8 Ways to Cook Your Thanksgiving Turkey
Turkey. It’s what’s for Thanksgiving in 82% of American homes according to the fivethirtyeight website. We love this tasty bird and we have 8 tasty ways to cook one, paired with some of our favorite recipes from around the web. Check them out!
When you want to cook your turkey the classic way, follow the advice of an American icon: Betty Crocker! Roasting a turkey is easy as pie. Make sure your bird is thoroughly thawed and follow Betty’s timetable for roasting poultry. Cook Mr. Tom until his skin is golden brown and your thermometer reads 165 degrees. See Betty’s advice on roasting turkeys.
Brining your turkey is a simple way to help make your bird more juicy, tender, and flavorful. Brining gives your turkey a good cold salt water bath before you cook it. You can make your brine as fancy as you want, but we like Alton Brown’s classic brining recipe.
We like roast turkey. But we love smoked turkey. Get out your wood chips, get out your grill, and get out of the kitchen to put a twist on the traditional Thanksgiving bird. Bobby Flay’s smoked turkey recipe courtesy of the Food Network is a great place to start. But don’t stop there! You can make your smoked turkey barbeque style, Cajun style, Tex-Mex style, and more.
Smoking isn’t the only way to grill a turkey. Beer-can turkey involves placing your bird upright on the grill with an open can of beer in the cavity to keep the meat tender and juicy. Rachel Ray likes this beer-can turkey recipe featuring a butter, herb, and lemon zest rub for the skin.
Deep frying your bird can make the skin super-crispy and the meat super-juicy. This method of turkey cooking is not for the faint of heart however. Set up your fryer outside, away from houses and cars. Keep children and pets away from the deep fryer. Follow all the instructions on your fryer and don’t leave your set-up unattended.
When you spatchcock a turkey, you cut out the backbone and lay the bird out flat. (You can get your butcher to do it for you too.) Spatchcocking a turkey helps it cook faster and more evenly. Mark Bittman has a recipe for cooking a ten pound turkey in 45 minutes. Bittman likes his turkey with garlic, tarragon, thyme, and olive oil but any recipe you like will work with this cooking method.
Not everyone eats meat. That’s why there’s Tofurky – the stuffed tofu roast for your veggie and Vegan friends and relatives. The “I Love Vegan” website has a Tofurky recipe featuring sweet potatoes, soy sauce, olive oil, thyme, oregano, and rosemary that’s easy and tasty. Check it out!
When turkey is just not enough, there’s the turducken! Which is a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey. All three birds are deboned so you get nothing but meaty goodness all the way through. The turducken takes work if you make it yourself or you can pre-order one from your local butcher. This is a dish that will definitely make an impression around your Thanksgiving table! Check out the delicious Food Network turducken recipe.