Whether you’re roasting, grilling, or deep-frying a turkey for your next special occasion, we have all the tips and tricks you need to tackle your bird with confidence. There’s no need to be intimidated by the task when you follow Betty’s guide to cooking a succulent, satisfying turkey every time.
While we all know the tryptophan in turkey can make us doze off on the couch after our Thanksgiving feast, something that surprised us about the tasty bird is that it’s actually packed with a lot of essential nutrients. Aside from being low in fat and high in protein, turkey is also a great source of riboflavin and phosphorous.
Many of us are familiar with how to roast turkey, but did you know you can also slow-cook, grill, or deep-fry your bird? We’ll walk you through each method and offer up helpful hints on how to make the most out of your bird.
What you’ll need:
While nice-to-have cooking tools may vary by preparation, here are some of the essentials you’ll need for any method:
Essentials for any method:
- Aluminum foil
- Sharpened carving knife/fork
- Cutting board
Other tools that vary by method:
Depending on whether you’re roasting, grilling, slow cooking or deep-frying, you may need a few other tools.
Oven-proof meat thermometer
- Roasting pan with handles
- Butcher’s string
Large, 28-30 quart stockpot or turkey fryer
An oven-proof meat thermometer is nice for any method because you can leave it in the turkey while it’s cooking, as opposed to a regular meat thermometer which you’ll have to stick in the bird at intervals in order to determine whether or not it’s done. This especially comes in handy if you’re roasting your bird in the oven, as opening and closing the oven door repeatedly lets out heat and interrupts your turkey-cooking time. Because cooking times vary, also be sure you’re meat always reaches 165ºF before serving.
If you’ll be roasting your bird, a roasting pan with handles is also a smart idea because of the turkey’s weight. The size of pan you should use depends on the size of your bird, but in general, anything up to a 12 lb turkey can be roasted in a 14 x 10 pan. Larger birds should be roasted in a 16 x 13.
Other nice-to-have tools for roasting include butcher’s string and a baster. We use butcher’s string to tie the legs of the turkey together—it’s inexpensive and available at most cookware stores. Also, if you’re going to baste your turkey, which helps give the turkey plenty of flavor, you’ll need a baster.