Turkey is one of the classic Thanksgiving dishes served in most American homes during this holiday. According to the Telegraph, over 50 million turkeys are served in America every year at this time. At least one turkey is traditionally saved from the oven with the presidential pardon.

Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for the first time can be scary. You are uncertain if you should tie or not tie, the Meat Thermometer is getting you worked up and the whole carving process gives you a headache.

The following tips will help you make the best Thanksgiving turkey that will have everyone asking for your secret recipe.

Turkey preparation tips

Choosing the right turkey

A heritage turkey is the best if you want to try an old-fashioned breed. It is usually the most flavorful, and that is why it is costly. You could also go for an organic turkey that has only been fed organic feed.

Making the brine

This helps to keep your turkey moist and add some flavor. A brine solution should contain salt, sugar, spices and water. The basic brine ratio is 4 tablespoons of salt per 4 cups of water. It should be made a day before roasting the turkey.

Cook the stuffing separately

A stuffed turkey takes longer to cook and this will lead to a drier white meat. It is also a healthier way of cooking because cooking the stuffing inside the turkey may lead to the growth of harmful bacteria.

Rub turkey with oil or butter

Keep the skin of the turkey as dry as you can. Then, rub it all over with some oil or butter to make it moist before going into the oven.

Avoid basting

Basting is when you frequently open the oven door. This is bad for the turkey as it leads to temperature fluctuations that will make your bird dry out.

A vegetable roasting rack

Make a natural roasting rack for your turkey by layering onions, carrots and celery. Lift the turkey from the base of the pan for even heat circulation. This will make it crisp and flavorful.

Using a meat thermometer

An instant-read thermometer is the best to check for doneness.

Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the turkey such as the thigh. Your turkey is good to go at 165 degrees F. It will continue to cook as it rests so expect temperatures to rise by 10 degrees outside the oven.

Turkey presentation tips

To tie or not to tie

Most professional chefs tie poultry to ensure it cooks evenly. To show off your culinary skills, tuck the wings under the body, then use kitchen string to tie the legs. It makes the presentation of your turkey alluring.

Let it rest

Loosely cover your turkey with foil to lock in the juices. Let it rest for about 15-20 minutes.

Carving your turkey

Start by removing the string, then cut through the skin that connects the breast and the drumstick.

Remove parts, then slice the meat. After carving, serve your turkey with preferred vegetables and you are good to go.

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