A quick video tutorial showing you how to truss a turkey. This quick and easy step will help your turkey cook more evenly and it will also be much prettier when you serve it to your guests!
It’s almost Thanksgiving! Are you in charge of the turkey this year? If so, I have some turkey tips for you to make sure you have the best turkey ever! And I made you a little video showing you how easy it is to truss your turkey – that is, bundle it up with kitchen twine to help it cook more evenly and hold its shape. Scroll down for more tips and the video.
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First of all, there are a few key Thanksgiving essentials that I think everyone needs in order to make roasting a turkey a breeze.
- A good quality roasting pan. Turkeys are heavy and they need a heavy duty roasting pan to get the job done. Bonus with a stainless steel pan – you can make the gravy right in the pan! THIS is the one I use and love. I also use it all year so it is a good investment for the kitchen.
- A meat thermometer. Don’t rely on that little red pop up that comes with the turkey – they are notoriously inaccurate. A meat thermometer will tell you exactly when your turkey is done. If you can, look for one that is programmable and can stay in the meat while it is in the oven. THIS is the brand I have.
- Kitchen twine – you need this for trussing your turkey! This will help it keep its shape and roast more evenly. I use kitchen twine all year long, so it is always good to have in the kitchen. Sometimes it is hard to find in grocery stores, so order some now HERE.
- Cheesecloth – this can be used a variety of ways. First of all, some turkey recipes will call for cheesecloth soaked in a butter mixture to lay over the turkey during roasting. It can also be used for straining broths and other liquids, or to make spice and herb bundles. Order some HERE.
- Heavy Duty Foil – used in my kitchen all year long in a million ways. But I would NEVER want to run out on Thanksgiving! THIS is the kind I use.
- Parchment Paper – Same as above! THIS is what I use.
- How to thaw your turkey: unless you order a fresh turkey, you will probably have a frozen turkey on your hands. Be sure you give yourself more than enough time to let it thaw in the fridge. A frozen turkey needs AT LEAST 24 hours for every 4 pounds, however I recommend that you give yourself a a day or two longer than that.Once thawed, a turkey can stay in the fridge for another two days before it needs to be cooked.
- You can also try a quick thawing method if you have a frozen turkey emergency. Leave the turkey in the wrapper and completely submerge in cold water. Change the water every thirty minutes. Thawing will take about thirty minutes per pound.
- Be sure to check the turkey cavity AND the neck cavity for the giblets! Sometimes the heart and liver are in the neck cavity and you don’t want to accidentally leave them in there when you roast the turkey!
- How much turkey per person? Plan for 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of turkey per person and you will have plenty.
- Throw some aromatics in the bottom of the roasting pan – roughly chopped onion, carrots and celery. Not only will it add some flavor to the bird, but combined with the turkey drippings they will make a nice base for pan gravy.
- Don’t stuff the stuffing! Trying to cook the stuffing in the turkey creates all kinds of food safety hazards. By the time the stuffing reaches a safe temperature, the turkey will be overcooked and dry. Instead, put some more aromatics in the cavity to give the turkey more flavor – a few pieces of onion, carrots and celery, and some extra herbs.
- The USDA recommends cooking your turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- And my favorite tip – truss your turkey! What is trussing? It is just using some kitchen twine to hold the turkey in a compact shape. This will not only help the turkey cook more evenly, but it will also make your turkey much prettier when it is finished cooking. Don’t know how to truss a turkey? Don’t worry, it’s easy! See my quick video below.
Be sure to check back for my Herb Butter Roasted Turkey soon!
Carolyn Ingram says
These are tips are so helpful!
Phoebe Hendricks says
I’m going to be honest — I’ve never trussed a turkey before!
Megan @ megunprocessed says
Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says
Thanks for the tips!!
Erin Clarkson says
I am terrified of turkey – this is a great tutorial!
Thanks Erin, I hope it is helpful!