It’s that time of year again, where home cooks and professional chefs head to the kitchen to create mouth-watering holiday feasts. Center stage in most of these family gatherings is the turkey, which has a very finicky nature when it comes to cooking perfectly. Often, they end up dry, over done, or not done enough. Here are a few tips to help keep that bird juicy, tender, and perfect every time.
Proper Prep is Important
Before you stick the bird in the oven, it must be prepped. You will want to rinse the turkey in cold water, removing any giblets or leftover feathers. Next, set your bird in a roaster, such as the ZwillingTruclad Roaster with Rack, breast side up and place it in a preheated 350°F oven.
The rack is important as it allows for better airflow and heat distribution, as well as ease of transfer for carving. You may season the turkey with salt and pepper or add flavour depth through herbs and spices. A light coating of butter or oil on the skin will produce a deep golden brown color. Use a roaster lid or a tent of foil to control the browning.
Using the Thermapen for Ottawa Food Safety
Ensuring your bird has reached the proper internal temperature is vital for, flavour, juiciness, and food safety. To do this you want to use a reliable, accurate, and instant thermometer, such as the Thermapen. To get the most accurate results, you cannot simply stick the thermometer into the breast and use that result. You need to check the area on the turkey that will have the lowest temperature, the thigh.
Insert the Thermapen into the thickest part of the thigh, using care to avoid touching bone. You want to see at least 157°F for the meat to be safe to eat. A higher temperature in the thigh is a matter of personal taste, as the thigh will have a better flavour if cooked to 165°F or above. Once the thigh has reached the minimum temperature, you will want to spot check the bird in a couple of other places, such as the thickest part of the breast, to ensure the whole bird has reached the safe zone.