10 Tips for the Juiciest Thanksgiving Turkey

juicy turkey

We know with Thanksgiving a week away, there’s two things on the minds of everyone – Thanksgiving dinner and Black Friday shopping. We can’t help you much with the shopping piece – unless you’re shopping for a home inspection in which case we’ve got you covered! – so here we’ve shared our ten best tips for roasting a super-juicy turkey.

  1. Choose a fresh turkey instead of a frozen one. You’ll almost always end up with juicier turkey when it’s fresh.
  2. If you need to feed a larger group of people, roast two small turkeys rather than one large one. This allows them to cook a shorter time, which also helps keep them juicy.
  3. Brine the turkey before cooking—24 to 48 hours before cooking day. One of our favorite brines is a simple mix of:
    1. Fresh apple cider
    2. Kosher salt
    3. Bay leaves
    4. Whole allspice berries
    5. Peppercorns
    6. Fresh sage leaves
    7. Orange peel
    8. Cold water
  4. Rub softened butter under the skin. Not only can this help keep the turkey juicy but it can add a ton of flavor. We like to use flavored butter:
    1. 1 cup softened butter
    2. 2 Tbsp olive oil
    3. 4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
    4. 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
    5. 3 large garlic cloves, pressed
    6. 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
    7. 1/2 Tbsp salt
    8. 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  5. Don’t stuff the turkey with traditional bread stuffing as the bread will pull out a lot of moisture. Instead, fill the cavity with aromatics for added flavor. We like:
    1. 1 large onion, quartered
    2. 4 garlic cloves, halved
    3. 1/2 bunch parsley
    4. 1 lemon, quartered
  6. Truss loosely, or not at all. The dark meat takes longer to cook and is deeper within the body. Trussing folds the legs together and makes it harder for heat to penetrate, which means they take longer to cook – meaning the white meat ends up dry. Leave them untrussed, and wrap with foil if the tips start to get too brown.
  7. Roast the turkey upside down at first. This allows the juices initially to sit in the breast meat. You can turn the turkey over later to brown the breast area.
  8. Baste periodically to get the juices that collect in the pan and redistribute them over the meat, to pack the turkey full of moisture and flavor.
  9. Don’t overcook. This one goes without saying. Always rely upon a thermometer to make sure you’ve reached the correct internal temperature.
  10. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour before carving so that the meat has time to soak up the juices.

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