Turkey Tips For Thanksgiving

Because you’re studying in an online cooking school, there is a pretty good chance that your family and friends expect a lot from you this holiday season. You’re probably in charge of the traditional Thanksgiving bird, and although you may not get to carve it (grandpa usually gets that duty), you have a serious responsibility to properly prepare the delicious turkey. We’ve got some advice for you.

Buy the right amount of meat
If you’re in charge of what is largely considered to be the most important part of the holiday meal, you have to know how big of a turkey to buy. Having extra is always better than running out, as there are so many awesome ways to use leftovers. A common guideline to follow is to buy 1 pound of turkey for every guest. If you really love leftovers, add a couple extra pounds so you can have that incredible turkey chili or leftover sandwich that you’ve been dreaming of all year. Be sure to buy your turkey several days before Thanksgiving, as stores may run out.

Give yourself time
When using a frozen turkey, be sure to allow yourself enough time to both thaw and cook your bird. Cooking a partially frozen bird is not an option. You can place a wrapped, frozen turkey on a dish in the fridge to thaw so long as you allow one day of thawing time for every four pounds of turkey, according to Butterball. You can also thaw it in cold water if the meat is wrapped and you change the water every 30 minutes. For this method, calculate 30 minutes of thawing time per pound of meat. You can even thaw your turkey several days beforehand, as it’s safe to keep in the fridge for up to four days before being cooked.

To stuff, or not to stuff
Stuffing is one of the quintessential side dishes of Thanksgiving. While the name implies it should be inside of the bird you do not have to cram all that delicious breading etc into your turkey. According to Food Network, a turkey will not cook evenly if it is super stuffed. Instead, opt to cook your stuffing separately and fill the bird with aromatic herbs and a few vegetables like carrots and onions.

Don’t forget about it 
It happens every year. Some unlucky person will completely forget they put the bird in the oven until smoke is curling into the kitchen and the fire alarms are ringing. Don’t let this happen to you. Have a plan written out of all the timings involved in your meal This means writing out every step from the grocery store to defrosting and preparing the bird and, finally, cooking. Use your phone to set multiple timers to keep track of everything at once. Your guests will be amazed at your incredible meal and wonder how you were able to stay cool, calm and collected through the whole thing.

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