Thanksgiving Turkey Tips

Not sure about preparing a turkey for Thanksgiving or a large family dinner?  Have no fear, use these tips to successfully roast a turkey and enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving meal with family this year.   See other Thanksgiving recipes on Dish Dish, too.

  • Reader’s Digest suggests roasting a turkey upside down, so breast doesn’t overcook and the juices seep down to keep it moist.
  • When buying your turkey, plan to purchase one pound per adult being served.
  • For defrosting a turkey more quickly, submerge the turkey (in its packaging) in cold water (breast side down), and change the water every hour until thawed.
  • What if you cut into your turkey after cooking only to find that parts of it are not cooked thoroughly?  Cut pieces off and lay them out flat on a baking sheet; return those pieces to the oven to finish roasting.
  • To plan thawing and roasting times for large turkeys, follow these guidelines:
  • 12 pound (5.44 kilograms) turkey – allow 3 days thawing time (in refrigerator) and plan to cook at 375° F for 25 minutes, then 325° F for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
    15 pound (6.8 kilograms) turkey – plan 3-4 days thawing time in refrigerator; plan to cook at 375° F for 30 minutes, then at 325° F for 1 hour and 25 minutes.
    18 pound (8.16 kilograms) turkey – leave 4-5 days for thawing in refrigerator; cook at 375° F for 35 minutes, lowering the temperature to 325° F after that and continue to cook for 1 hour and 50 minutes.
  • For a simple roasted turkey, stuff turkey (after removing innards and giblets) with a quartered onion, 2 cloves of smashed garlic and 1 quartered lemon; then season top with salt & pepper before roasting, following above cooking guidelines.
  • Remember to cover turkey loosely with aluminum foil if the turkey begins to brown too quickly on top.
  • Always allow turkey, after removing from oven, to set for 20-30 minutes before beginning to carve.
  • Reheated turkey tastes best when reheated with the gravy.

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