7 Tips To Cook The Perfect Turkey

7 Tips To Cook The Perfect Turkey

The holiday season is almost here! When putting together a holiday menu you will need a show-stopping masterpiece and turkey is the best masterpiece of them all. Whether it is Thanksgiving or Christmas day a turkey will be an exceptional addition to your holiday menu. To understand why Turkey would be the perfect addition to your menu, you must understand where it came from. 

Where Did Turkeys Come From?

Domesticated Turkeys originated from a wild species of turkey called Meleagris gallopavo. This species was indigenous to America until the 1500s when Spanish Traders took turkeys to Europe and Asia. The bird was said to have been shipped through Turkey. Hence, the turkey was born. In a region where gourmet food was considered to be bustards and storks turkey quickly became a delicacy. Although gourmet foods have evolved, turkey is still considered a gourmet food that is prized for its health benefits. 

Benefits of Turkey 

Turkey is unique because of its many health benefits. Turkey is a complete protein. Protein plays an essential role in the body. It helps to increase and maintain muscle mass gives the cells in your body its structure and helps carry nutrients throughout the body. High protein diets stimulate weight loss as it promotes satiety and is an excellent alternative for red meat.

Turkey is laden with B vitamins. Niacin (B3) promotes cell communication and it is a crucial element that helps the body to convert food into energy. Pyridoxine (B6) aids the creation of amino acids and helps to create neurotransmitters. Vitamin B12 is required for the production of DNA and red blood cells. 

Turkey is an exceptional source of minerals. Turkey is full of selenium, phosphorus, and zinc. Selenium makes thyroid hormones that manage the body's metabolism and rate of growth. Zinc is a primary mineral that supports many bodily functions, like gene expression, enzyme responses, and protein synthesis. Phosphorus is crucial to the health of your bones. 

7 Tips To Cook The Perfect Turkey

Turkey has a reputation for being dry but that idea can be challenged. Maybe it is dry because of the way it is cooked. Factors such as the size of the bird, the temperature of the oven, and how you prep the turkey before it is baked determine whether you will have a tender and moist turkey or a dry overcooked turkey. Whether you make a roast turkey or smoked turkey these tips will help you to create a turkey that is juicy and succulent every time. 

7 Tips To Cook The Perfect Turkey

Avoid Buying a Frozen Turkey

Turkey is a relatively lean bird. It is drier than other cuts of meat such as red meat, so you should do everything you can to preserve the moisture content of the turkey. One way to fix this problem is to purchase fresh organic turkey sourced from local farmers in your area. 

Luckily there are online retailers such as this one that gives you the luxury of ordering your turkey online and having it delivered to your door. These turkeys are locally sourced from Rossdown Farms & Natural Foods. In addition to being organic these turkeys are free range, raised on a vegetarian diet that excludes animals by products, GMO-free and antibiotic free. 

Pre order your turkey now to avoid the hassle of the grocery store and having to use a frozen turkey. 

7 Tips To Cook The Perfect Turkey

Select An Appropriate Sized Turkey

It may be tempting to select a big bird because it will look stunning in the center of your table and elicit a positive reaction from your friends and family. Beauty should come from the taste in addition to the look. A smaller bird can receive the same reaction as a big turkey, but it will get more praise because it is tender and juicy. 

Another issue with large birds is that they are injected with steroids and hormones to make appear bigger. Additionally, when preparing a big turkey the outside will cook faster than the inside resulting in a turkey that is unevenly cooked. The solution to this problem is to buy a smaller turkey. Purchase a turkey that is 6-8 lbs or 9-11 pounds. If you have a large family you can always cook two turkeys.  

Brine The Turkey To Maximize Moisture

Brining the turkey is an essential step that will help the turkey retain moisture. Brining is a technique that involves submerging meat in a saltwater solution before cooking. This step eliminates having a turkey that has tasty skin on the outside and is flavourless on the inside. Brining  adds moisture to the turkey while allowing the flavours to penetrate the meat. You can add a few spices to the brine in addition to the salt to build another level of flavour. Let the turkey brine for up to 24 hours so the bird can soak up all of the flavours. 

Slather a Layer of Butter On and Underneath the Skin 

After the brining process is complete the next step would be to add a generous layer of butter on the outside of the turkey and underneath the skin so it can penetrate the meat. Mix in some herbs, spices, or citrus to the butter before spreading the butter over the bird to give the bird more flavour. Loosen the skin around the breast, and slather a layer of butter underneath the skin. The butter will allow the skin to get crispy while providing the inside of the turkey with juicy flavour. 

Twofold Cooking Process

The key to a moist bird is to cook the bird at a high temperature for the first 30 minutes so the skin can develop a golden crispy skin. The temperature is then reduced to prevent the bird from burning and allow the turkey to stay moist and juicy on the inside. 

7 Tips To Cook The Perfect Turkey

Use an Oven Safe Meat thermometer

Although you can estimate turkey cook times based on the weight of the turkey, the only way to truly know if a turkey is finished cooking is to use a thermometer. A meat thermometer can give you an accurate temperature and allow you to pull the turkey out of the oven as soon as it reaches completion. Use an oven-safe thermometer so you don't have to keep continuously sticking a thermometer into the bird and letting those gorgeous juices escape. 

Let the Turkey Rest

As with any meat the turkey has to rest. As tempting as it is to cut into the turkey after it has been removed from the oven, avoid giving into this temptation. If you cut into the turkey you will lose all of the precious juices you diligently worked to preserve.

The turkey needs to rest so the juices can be redistributed evenly. This allows the meat to firm up and makes it easier to carve. Let your turkey rest for at least 20-30 minutes before you carve it. You can use this time to finish side dishes or set the table before you serve your holiday meal.

Take Away

Turkey is the perfect main dish for the upcoming holiday season. These tips will ensure you cook a bird that people will be raving about until the next holiday season arrives. Order your fresh organic turkey today to avoid the stress of going to the grocery store.