With Christmas soon to be here, it is important that we all know how to cook the perfect turkey. After reading this post: On how to prep and cook perfect potatoes we have the potatoes under control so now we are now all focussed on the mean event!
We have all had situations where the meat or poultry we are cooking comes out too raw or way to overcooked and it is vital that we avoid those situations, especially when it is for a big meal such as Christmas. Here are some top tips to cook the perfect turkey as we all know how daunting it can be. So if you are taking on the challenge of cooking the Christmas Lunch these tips might be useful!
Choose The Right Turkey For Your Family
Make sure you get the right size turkey for your family and ensure you remove the giblets before you roast it! Nobody wants that horrible surprise in their dinner! You can get a variety of turkey sizes at both the supermarket and the butchers so you will always find one that suits your needs.
Make Sure You Know The Weight Of Your Turkey
Note the weight when buying it, whether you are buying it from the supermarket or getting it from a butcher. Then weigh it again when you get home if you have scales big enough to do so. Do your research and work out exactly what amount of time you need to cook it for, according to that weight.
Baste That Turkey
So many people forget to baste the turkey properly. There are a variety of different bastes you can use to give that turkey the flavour you want – I’ve seen butter bastes, herb bastes and even cider bastes in the past. Find a baste that you will all enjoy and baste that turkey – then you can ensure it is flavourful and cooked to absolute perfection.
Don’t Forget The Resting Time
This is where a lot of people go wrong. When the turkey comes out of the oven, leave it to rest for an amount of time – this time varies according to the bird’s weight. Generally this resting time will be between 1.5 hours to 2 hours.
Use A Meat Thermometer
Every household should have one of these in their kitchen as it is such a valuable tool. All the research in the world taking into account the weight of the bird and the cooking times means nothing if the meat isn’t at the right temperature in the middle. You can use a leave in one that is oven safe so you can keep an eye on it continually whilst cooking. Once that thermometer reaches the optimum temperature, you will know that it is cooked to perfection.
Don’t forget turkey makes for a great meat to use the leftovers for too. I love this French Style Chicken With Peas & Bacon which I use between Christmas and New Year.
Do you have any other tips for the ultimate turkey?