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Best Turkey Ever: Recipes, Tips & Cooking Times to Make Your Bird Magnificent

You’ve been patiently thawing your turkey for days now.  It’s sitting in your fridge, taking up a hunk of space, and suddenly you realize you don’t quite know what to do with it.  Even though roasting a whole turkey can feel like a daunting task, it’s really easy to bake up an incredible, moist, flavorful meal.  To ensure success this holiday season, you need one turkey and a few tibits of info, including a kick-arse recipe, foolproof turkey tips, and a chart that details the cook times for your turkey.   If you’ve got the turkey, we’ve got the rest covered.

WHAT TO COOK & HOW TO COOK IT

  • Stick it in an Oven Bag. One of the most simple ways to cook a turkey is to purchase a clear plastic oven bag (available in the plastic storage aisle of your local chain supermarket) and follow the suggested techniques on back of the package.
  • Roast It. Many home chefs are surprised to learn that turkey doesn’t need to be cooked in a special plastic oven bag.  Patting it down with a generous amount of olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasting it in the oven (see turkey cook times below) is a simple, delicious way to serve up your Thanksgiving bird.  Check out these incredible recipes to give your roast turkey some extra oomph this year.
  • Brine It. It’s not too late to mix up a batch of saltwater brine and marinate your turkey for extra flavor and tenderness to the meat.  Check out all of these tips & suggestions for truly incredible  turkey.
  • Cook It Upside Down. For extra moist breast meat, many cooks swear by turning the turkey upside down, thereby allowing the juices to soak into the breast meat.  When using this method, the built-in turkey thermometers won’t be able to pop up, signaling an end to the cooking time, so it’s important to refer to the reccommended cooking times in the chart below to keep your turkey from drying out.

HOW LONG TO COOK IT
Weight of Bird & Roasting Time

  • 10 to 18 pounds should cook for 3 to 3-1/2 hours if unstuffed {3-3/4 to 4-1/2 hours if stuffed}
  • 18 to 22 pounds should cook for 3-1/2 to 4 hours if unstuffed {4-1/2 to 5 hours  if stuffed}
  • 22 to 24 pounds shoudl cook for 4 to 4-1/2 hours if unstuffed {5 to 5-1/2 hours if stuffed}
  • 24 to 29 pounds should cook for 4-1/2 to 5 hours if unstuffed {5-1/2 to 6-1/4 hours if stuffed

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