Posted By: Jafo232 
Nov 20  # 1 of 5
Having already cooked a Thanksgiving turkey, I got to thinking about all the things you learn every year about cooking turkey. What are some of your "secrets"?

I recently wrote about my "Losers Thanksgiving" where I used a roasted garlic and sage butter under and on top of the skin of the turkey to boost the flavor and help browning.

I have tried many other things with turkeys too:
  • Cooking in a bag
  • Cooking in a slow cooker
  • Covering with mayonnaise
  • Injections
  • Bacon
  • and many more
Carving turkey was actually a little of a debate this year as one of my guests asked my why I didn't slice the meat straight off the bird as opposed to removing the entire breast, and then slicing it. I just always preferred it my way.

Anyhooo, what are some of your secrets and techniques?
 Posted By: Cook Chatty Cathy 
Nov 20  # 2 of 5
Hi Jafo,
I figure for all the turkey's I have cooked and always never had one that turned out bad I must know some kind of a secret, but it is a secret to me too:).
The only thing I do keep the "Tom" covered during the entire cooking time, I only uncover to baste; and then after the turkey is done I uncover and then only to brown the skin nicely. The way I know it is done is meat pulls back from the bone and the legs look like they are going to break off at the joint and fall apart on me. I am with you though I actually slice the thing while it is whole and then place the meat onto a serving platter. I love the way mine turns out, never have had a dry "Tom". Also they now have those nifty little things that pop when it is done. Maybe I am just one of those lucky people who just do what I do and don't give it a whole lot of thought, and Wha-La it simply works! Of- course I never go with-out making the best gravy in the world from the pan drippings, so if it were dry I would drench it in the lovely tasting stuff HA! But honestly I never have been able to figure out all the fuss over the turkey when I was a young girl that I heard my elders raising!
But I do hope you will have a great success with yours! Also I start real early in the morning and place it in about 300 degree oven for a long time. There was this post earlier that told about a 2 hr cooking time @ 400 degrees, but that was for a un-stuffed bird. Me I like mine stuffed, and that just made me decide to stick to the tried and true!
Have A Happy Thanksgiving! Cathy
 Posted By: Jafo232 
Nov 20  # 3 of 5
I always stuff the bird too. I find the herbs in the stuffing impart a flavor to the meat. As for browning, I let the bird brown during the cooking process and once the desired color is met, I then start to tent it with foil.
 Posted By: Cook Chatty Cathy 
Nov 20  # 4 of 5
I agree w/ you the stuffing does impart flavor! And how interesting that you tent after browning. I just love turkey and can't wait!!! Only two days to go!
 Posted By: Mama Mangia 
Nov 20  # 5 of 5
I don't stuff - I only stuff me for Thanksgiving! LOL

We are dressing people.

And I keep mine covered and uncover just to brown and it falls apart - so I know it is cooked the way I want. Mine are always full of flavor and not dry - so I just do the same old thing every time I make a bird.