I write some version of this every year. If you are roasting your first turkey this year it is going to be alright. Turkeys are easy to prepare.
If you watch the news or are on social media you may get the impression that roasting a turkey is difficult. It is easy unless you make it hard.
There are other ways to cook a turkey but roasting it is the easiest. No need to deep fry it or put it on a stick.
For those of you who have never cooked the bird this is what it looks like:
. . but at one time it probably looked like this:
Turkeys are very easy to roast, in an oven or in an electric turkey roaster, I have hosted more than 30 thanksgiving and a few other events that required that I roast a turkey.
If your turkey comes out too dry it is because it was overcooked. Use a meat thermometer. Cooking time is just s guide or estimate. Use one of the many roasting charts that can be found online. Just ask Google for the details about the temperature and time to cook a turkey.
Turkeys can be cooked rapidly at 450 or so, but the easiest way is to put it in an electric turkey roaster or in the oven at 325 to 350 and just ignore it. I like to start with a fresh turkey, never a frozen turkey. Fresh turkey tastes better and I don’t have to worry about thawing it out.
If your turkey is still frozen there are some options. It can be thawed in ice water but I think that is icky. It can be cooked. Start it at 325. Depending upon the size it can take 7 or 8 hours. Once it warms up a bit take it out of the oven or roaster and take out the innards and cook it until done. Keep an eye on the liquids throughout cooking and drain them off or you will end up with a boiled turkey.
I have never thawed a turkey all the way before I cook it so I always allow an extra hour and a half of cooking time and I usually cook it at a lower temperature. (325)
I make the stuffing separately but like to stick a whole orange in the cavity. Sometimes I quarter it, other times I just poke some holes in it. There is less chance of food poisoning if the stuffing is cooked separately. This year my son-in-law will be making the stuffing. He has a way with stuffing.
Clean-up is simple too. The only challenge is finding a place to store the electric roaster but as a Realtor, I can help you find a bigger home with more storage space if needed.
The FDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 165 . . if you don’t want to risk food poisoning. personally, I go for up around 170 to 180 degrees. Please don’t rely on that little pop-up thingy to detect doneness. Use a real meat thermometer.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.