Posted on April 8, 2024 | by in Kitchen Hacks

Turkey, the centerpiece on most Thanksgiving dinner tables, requires a little planning ahead and know-how. Here are a handful of practical turkey tips to help you sit down to your best holiday meal yet.

Plan-ahead Thawing: Allow 24 hours of thawing for every four to five pounds. Always remember to thaw the turkey in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. You can keep a fully thawed turkey in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Turkey Timetable: Start preparing your turkey about an hour before roasting. Allow about 15 to 18 minutes of roasting time per pound or 3 to 3-3/4 hours for a 12- to 14-pound turkey. Allow the turkey to stand at room temperature 20 minutes before carving – this makes the turkey both juicier and easier to carve.

Temperature is Key: To check the doneness of the turkey, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, making sure the thermometer does not touch the bone. Look for juices to run clear from the thigh. The final temperature in the breast and thigh should reach 165°. Residual heat will continue to cook the turkey while it stands, so you may want to remove the turkey from the oven when it reaches 160°.