Making the perfect turkey doesn’t have to be stressful. You can ditch the worrying and wow your loved ones just by following our easy tips.
- Buy the right amount. Assume you’ll need about one pound per person.
- Thaw carefully. If you’re thawing a frozen turkey in the refrigerator―the easiest method―allow 24 hours for every four pounds of turkey. If you’re using cold water to thaw, allow 30 minutes per pound, and be sure to change the water every 30 minutes.
- Check the oven. Do you have enough room for the entire turkey? If you’re expecting a lot of guests but have a small oven, buy two small turkeys instead of one big one. Test your oven temperature with an oven thermometer.
- Get prepped. Remove the giblets bag and neck and rinse the turkey inside and out with cool water. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Roast right. Roast the turkey until its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. To measure the temperature, insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh near the breast (not touching the bone) and the thickest part of the breast.
- Be careful with leftovers. Don’t leave cooked turkey at room temperature for longer than two hours. Refrigerate it, covered, and use it within three to four days (two days for stuffing and gravy).