Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year for family, food, and gratitude. You’ll definitely give thanks for these 6 tips for a perfectly roasted turkey. Now you can enjoy moist, flavorful meat and a lovely crisp skin!
Plan ahead to give the turkey plenty of time to thaw in the fridge. Allow 1 day for every 4 pounds. For 10-13 pounds, thaw for 3 days. For 14-17 pounds, thaw for 4 days. For 18-21 pounds, thaw for 5 days.
On Tuesday, brine the turkey in the fridge overnight.
6-8 pounds = 1-gallon water + 1/2 cup fine sea salt
12-17 pounds = 2 gallons water + 1 cup fine sea salt
18-24 pounds = 3 gallons water + 1 1/2 cups fine sea salt
3. Air Dry
On Wednesday, dry the turkey with paper towels and place it uncovered in the fridge for 24 hours. Air-drying creates an extra crisp skin.
Get a v-rack or use bulky vegetables to elevate the bird so it’s not sitting in its own juices. Elevation allows heat to circulate, which promotes even cooking and crisp skin.
Rotating the bird ensures that the light meat finishes at the same time as the dark meat. For example, a 12-15 pound bird requires about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Here’s a good example of rotation for a smaller bird: breast-side down for 45 minutes, left side down for 15 minutes, right side down for 15 minutes, then breast-side up for 30-45 minutes. Add time as needed for larger birds. A 15-18 pound bird requires about 2 hours and an 18-24 pound bird, about 3 hours. Stuffing a bird is not recommended because it increases the chance of overcooking.
Check for doneness with a thermometer. The thickest part of the breast should read 165 degrees and the thigh 175 degrees. Transfer to a cutting board, cover and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.