Homeowners have 3 lessons to learn from preparing a great Thanksgiving turkey!
1. Don’t skip the inspection
The cardinal sin of any first time home buyers is skipping the inspection. The cardinal sin of first time Thanksgiving turkey cookers is over or undercooking the bird.
At some point, we all need to grow up and take on the responsibility of cooking the Thanksgiving turkey. It’s a stressful, scary time for most, but with a little pre-maintenance and regular inspections, your first turkey can be perfectly cooked and perfectly moist.
2. Moisture control is crucial
The first thing you need to do is to give your turkey plenty of time to thaw. Once it is thawed all the way, it’s time to do a little moisture maintenance so that your turkey doesn’t dry out while roasting for the next 3-4 hours.
After thawing, let your turkey sit in a brine of salt water and other herbs and spices. This tasty salt solution will help keep moisture inside your turkey, not dripping out prematurely into your roasting pan.
You can also make sure that you just rub plenty of sea salt – maybe even a little soft butter – all over the bird, and under the skin around the breast. It’s Thanksgiving, now is not the time to skimp on flavor just because you’re trying to watch your figure. Tomorrow you can get back on the treadmill – or run it off at Black Friday sales – but Thanksgiving is all about being thankful, and no one is thankful for dry, flavorless turkey.
3. If you have done the first two correctly, you can sit back, relax and enjoy your price
Once you’ve done all you can to keep your bird juicy, it’s time to roast it. There are several different theories as to how long you need to cook a turkey, and there are many factors to consider: is the turkey fresh, how big is it, is it stuffed, are you using a convection or regular oven, are you cooking the bird whole, etc. Instead of going all Good Will Hunting with the math equations trying to set your oven timer just right, all you need is a good meat thermometer and to check your turkey regularly.
After about three hours roasting in a 325°F oven (no preheating necessary), start checking your turkey’s temperature with 20-30-minute increments. Measure your turkeys temperature in three places. Remember to take the temperature in the middle of the meat, don’t push the thermometer all the way into the bone.
- Thigh: 180°F
- Breast: 165°F
- Stuffing: 165°F
A great turkey is like a great home, even the things that need fixing can help us build great memories!
Even if everything goes wrong, you’ll be laughing at the memories soon enough, and it will be a great story to share for many Thanksgivings to come as you gather with friends and family in your new home. If you learned the lessons well, a home that is well inspected and has no moisture issues!