Are you cooking a turkey? I’ve got everything you need to create the perfect turkey right here. Cooking a turkey is actually pretty easy. There are some simple steps you can take to ensure the perfect, moist, and tender turkey. I’ve created three videos to walk you through your turkey cooking adventure. I know how much pressure you are under to produce the perfect meal and I know you can end up with a beautiful plate on your dinner table.
How to Brine a Turkey:
Brining your turkey adds flavor and moisture to your meat from the inside out.
How to Brine a Turkey
- 1 gallon chicken broth
- 1 cup salt
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 6 cloves garlic
- brining container*
- *For the brining container my secret weapon is a Giant Ziploc Bag. You can also use a clean 5 gallon bucket or a giant stockpot that your turkey can fit into. You want the liquid to cover the entire turkey.
- Heat broth, salt, peppecorns, rosemary, and garlic in a large stockpot. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Place turkey in plastic bag, 5 gallon bucket, or clean large stockpot. Pour cooled brine solution over turkey to cover. Refrigerate 24 hours.
How to do a Turkey Injection:
You can inject your turkey with little pockets of flavor.
How to do a Turkey Injection
- 1/4 cup oil vegetable, canola, or olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons seasoning cajun seasons are awesome
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Special equipment: Meat Injector
- In a small saucepan, heat oil, water, worcestershire, seasoning, and salt over medium heat. Let seasoning spices release their flavor until you can smell it, about 2 minutes.
- Use injector to suck up some of the marinade and inject small amounts all over the turkey. There is a lot more meat on the breast side so focus your efforts there. Once there isn’t enough marinade to suck up into the injector anymore, brush the remainder over the skin of the turkey. Refrigerate 3 hours before roasting.
How to Roast a Turkey:
Prep your turkey by removing all the innards. They might be in a bag if you are lucky. If there is a neck you’ll have to remove that as well. You want a completely empty cavity in the middle of the turkey.
The best way to roast a turkey is to use a roasting pan
. This elevates the meat on a rack so that the meat and skin doesn’t sit in its own liquids and get soggy. You can also use a roaster oven
which frees up your oven to bake other dishes.
You’ll want to roast your turkey breast side up. Sometimes I dance my turkey around to make sure I know which side is which. Run your fingers around the neck opening and loosen up the skin. Create an opening so you can shove seasonings or butter directly against the meat. Do the same thing through the other end. Butter melts directly onto the breast meat, keeping it nice and moist while it roasts. You can season your turkey with just salt and pepper, or use a more creative seasoning profile. Rubbing the skin with some oil (canola, vegetable, or olive oil) will create a crispy skin.
Start your oven at 450 degrees and immediately turn the temperature down to 350 degrees after putting your turkey in the oven. The general rule of thumb is 13 minutes per pound. Baste the turkey every 45 minutes using a spoon or a turkey baster
. About halfway through your estimated cooking time start checking the temperature of your turkey using a meat thermometer
. Check in multiple places to get a feel for the temperature of the entire bird. 165 degrees is what you are looking for. The breast may cook faster than the rest of the bird. You can shield the breast meat with a small piece of aluminum foil to help prevent it from drying out.