Thanksgiving: 7 Mistakes To Avoid When Cooking Your Turkey This Year


The best way to make sure your turkey is safely cooked is to use a thermometer.

Photo: RODNAE Productions / Pexels

Turkey is usually the main food at Thanksgiving dinner. For those with little cooking experience but wanting to cook turkey this time, we share five common mistakes to avoid to get a great Thanksgiving turkey.

1. Not defrosting turkey long enough

If you are cooking turkey you must plan ahead. Turkeys are much larger than chickens and therefore take longer to defrost. The turkey you will need at least 24 hours for every five pounds. Obviously, turkey, like any other meat, must be thawed in the refrigerator.

2. Do not remove the giblets

An important step is to remove the giblet bag from the cavity. The giblets are made up of the heart, liver, neck and gizzard of the turkey. If you don’t remove them, you run the risk of burning them and affecting the overall flavor of the turkey, explains MyRecipes. Sometimes the giblets are wrapped in plastic, the plastic can melt inside the turkey.

Removing the giblets is not a waste, as you can use them to prepare other recipes.

3. Do not dry the turkey before putting it in the oven

For crisp, golden skin, you should pat the turkey dry before putting it in the oven as the moist skin can prevent the turkey from caramelizing, creating a saggy, soggy exterior.

4. Not being careful with turkey stuffing

Since the filling is in the middle of the bird, it takes longer to cook. When the stuffing reaches the proper temperature, the turkey meat is overcooked. Cooking the filling separately is a safer option.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notes that whether cooked inside the bird or separately, Any filling or dressing must be cooked to at least 165 ° F.

You should not compress the stuffing inside the turkey. Use about 3/4 cup of stuffing for every pound of turkey.

5. Don’t use a meat thermometer

The best way to ensure that the turkey is safely cooked is to use a thermometer. the bird should reach 165 ° F.Insert a food thermometer into the innermost part of the thigh and brim and the thickest part of the breast.

A general rule of thumb is to allow the bird to cook for 13-15 minutes per pound at 350 ° F so a 16 pound turkey takes about four hours.

6. Open the oven door frequently

Opening the oven door lets the heat out. It may take several minutes for the oven to recover, so the turkey may take longer to cook than expected.

7. Cut the turkey immediately

Once cooked, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver suggests carefully lifting the turkey off the tray and letting it rest on a board. Let the turkey rest for about 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

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