20 minutes per pound at 350 levels  till it reaches an inner temperature of 180 levels taken with a meals thermometer contained in the thigh.  Overcooking will trigger the hen to be dry.  All the time let your turkey stand for 20 minutes after eradicating from the oven earlier than carving to let the juices set.  (I normally cook dinner my turkey in a type of electrical roasters that has a roasting rack within the backside. I put somewhat water within the backside of the pan, too. I love my electrical roaster and use it 12 months spherical to cook dinner meats as a result of I can plug it up within the laundry room on high of my dryer and use my oven for different issues in the course of the holidays.

Don’t neglect this recipe for Giblet Gravy! 

I hope it will provide help to indirectly along with your vacation.   We want everybody a contented and wholesome vacation season.

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