Are You Cooking This Year’s Thanksgiving Turkey?
Preparing a Thanksgiving turkey is not for the faint of heart. It is a grueling process that takes time, patience and a whole lot of lovin’. Peter and Paul’s EventCatering would like to help you make a finger lickin’ good turkey that will have everyone digging in for seconds and thirds! If you follow the 10 helpful tips below, we can guarantee you a standing ovation!
- Thawing – If you’re not working with a fresh turkey the average time you should let your turkey thaw is about 24 hours per 5 pounds. Make sure to thaw your turkey in a baking dish so the juices don’t spill out and contaminate other surfaces. Once thawed rinse turkey inside and out.
- To brine or not to brine – Think about brining your turkey as marinating it. If your turkey is pre salted you can skip this step. If not, you can season your turkey with whatever flavours you like and let it sit for as long as desired, typically 8-10 hours. This will allow the turkey to absorb the moisture and avoid dryness.
- Room Temperature – Remove the bird from the fridge and let it get to room temperature. By doing so, the heat will distribute evenly when you cook it.
- Pat Dry – Patting the turkey dry will help give the skin a gorgeous golden colour and allow a good crisp. Feeling extra crispy this thanksgiving? Apply a layer of melted butter or olive oil when dried.
- Season – Whether you’re stuffing your turkey or cooking your stuffing separately, you should add spices and seasonings to give your turkey a delicious flavour. Our favourites? Try a mixture of salt pepper, rosemary, thyme sage and parsley!
- Sit it on a rack – To make an epic batch of gravy, chop vegetables and place them in your roasting pan with a rack on top and set the turkey to cook on the rack. Not only will this create a delicious batch of gravy but will allow your turkey to cook from the bottom and top.
- Baste it – For the absolute best and juiciest results baste your turkey while it’s in the oven. Seriously, every 30 minutes or so, you’ll thank us!
- Slow and steady – Low and slow is the way to go. A hotter oven will not speed up the process instead it will dry out your bird. Keep your oven at 325°F, a 13-15 pound turkey should take about 3-4 hours.
- Use a thermometer – You don’t want to under OR over cook your turkey. Use a thermometer and insert it in the thickest part of the thigh or breast. You are looking for it to read 165°F.
Tip: for an accurate reading, do not hit the bone!
- Finish Line – It’s been hours and your turkey has been through a lot; give it a rest. Your guests are excited and your mouth is watering but resist the urge to cut into it! It’s best to let your turkey rest for at least 20 minutes once you take it out from the oven. This will give it time to reabsorb all the juices and give you time to bring all your yummy sides to the table!