10 Tips for Preparing Your Bird for Thanksgiving

Maple Roasted Turkey with Sage, Smoked Bacon & Cornbread Dressing from www.Creative-Culinary.com 

It’s time to get the bird out of the deep freeze!!!  Don’t delay if you want him to be defrosted by Thursday!  Here are 10 tips for handling the bird properly — thanks to Food Network
 1. Thawing a frozen turkey requires patience. The safest method is to thaw turkey in the refrigerator. Be sure to plan ahead — it takes approximately 3 days for a 20 pound turkey to fully defrost.
2. For crisper skin, unwrap the turkey the day before roasting and leave it uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.
3. Cooking times will differ depending on whether your bird was purchased fresh or frozen. Plan on 20 minutes per pound in a 350 degree F oven for a defrosted turkey and 10 to 15 minutes per pound for fresh.
4. A turkey will cook more evenly if it is not densely stuffed. Consider adding flavor by loosely filling the cavity with aromatic vegetables — carrots, celery, onion or garlic work nicely — or by carefully tucking fresh herbs underneath the breast skin. For the stuffing lovers, cook the dressing in a casserole dish on the side.
5. For even roasting, truss your turkey.
6. Before roasting, coat the outside of the turkey with vegetable or olive oil, season with salt and pepper and tightly cover the breast with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning (it will be removed in step 7).
See the remaining 4 at www.foodnetwork.com

Don’t forget to check out that gorgeous bird above at Creative Culinary!  He’s a beaut!
  • Gourmet Tips for Your Thanksgiving Feast.
    November 20, 2012 at 7:37 am

    […] turkey is the star of your feast, so you want to make sure it’s perfectly moist, browned, and flavored. Before you even think about cooking the turkey, pull it out of the deep freeze and let it defrost […]

  • koralee
    November 24, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Sending you many blessings for you on this Thanksgiving day…your turkey looks amazing. xoxoxo HUGS

  • PinkGranny
    November 23, 2011 at 10:53 pm


  • Divya
    November 23, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    That bird looks perfectly browned! Beautiful. Love the roundup of tips here.

  • Farmgirl Gourmet
    November 23, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    If you soak cheese cloth in butter and wrap the skinless turkey, that should help keep the turkey moist. Hope this helps!!

  • Anonymous
    November 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Heather, a question for you: How would you cook a whole skinless turkey, while maintaining it nice and juicy? Do you think covering it with aluminum foil, for the duration of roasting, would do the trick?

  • Eliotseats
    November 23, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Great tips! Hope you have a fantastic day! Good eating!

  • Priscilla - She's Cookin'
    November 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    My favorite turkey preparation is a brown sugar/kosher salt/spice rub and you leave it uncovered for 24 hrs. Definitely makes for crispy skin! Great tips – Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family 🙂

  • Kelly @ Evil Shenanigans
    November 22, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Wonderful tips, particularly about letting the skin dry out for additional crispness! I do that trick with chickens and it always works beautifully!

  • tori
    November 22, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    That looks like such a beautiful bird. Great tips.

  • Barbara | Creative Culinary
    November 22, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Great tips and gosh that bird looks good. 🙂

    Actually first year in so many I’m not making it and a little sad but I’m doing a deep fryer and smoker challenge between myself and myself.

    Happy Thanksgiving!