10 Steps to Cooking the Perfect Turkey

November 20, 2012

and other helpful tips!

By: Jeff Wirtz
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Cooking a turkey can be intimidating, but really it is quite simple.

Follow these steps below and you will be serving a perfect turkey this year!

1.  Preheat oven to 400˚F
2.  Remove Turkey from packaging and rinse well under cold water, be sure to remove the neck and giblets
3.  Place turkey in a suitable roasting pan and brush outside with melted butter
4.  Put turkey in oven and reduce temp to 350˚F (Note: the turkey will need to cook at this temp for 15 minutes per pound)
5.  Cook for 1 hour
6.  After 1 hour, begin basting the turkey every 15 minutes for the remainder of the cooking time.
7.  The turkey is fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165˚F (Note: always insert the
      thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey)
8.  If the turkey is stuffed, stuffing must also reach an internal temp of 165˚F
9.  Remove turkey from oven and allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before carving
10. When carving, be sure to use a sharp knife and slice against the grain

Try also:
  • Stuffing the cavity of the turkey with cut up oranges and lemons.  This will keep the white meat moist while cooking and also adds a nice citrus note to the basting liquid
  • Instead of a whole turkey, you can roast a hotel breast (just the white meat parts of a turkey).  Follow the same cooking instructions as above but start basting after 20 minutes
  • Many readers said they like to use a cooking bag for the turkey to save on the mess.  While we agree that using a bag will help save the mess, we like the crispy skin too much to use one.
  • Cornish hens or quail also make nice alternative to the traditional turkey and take much less time to cook

For more recipe ideas, visit Macaroni Kid EATS!

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