Roasting the perfect holiday bird isn’t always as easy as we’d like. Fortunately, with the right tools and pro tips, you’ll be well on your way to seasoning and stuffing a turkey worthy of showing off on social media. Here, Chef Shahir Massoud, spokesperson for Butterball and Kimberly Mann, national training manager at GE Appliances, talk turkey and reveal their top tips.
- Chill out. If you’re cooking a frozen turkey, thaw the bird in the fridge, not the counter as the room temperature can promote bacterial growth. Plan one day of thawing for every four pounds of turkey. In a rush? Chef Shahir suggests submerging a fully wrapped turkey, breast down, in cold water. You’ll need about 30 minutes per pound for the whole turkey to thaw with this method.
- Don’t fear convection. “Convection cooking is the perfect way to roast a turkey because the circulating air helps seal in juices and browns the skin to perfection,” explains Mann. Although the convection feature on your oven can seem daunting, she suggests cooking the turkey at a slightly lower temperature than normal and checking it more frequently as it will cook a bit faster on a convection setting. Some of GE’s ranges even feature automatic convection conversion, making all these adjustments automatically.
- Always use a meat thermometer. Overdone, dry turkey is the worst. To make sure you don’t overcook your bird, always use a meat thermometer. Make sure the thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and isn’t touching the bone.
When the thigh temperature reaches 180°F, you’re done. Note: If your turkey is stuffed, the temperature must reach a minimum 165°F deep in the stuffing.
- It’s not all about that baste. Despite the longstanding tradition of turkey basting, Chef Shahir says you may be surprised to learn that it’s actually not doing much for your turkey. Every time you open the oven door, heat and moisture escape. This means it will take longer for your turkey to cook and you could end up with a drier bird. Plus, the drippings you’re using to baste are a mixture of fat and liquid that can actually make the skin soggy and dry out the meat.
- Give it a rest. Before carving up your turkey, let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes by loosely covering it with foil. This will help the turkey to retain its moisture, making it extra juicy.
For any questions or concerns about your Thanksgiving turkey, the Butterball Turkey TalkLine staff are available to take your call at 1-800-BUTTERBALL (1-800-288-8372). Find more information online at geappliances.ca.