Thanksgiving Turkey: Creative Cooking Methods

It’s turkey time! Tired of the same old, humdrum dry turkey on Thanksgiving? Try something new this year! Here are some creative ways to cook your Thanksgiving turkey.

Thanksgiving Turkey: Traditional with a Twist

Consider buying the prepared, roasted turkey from the grocery store deli and simply warming it up when guests arrive. No one will know- and you’ll have room in your oven to cook a pie or some herb stuffing instead. Or, if you wake up Thanksgiving morning and find the turkey isn’t all the way thawed, did you know you can cook a turkey from the frozen state?! It’s not much different than cooking a thawed bird, and without the risk of bacteria. Simply put the turkey in the oven at 325 six hours before serving, and check it often with a good meat thermometer.

Deep Fried Turkey

This turkey cooking method is gaining in popularity across America. If you have purchased a turkey deep fryer, give it a try this year! Most deep fryers come with their own specific instructions. Be sure to cook the turkey away from the house- it’s not considered safe to deep fry a turkey on a deck or in a garage (there were 500 fires last year from deep-frying turkeys- so be careful!). Remember, for deep frying, a turkey must be completely thawed. A 20 lb. turkey takes about four days in the refrigerator to thaw from a frozen state.

What a Crock Pot

Ever considered cooking your Thanksgiving turkey in a big old crock pot?! Folks who use this method say it produces the juiciest turkey you can imagine! Simply put your (under 10 pound, depending on the size of your crock pot) bird in your crock pot after filling the cavity with stuffing. Add some butter, salt and pepper and desired herbs- and let it cook for 10 hours on low or five hours on high. Eeeeeasy!

Thanksgiving Turkey On The Grill

Another great way to free up your oven is to grill your turkey on your gas grill. A 12-15 pound bird works best. Use indirect medium heat and oil your grate. Sear the turkey on both sides, then cook in a disposable roasting pan; add onions, poultry seasoning or other herbs to your pan, and some butter. Cook the turkey breast side down for 3-4 hours, or until your meat thermometer reads 180 degrees inside the thigh. Let turkey stand for 15 minutes before carving. Voila!

One great tip for preparing turkeys is to add three bay leaves, arranged in a triangle, under the turkey’s breast skin before cooking- adding flavor as well as an artistic touch to your turkey’s presentation.

Now eat, be thankful and enjoy!

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