How to Roast the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey | Kitchen Explorers | PBS Food

How to Roast the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey


If you’ve never prepared a whole Thanksgiving turkey, just the thought of it can be overwhelming.  Even seasoned pros have a little bit of anxiety about roasting a turkey to perfection.  The most ideal turkey is golden brown, seasoned perfectly, succulent and juicy, and picture perfect like the magazine covers.

After all, Thanksgiving Day is the most food-centric holiday in our country and it is the one day out of the year families from coast to coast gather together for the ultimate feast of feasts while remembering all the things they are thankful for.

Today I am sharing my method for roasting the perfect Thanksgiving turkey.  You want to make sure you start by brining a thawed turkey two days ahead of time to allow the turkey to soak up the water to counter moisture loss which is inevitable.  This is why many turkey memories about dry and overcooked turkey scare people away from ever trying to roast a turkey in the first place. But brining the turkey in a salt and water bath ensures the turkey will remain moist and flavorful.  Another tip I strongly recommend is investing in a meat thermometer.  It is one of those handy kitchen gadgets which can be purchased for as little as $5 and will save you from your worst turkey nightmare from coming true. When you get about 2/3 into your cooking time, you will want to check the internal temperature of the turkey in the deepest part of the breast.  This is when temperature trumps cooking time as the true measure of the turkey being done.  The turkey should reach 165 degrees F when inserted in the breast before pulling it out of the oven.  By allowing the turkey to rest 15-20 minutes before carving, the meat is allowed to hold on to its juices for a tender turkey your guests will love and you will get all the credit for.

This year, roast your Thanksgiving turkey in confidence.  Just follow these simple tips and the recipe below.  Enjoy!

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