A perfectly roasted turkey is a must for every family on Thanksgiving, most people know how to make a turkey, but maybe some of them may not yet get the secrets of how to make a turkey juicier and more flavorful, so I’ve collected several useful tips and tricks from some experienced chefs. Are you ready to impress your family with a juicy and flavorful turkey?
Brine the turkey
A turkey soaked in a salt-water solution absorbs both the salt and the water, so it’s moister, to begin with as well as seasoned on the inside. You can flavor a brine as well.
Rub soft butter under the skin
As it melts, it bastes the turkey and adds buttery flavor. For even more flavor, you can add herbs and spices to the butter.
Remove the entire backbone with strong poultry shears. Save it for the gravy. Using both hands, smash the breast section flat. It may take a few solid pushes till it cracks and lies flat. Now you have a flattened turkey that will cook more evenly and quickly as the inside is now outside.
Choosing a convection oven or a conventional oven?
Both types of ovens are ok. When it comes to cooking turkey, convection ovens cook the Thanksgiving bird more quickly (about 30% faster) and evenly than standard ovens. Since convection ovens take less time to cook turkey, you should set them for a lower temperature than you would a regular oven. A 300-325°F temperature is perfect for producing a delicious bird that maintains a moist exterior while also reaching an ideal interior temperature of 165°F. Alternatively, regular ovens are usually set for 350°F when cooking turkey.
Truss loosely, or not at all
Legs tied up tightly against the sides of the turkey take longer to roast, putting the breast meat in jeopardy of overcooking while the legs take their time.
Roast the turkey upside down at first
Placing the turkey, breast side down, on a V-rack for the first hour or so of roasting essentially allows it to baste itself. Any marks left by the rack will disappear once you flip the turkey over and finish roasting it.
When the turkey is about ⅔ done, loosely cover the breast with a piece of foil. Your turkey is done when the temperature with a meat thermometer is 180° F in the thigh and 170° F in the breast or stuffing.
Let the turkey rest before carving
The intense heat of the oven forces the juices into the center of the bird, so after roasting, let the turkey rest for roughly 20 minutes (enough time to make the gravy). The juices will redistribute, and you’ll get moister slices.