The Most Common Mistakes People Make With Their Thanksgiving Turkey

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, many are taking to social media to discuss ways that people have accidentally messed up their turkey in previous years.

According to the Huffington Post, the #1 reason that turkeys may turn out wrong is that people don’t know when the bird is actually done being cooked.

People have relied too heavily on those odd-looking plastic pop-up timers that are stuck in the turkey when apparently, all they do is let you know your bird is dry and overcooked. Much of the time, the timers don’t pop until the temperature reaches almost 180°F, which could sabotage your meal and leave your bird burnt.

Using an actual instant-read meat thermometer should solve your troubles. The bird should read 160°F when it’s removed from the oven, and 165° F after it has rested.

The second reason is that turkeys may be left dry and flavorless before serving.

Turkeys taken out of the freezer tend to lose moisture so it’s important to boost the flavor by brining or basting. A brine is basically water seasoned with salt, herbs and/or spices used to add flavor and more moisture. Basting, a common technique, can easily help the taste of your bird. Those are encouraged to use a hot stock flavored with wine and herbs.

You should be advised to stop basting at least an hour before the turkey is done to prevent soggy skin.

And lastly, if you have trouble getting your turkey to be that lovely, golden brown, you can decrease the chances of having a flabby, pale bird by rubbing its’ skin with soft butter or olive oil. This will help the skin brown better and give it added flavor.

Another method that may help you get a browner bird is the cheesecloth method. Dip the cheesecloth in your basting liquid and drape it over the bird. During roasting, baste the bird as usual and the cheesecloth will turn almost black. Remove the cloth once the bird is completely cooked.

Other reported problems were burning the turkey, or the turkey not having enough time to completely defrost.

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