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How to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey That "Wows"

Fri, Nov 16, 2018 at 1:20PM

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Happy Thanksgiving! From our family to yours, we hope you enjoy a day that’s filled with food, laughs and memories that last long beyond that second, third or fourth helping.

About that food, though—if you’re still wondering how to craft the perfect meal (including, of course, the show-stopper turkey), worry not. We are here to help! Read on as we share a few of our top tips for preparing a turkey that “wows” the family, and all the trimmings to go with it. Take a look.

Seeing double

The solution to perfectly moist, delicious meat that wows the crowd might just be cooking two turkeys. But don’t worry—doubling up won’t mean twice the work.

Instead of one large turkey, such as a 20-pounder, you might find success cooking two smaller 10-pound turkeys. Cooking them together, side-by-side, won’t take any more time, and can potentially help you cook the meat more evenly and quickly, too, if overcooking has been a problem in the past. And of course, with two turkeys comes the opportunity to get creative with your preparation. Everyone always swears by a specific recipe or method, so try two and see which one wins over the crowd! One thing’s for sure—the family that loves leftovers can never have too much turkey.

Brine for juicy success

Brining your turkey overnight can help infuse the meat with seasonal flavors that permeate the skin—while soaking it in water helps keep it moist and juicy.

Stuffing, solved?

Another helpful way to ensure quicker, more even cooking is to cook your stuffing outside of the turkey.

A fast-paced start

Some home chefs recommend heating the turkey at a higher temperature (such as 425 degrees) for a quick burst of time at the beginning, so that it develops a crisp skin quickly while preserving the moisture inside for the rest of the slower-temp cooking duration.

Rest and relax

Just like a good steak, roast turkey benefits from resting a bit before being cut into. After you take the turkey out of the oven, give it a break—and give yourself one, too!—before carving to enjoy a juicy, flavorful experience.

Tips for carefree prep…

Now that you’ve mastered the turkey prep, here are our tips for bringing it all together!

  • All hands on deck: When it comes to Thanksgiving Day, we know the kitchen is a busy place. Even if you prefer being at the helm of the meal, delegating smaller tasks (like peeling potatoes, or having younger helpers prepare pie crust or mash potatoes) can help save you some time. But most importantly, it gets everyone involved in the fun (and, sometimes, silliness) of whipping up a great meal.
  • Keep the food flowing: While everyone will probably want to work up a hearty appetite for the meal ahead, it can’t hurt to have smaller bites throughout the day: fruit salad, cheese and crackers, charcuterie and sweet treats are all easy, pleasing options to consider.
  • Serve it up buffet style: Larger crowds can benefit from a buffet-style meal! Don’t feel the need to plate it all to perfection yourself. A few big trays and plenty of serving spoons is all you will need to create a ready-made buffet station, letting everyone pick their favorite foods and come back for second, third and fourth helpings with ease.
  • Create a cozy table setup: For no-fuss décor, why not opt for a fun tablecloth that the whole family can doodle on as they eat? Kids, especially, will love the creative touch, and by the end of it all, you’ll have a beautiful keepsake—a sort of living guestbook of this year’s Thanksgiving, one you will look back on fondly long after the holidays are over.

We hope that today’s tips help you enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving spread! Of course, it’s only the beginning of a memorable holiday. Supply friends, family and lots of laughs to complete the fun.


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