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5 common mistakes that ruin your Thanksgiving Turkey «Food Hacks :: WonderHowTo



When I was 12, for a mysterious reason, my father led my little brothers and me to cook the Thanksgiving turkey. Of course my brothers and I spent the rest of the day playing hide and seek in the back garden and we forgot the humble bird that thawed in the sink.

Then we realized that our father would be back soon. We ran into the kitchen, pushed the turkey into the oven and – arguing that the time was short – set the temperature to 500 ° F.

When our father came back and balanced a tower of pies in one hand, we opened he only used the oven to find a turkey that was black on the outside and raw on the inside. This accident inspired me to make this quick guide about preventing the most common turkey faults and cooking your bird to perfection.

Remember: if all else fails, it is always wise to bring extra cake.

1
. You do not correctly defrost your frozen turkey

Words of wisdom: do not wait until the day you defrost turkey. As a general rule of thumb, you need at least 24 hours for every five pounds you want to defrost. So if you have a ten-pound turkey, it takes a day and a half before it is thoroughly thawed.

If you treat this turkey well, it will be a wonderful party. Image by Charisma Madarang / Food Hacks

The best method to defrost your turkey is in the refrigerator . Note: this means that your bird – or any other type of meat – may not be thawed on your kitchen counter. According to the USDA:

[While] the center of the package may still be frozen if it defrosts on the kitchen counter, the outer layer of the food may be in the & # 39; danger zone & # 39; are, between 40 and 140 ° F – temperatures at which bacteria multiply

The constant, cold temperature of a refrigerator slows the growth of harmful bacteria and helps your turkey to thaw evenly.

If you are snapped for time, and as a last resort, give the turkey a cold water bath. Make sure it is stored in a leak-proof plastic bag to prevent surrounding bacteria from attacking and changing the water every 30 minutes. Expect to wait 30 minutes for every pound you want to defrost.

2. You forget to season your turkey

Just like a good (or cheap!) Steak, it is important to season your turkey to enhance the taste. Make sure that you season it both indoors and outdoors, while using it as desired in herbs and salt. As The Kitchn points out, the salt breaks down the proteins in the meat, makes it tender and makes it easier to chew.

Pickling and applying a herbal rub to your turkey is an easy way to make it tasteful and soft. [19659016] 5 common mistakes that ruin your Thanksgiving ” width=”532″ height=”532″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/>

It may not look nice now, but the appearance is not everything. Image by Slgckgc / Flickr

PS: When filling the cavity with aromatics – rosemary, fennel, onions – pack it loosely. If you overfill your turkey, it will not cook evenly.

3. You are not using a roasting rack

OK, so your turkey is thawed, seasoned and ready for use. You put it in a large pan and leave it in the oven for the coming hours. STOP. Roasting your bird directly on the surface of the pan is a guaranteed way to cook and burn the bottom of your turkey.

A roasting rack creates space between your turkey and the hot surface of the pan. It circulates the heat of the oven over the entire surface of the bird, each part being cooked at a constant temperature.

A roasting rack helps your bird cook evenly once it's in the oven. Image by Charisma Madarang / Food Hacks

4. You raise the heat in a desperate attempt to cook it faster

We get it, your family members come over in the afternoon and you need that turkey to be roasted, plated and ready to cut come here. Whatever you do, do not raise the heat in a delusion that it will be magically done in an hour. You get a sad turkey with burnt skin and pink interior. Plan ahead instead. Give yourself just over an hour for every five pounds of raw turkey. For the average fifteen pounds of turkey, that means almost four hours to roast properly. If you are still unsure of the exact numbers, use a handy calculator that calculates the cooking times for both stuffed and unfilled turkeys.

Don't rush this process. You will regret it later. Image by Gavin St. Ours / Flickr

5. You throw the drops away

My heart breaks every time I hear that someone throws the liquid golden drops from the turkey. These caramelized drops are the greasy, concentrated juices that remain at the bottom of the pan once the turkey is ready to eat and rich in flavor.

Those pan juices are useful and tasty – don't throw them away! Image by Krista Kennedy / Flickr

Instead of pouring them down the drain, recycle the drops and use them as the basis for your gravy (we have a great, simple recipe) or scoop them over a roast beef sandwich.

For more Thanksgiving tips and tricks, check out these 7 alternatives for stuffing (psst: crispy waffle stuffing ahead) along with these weird, tasty ways to cook turkey. If you end up in a hopeless situation with turkey, there is always the option to go somewhere that cooks for you.

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Cover image by Waitscm / Flickr

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