If you find yourself loading your Thanksgiving plate with sides and only a little turkey, it may be time to try something new. Even so, you don’t have to resort to Turducken to keep Thanksgiving fresh. Try a new cooking technique instead and you may be surprised by the result; juicier, crispier and more flavorful turkeys that may even convert turkey skeptics. While there’s a cornucopia of ways to cook a turkey, here are five of the tastiest to try this Thanksgiving.
1. Brining a turkey in saltwater is an effective technique for both seasoning the bird throughout and infusing it with moisture. You can combine brining with any other cooking method to bring your bird to the next level.
2. Smoking the turkey whole on an outdoor grill takes some time, but it’s very simple; just the wood chips smoking, close the lid and rotate the turkey every hour. You can place aromatics and herbs on top of the wood chips to add unique flavors.
3. Deep frying has the advantage of being extremely fast; it takes well under an hour. This cooking method will keep the turkey juicy throughout, and there is no basting necessary.
4. Grilling your turkey is a great option if you love crispy, charred skin. Breaking down the bird first into breast halves, leg quarters and wings decreases the cooking time and ensures that each part is cooked to the right temperature. Grilling will keep the heat out of your kitchen and free oven space for the sides.
5. Roasting is the classic way to cook a turkey, and it has some advantages. A roasted turkey is the most visually appealing of your cooking options, and you have a lot of control over the temperature. One of the drawbacks of roasting your turkey is that they have a tendency to be dry, so pairing this method with brining and basting often will alleviate that risk.
How do you like to cook your turkey? Let us know in the comments if you have any variations.