Peace family, Thanksgiving is tomorrow and Marty Van Ness, a turkey expert and supervisor with the Butterball Turkey Talk Line, has some great tips for us!
To begin with, she says a good way to choose the right size of turkey is to buy one that allows for 1 ½ pounds per guest, although she says that if you are hosting folks with a big appetite such as football players, 2 pounds per person is good and should still leave you with some left overs. She says you don’t need as much turkey, though, if there are going to be a whole lot of other sides or a ham or something like that.
Once you have selected a turkey, thaw it in a sink filled with water for thirty minutes per pound. A 12 pound turkey would take about 6 hours, and a 20 pound turkey would take about 10 hours. (Kat’s mother would interject here, “Be sure to remove the giblets and neck!” Sometimes they are in the cavity of the turkey, and sometimes they are placed in the loose area of skin on the upper breast and neck area.)
For crispy skin (Kat’s favorite part), the turkey should have 2 to 2 ½ inches of space between it and the sides of the roasting pan, and the turkey should be on a roasting rack inside the pan so that it is not down in the juices. Marty says to pat the turkey very dry before you put it in the oven. She says the reason that the skin turns crispy is because the turkey is uncovered in the oven for a long time, so some smaller birds might not be in the oven long enough to get very crispy.
Marty says a 10 to 18 pound turkey without stuffing should take about 3 to 3 ½ hours at 325 degrees. The turkey is done when the breast has an internal temperature of 175 degrees, and the thigh (the last part to finish cooking) has an internal temperature of 180 (when you put in the thermometer, make sure it is not touching the bone.)
If you’d like more tips or information, you can call the Butterball Turkey Talk Line at 800-BUTTERBALL (800-288-8372), or go to http://www.butterball.com/
If you still have trouble, prayer and creativity can fix a lot of problems! 😉
Happy Thanksgiving, sweet Peace Family!