If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family, you want to make sure that the turkey comes out perfectly. It may take a bit of effort, but cooking a browned, flavorful turkey is possible if you adhere to a few strict guidelines. Here are some basic instructions for cooking a Thanksgiving turkey.
- Buy the right size bird. Allot 1 to 1.5 pounds for each dinner guest. For example, if you’re hosting 10 family members for dinner, a 12-pound turkey should be just the right amount.
- Thaw completely. Cooking a turkey that is still frozen inside is one of the most common turkey mishaps, so be sure to let your turkey thaw for at least one full day for every four pounds. If it’s still frozen on the day of, soak it in cold water for 30 minutes for each pound of meat.
- Remove the neck and giblets. This is the most unpleasant step of the process, but it will be much more unpleasant if you forget to do it.
- Roast. You should roast a 12-pound turkey for about 3 to 3.5 hours, less time for a smaller bird and more time for a larger one. Test the turkey’s doneness by using a food thermometer. Once the inside meat reaches 180 degrees F and the stuffing reaches 165 degrees F, it’s completely done.
Cooking Questions: Thanksgiving [AllRecipes]
How to Cook a Turkey Perfectly [How to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey]
How to Roast a Turkey [Martha Stewart]
How To Cook a Turkey: The Simplest, Easiest Method [The Kitchn]