(NC) - Regardless of whether you are cooking your first turkey this year, or you've got a few under your belt, these 10 easy tips, using the Open Pan Roasting Method, guarantee a picture-perfect turkey that will have your holiday guests asking for more!
Start off right! Refrigerator thawing is the best way to thaw a turkey, but be sure to allow one day of thawing for every four pounds. If you're short on time, submerge the turkey in cold water. Thawing the turkey at room temperature is not recommended as it can promote bacteria growth.
Keep things clean with some easy home food safety tips when handling turkey: wash hands often; keep raw turkey and ready-to-eat foods separate; cook to the proper temperature; and refrigerate cooked turkey promptly after the meal.
How much is enough? To make sure everyone has a full serving and still have leftovers, allow 1.5 pounds of turkey per person.
Turn it up! To consistently create a tender and juicy, golden-brown turkey, Butterball experts recommend the Open Pan Roasting Method at 325 F (160 C).
Timing is everything. Use the chart below as a guideline and start checking for readiness 30 minutes before recommended time ends.
Do it right, but don't over do it. When the turkey is two-thirds cooked, loosely cover the breast and top of the drumsticks with a light foil to prevent overcooking the breast.
To baste or not to baste? Basting throughout the roasting process is unnecessary and opening the oven door periodically can cool the oven and possibly lengthen the roasting time. Before roasting, lightly coat the turkey's skin with vegetable oil to prevent the skin from drying.
The heat is on, so be sure to always use a thermometer to know when the turkey is fully cooked. The deep thigh should reach 180 F (83 C), and 160 F (72 C) in the centre of the stuffing.
Patience makes perfect. Let the cooked turkey stand for 15 minutes to let the juices set and the stuffing temperature.
Fresh or frozen? The choice is yours. Fresh turkeys don't need thawing and are ready to cook. Frozen turkeys can be purchased weeks in advance, but require several days of thawing time. Fresh Butterball turkeys are deep basted with margarine and Frozen Butterball turkeys are deep basted with brine to be extra tender and juicy.
For more great turkey tips call the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line at 1-800-BUTTERBALL or visit www.butterball.ca.