The process of cooking your first holiday turkey can seem more than a little overwhelming. Even the most seasoned cooks can feel the pressure of perfectly cooking a turkey for the holidays. Although it may seem intimidating, cooking a turkey is really quite simple if you do it correctly. After all, it’s only a turkey, seasoning, a roasting pan, an oven, and a thermometer. Now you can make the perfect holiday with this exceptional step-by-step guide by LA Times.
Gotta Start Somewhere
The first step to preparing the perfect holiday turkey is to pick which bird is right for your gathering. Typically, you’ll need to buy one pound per person, and even a little heavier if you’re wanting those delicious after-holiday leftovers.
Once you’ve picked out the right bird, remove the neck and giblets from the inside. Although it may seem reasonable to wash the turkey, the USDA recommends against doing that. Just be sure to wash your hands as well as all tools you may use.
It’s The Climb
Next, you’ll need to season and truss your turkey. To do this, rub salt and pepper all over, including the inside of the turkey. To truss it, all you’ll need to do is tie the back legs together. This will help keep it together, and also it will make the turkey a little more manageable.
Now it’s time to get down to cooking. Heat your oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is preheating, baste the turkey with melted butter. For a little extra touch, add in a little maple syrup for taste.
To roast the turkey, cook it for 15-20 minutes to add a little color. After this, reduce the temperature to 325 to continue cooking. Remember to baste every half hour.
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Time To Eat!
When finished, the internal temperature of the turkey should be around 165 degrees. Once it has reached this temperature, let the turkey rest for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will help the juices settle, and preserve the turkey’s flavor.
Finally, dive in and enjoy! Get ready though, because you’ll probably be requested to cook every year now.
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