When you have to roast your first Thanksgiving turkey it’s hard to know where to begin. While it’s tempting to call your local caterer, the experts at Solar Appliance Service have the answers for how to cook the perfect turkey. So put down that phone, set your worries aside and let us show you the best Thanksgiving turkey recipe ever!
How to Cook the Perfect Turkey: A Beginner’s Guide to Success
We understand that there can be some anxiety about how to cook Thanksgiving turkey when you’ve never done so before. Our step-by-step guide breaks down the process so you’ll know how to cook the perfect turkey to wow your guests (and yourself)!
Step 1: Place Veggies in Pan
The first step in how to cook the perfect turkey starts not with the turkey, but with vegetables. They’ll not only flavor the turkey while it roasts but also provide the base for a delicious gravy should you choose to make one. Chop them roughly and place them in the bottom of your roasting pan with some rosemary and bay leaves.
Step 2: Prep Turkey Skin with Butter, Salt, & Pepper
There’s no need for fancy spice rubs or brines for how to cook the perfect turkey with brown, crispy skin. Simply rub butter over all of the bird’s surfaces and season generously with salt and pepper. Grated nutmeg can give the skin additional flavor.
Step 3: Stuff the Turkey (if Desired).
If you choose to roast a stuffed turkey, we recommend stuffing the turkey from the neck to allow for the important airflow that won’t elongate your Thanksgiving turkey cooking time. Depending on the size of your turkey, about 2lbs of stuffing will provide more than enough flavor. Toss 1 or two clementine oranges and a handful of rosemary and thyme in the cavity for an essence of citrus.
Step 4: Prep Turkey for Oven
Place the turkey on top of the vegetables in your roasting pan and insert an oven-safe thermometer into a fatty area of the turkey. The thermometer will tell you how long to cook a turkey by measuring its internal temperature while roasting. Cover the turkey snugly with foil, allowing the thermometer to remain visible.
Step 5: Roast and Baste Turkey
You’ve gotten to the crucial step: how long to cook a turkey. Generally, a turkey roasts at about 13 minutes per pound at 350degrees Fahrenheit. This calculates to around a 3-½ hour total cooking time for a 14lb turkey or when its internal temperature reaches around 165degrees.
Halfway through roasting remove the foil and baste the turkey with spoonfuls of fat and juice from the roasting pan. Replace the foil but remove it permanently with about 30 minutes of remaining cooking time to allow the skin to crisp and brown.
Step 6: Allow Turkey to Rest Before Carving
Remove the turkey from the roasting pan, pouring any juices from the cavity into the pan. Place the turkey on a serving platter and cover tightly with foil and a dishtowel for 2 hours. This long rest is key for how to keep Thanksgiving turkey moist, as it allows for all the turkey’s juices to redistribute into the meat.
We hope our guide takes you from beginner to master in how to cook the perfect turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner. Solar Appliance Service is proud to be the master at range and oven repair in greater New Orleans. Give us a call when you need prompt, expert service during the holiday season and beyond!