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How to cook a turkey: 5 tips for roasting the perfect turkey

By: Irene Fong and recipes by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen
5 tips for roasting the perfect turkey

Classic Roast Turkey and Gravy Author: Irene Fong and recipes by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen Source: Jeff Coulson

Cooking School

How to cook a turkey: 5 tips for roasting the perfect turkey

By: Irene Fong and recipes by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Our Test Kitchen dishes their best advice on turkey brining, basting, stuffing, gravy and cooking temperature.

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How to cook a turkey: 5 tips for roasting the perfect turkey

Brine your bird

Brining adds both moisture and flavour to your turkey and can offer a bit of insurance if you have a habit of overcooking your bird. Our recipe features a lower-sodium alternative to the traditional salt water-based brine using apple cider. To brine, look for large stock pot or canning pot and make sure that your turkey is completely submerged before storing in your refrigerator. TK Tip: A turkey that is brined using a salt water-based solution will create pan drippings that are saltier than your average turkey. If you'd like to make gravy, stick to using chicken or turkey stock or make a gravy that doesn't require pan drippings, such as our creamy gravy recipe.

Read more: Cider-Brined Turkey
By: Soo Kim and The Canadian Living Test Kitchen Source: Yvonne Duivenvoorden

How to cook a turkey: 5 tips for roasting the perfect turkey

Keep the stuffing on the side

A stuffed turkey takes longer to cook because the stuffing reaches an internal temperature of 170°F (77°C). The cavity is smaller than it looks, so it's unlikely you'll have enough stuffing for all your guests and you'll need to make extra on the side anyway. To avoid this, bake your stuffing in a casserole dish to serve alongside the turkey.

Read more: Leek and Mushroom Stuffing
By: Irene Fong and The Canadian Living Test Kitchen Source: Jeff Coulson

How to cook a turkey: 5 tips for roasting the perfect turkey

Baste often

It may seem like a pain to baste every 30 to 45 minutes, but it is really worth the effort because it ensures that you'll have a golden, juicy turkey. Whether you use a turkey baster, silicone brush or a spoon, all you need to do is make sure that you're basting the turkey evenly using the juices collected in the turkey and the bottom of the pan. TK Tip: If your turkey starts to brown too quickly because of hot spots in your oven, cover those parts with foil and continue cooking.

Read more: Herbed Roast Turkey
By: Irene Fong and The Canadian Living Test Kitchen Source: Jeff Coulson

How to cook a turkey: 5 tips for roasting the perfect turkey

Use a meat thermometer

A digital instant-read themometer is one of the most valuable tools in the kitchen. A thermometer helps to take the guess work out of checking for doneness since it is nearly impossible to tell if a large roast is done simply by looking at it. To check if your turkey is done, insert the themometer into the thickest part of the breast avoiding contact with any bone; if it reads 170°F (77°C), your turkey is done.

Read more: Lemon and Thyme Roast Turkey With White Wine Gravy
By: The Canadian Living Test Kitchen Source: Jeff Coulson

How to cook a turkey: 5 tips for roasting the perfect turkey

Boost the flavour of your gravy

One way to boost the turkey flavour of your gravy is to simmer chicken broth with the turkey neck and giblets while your turkey is roasting. Skim off any scum and replenish with water as needed. Combine this turkey infused broth with your pan drippings and you'll have the best gravy in town.

Read more: Classic Roast Turkey and Gravy
By: The Canadian Living Test Kitchen Source: Jeff Coulson

 

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How to cook a turkey: 5 tips for roasting the perfect turkey

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