It’s Thanksgiving time!!! Turkey, cranberry, stuffing…mmm! But wait how do you know when that bird is done? You don’t want to overcook it and serve dry turkey do you? Take a few minutes to read this tip so you are prepared for Thanksgiving (or Christmas) to be able to tell if your turkey is cooked!
First things first, let’s make sure you’ve covered all your basics. Did you remember to? remove the neck and gizzards out of the turkey’s crevice? Washed and season your bird? Did you tie the legs with twine, and cover your turkey in it’s roasting pan with heavy duty foil??Ok then?you’re ready to cook your Thanksgiving turkey!?
1) The rule of thumb for cooking a turkey, is for every 1 pound of meat, it requires being in the over approximately 18 minutes (give or take depending on the oven). Whichever recipe and seasoning does not affect how to know when your turkey is cooked, because it is determined solely on the length of time it’s been in the oven.
2) There are oven thermometers, and little popout meat prongs you can stick in our turkey bird, but the trick is to make sure your turkey is checked on periodically. You MUST have a turkey baster handy. A turkey releases a lot of natural juices during it’s lenghty period of being cooked so it’s important not to let it overflow into your oven. You will have a burnt smoky oven in a matter of minutes if you’re not careful. So when checking on your turkey, only check every 45 minutes so as not to let all the heat come out of the oven. When checking if there is no leaking into the oven, pull a corner of the foil and see if the skin is tender. This way you will know your turkey is cooking evenly. When the level of liquid gets too high in the pan use the baster to remove some. You can pour a little juice from the baster onto the turkey if you remove the turkey out of the oven and pull back all the foil. If you do not baste from time to time the turkey WILL burn or dry out.
3) Aside from periodically checking your turkey and calculating 18 minutes per pound the last tip for knowing if your turkey is cooked is to remove 1 hour before the estimated cooking time would be up and?scoring a small piece on the top where the bulk of the meat is. If a ton of juice runs out and the meat looks too pink you may need longer than the time you thought (ovens vary) and if it’s just a little bit pink you’re on the right track. It is a waiting game cooking a turkey but as long as you are careful with it and keep checking on it and allot the right amount of time, you will be able to tell if your turkey is cooked.
*Only remove the foil completely in the last 15 minutes of cooking time so that the skin browns evenly. Foil keeps the heat inside the turkey and allows the middle of the turkey ‘the inside meat’ to cook evenly.
Good Luck & Enjoy 🙂