Roast the turkey uncovered at a temperature ranging from 325°F to 350°F. Higher temperatures may cause the meat to dry out, but this is preferable to temperatures that are too low which may not allow the interior of the turkey to cook to a safe temperature.
Always determine doneness with a temperature check. Your meat thermometer ($15, Target) should register 175°F in the thigh muscle. For one 8- to 12-pound turkey, roast at 325°F for 2¾ to 3 hours. … For one 18- to 20-pound turkey, roast at 325°F for 4¼ to 4½ hours.
Q: Should I roast the bird covered or uncovered? A: The Butterball folks recommend cooking the turkey uncovered in a roasting pan. … If you put foil on the breast, remove it about 30-45 minutes before the turkey is done to allow the breast to brown.
4 to 12 pounds: 1-3 days. 12 to 16 pounds: 3-4 days. 16 to 20 pounds: 4-5 days. 20 to 24 pounds: 5-6 days.
Expect it to take 4.5 to 5 hours to cook a 21.5-pound turkey at 325 degrees Fahrenheit — if your turkey is unstuffed. If it’s full of your favorite stuffing, add at least 15 minutes to the total cooking time.
Just make sure you uncover the lid about 30 minutes before the turkey’s done roasting so the skin has a chance to get crispy. … Covering the bird with foil mimics what a roaster lid would do — it traps steam and moistness so the turkey doesn’t dry out — all the while allowing the skin to crisp up.
Add water to the roasting pan to keep the turkey from drying out. Grandma always added water to the bottom of the roasting pan, at the start of the cooking. This keeps the bird from drying out.
When you should start cooking: Season the turkey the night before and start cooking it Thanksgiving morning. While it’s best to actually cook your turkey on Thanksgiving day, Holzman recommends seasoning your turkey the night before.
Most recipes will tell you to baste your turkey every thirty minutes. But our rule of thumb is actually every forty minutes, and here’s why. You don’t want to open the oven too many times, or else the whole bird will take much long to cook, and that’s a huge inconvenience.
Don’t butter your bird
Placing butter under the skin won’t make the meat juicier, though it might help the skin brown faster. However, butter is about 17 percent water, and it will make your bird splotchy, says López-Alt. Instead, rub the skin with vegetable oil before you roast.
Cook the turkey breast side down.
While the turkey roasts, the juices fall down towards the breast, resulting in the most succulent meat. The breast is also more protected from the heat, which helps keep it from getting too dried out.
Here’s the calculation: plan on 24 hours of fridge thawing for every 5 pounds of frozen turkey (for example: budget 4 full days of thawing in the fridge for a 20-pound turkey). Keep the turkey wrapped, and occasionally check to see if the baking sheet or roasting pan needs to be drained.
Thawing turkey in a sink of cold water is faster than thawing in the refrigerator, but it’s not safe to leave it in the sink to thaw overnight. … Your turkey should be completely covered. Change the water every 30 minutes, turning the bag occasionally.
You shouldn’t. This might be surprising since many of us have defrosted frozen chicken on the counter at least once, but the answer is a hard “no” when it comes to a full turkey. And in terms of the chicken, you’re really not supposed to thaw it out on the counter anyway.
The best way to be sure a turkey — or any meat — is cooked safely and done is to use a meat thermometer. If the temperature of the turkey, as measured in the thigh, has reached 180°F. and is done to family preference, all the meat — including any that remains pink — is safe to eat.
Turkeys between 4-6kg should be rested for 1½ hours, and ones from 6-10kg can rest for two hours. Get your turkey out of the fridge 30 minutes before you cook it. You’ll get less shrinkage when it goes into a hot oven.
Keep your eye on the thigh.
To check for doneness without a thermometer, pierce the thigh and pay attention to the juices: if the juices run clear, it’s cooked, and if the juices are reddish pink, it needs more time. Put the turkey back in the oven and check again after a short time.
If you’re baking it at 325°F (the lowest temperature the USDA recommends), you’ll need to bake a 20-lb turkey in the oven for 4 to 5 hours if it’s unstuffed, and 4 ¼ to 5 ¼ hours if it’s stuffed.
How long do I cook a turkey in a convection oven? 12-15 pounds, 1.5-2 hours. 15-20 pounds, 2-2.5 hours. 20-25 pounds, 2.5-3 hours.
While some recipes state that turkey should be cooked to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, the meat is safe to consume once it reaches the 165-degree mark. Cooking the breasts past 165 can result in dry meat, but the dark meat can be cooked to 180.
Put the turkey on top of the vegetables, put in the oven and roast in the oven for 45 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Reduce the heat to 350 and continue roasting, basting with the warm chicken stock every 15 minutes until basting with some of the chicken stock every 15 minutes, about 2 to 2 ¼ hours longer.
Place chopped onions, celery, and carrots in the bottom of the roasting pan. Pick a few herbs off the stalks and add to the vegetables. Set aside. Pat dry the turkey with paper towels.
Lightweight, disposable aluminum roasting pans should not be used for cooking turkey; those pans are simply not heavy enough to support the weight of the bird. It could spill or break, causing serious burns when you try to remove it from the oven.
Add about a half-inch of liquid (water or stock) to the roasting pan. This will keep the oven moist, and the turkey juicy.
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