How to cook a turkey in the oven

Step-by-step instructions simplify the cooking process.

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Cooking time will vary by size of bird, so check roasting times. Place whole turkey, breast-side up, on a roasting rack inside a shallow roasting pan.

If turkey becomes golden brown before it is fully cooked, cover with a loose tent of aluminum foil to prevent over browning. Cut a hole in the foil to view the pop-up timer.

For optimal eating experience, turkey is done when pop-up timer has popped and a meat thermometer, not touching any bone, registers 170˚F in the deepest part of the breast and thickest part of the inner-thigh.

Remove from oven and allow the cooked turkey to stand for 20-30 minutes. This allows the juices to settle and makes carving easier.

Making Thanksgiving turkey with a slow cooker is more common than you think. You just have to make sure your slow cooker is big enough to fit the bird. Normally, one smaller than ten pounds is ideal. Cook the turkey on low for six to eight hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165. If your slow cooker isn’t big enough, you can also chop it into smaller portions to fit into the slow cooker. The one disadvantage with cooking a turkey with a slow cooker is that the skin won’t be broiled to a nice crisp.

5. Sous-vide

Think you have the expertise to sous-vide an entire turkey? It’s a feat worth putting on your culinary resume, that’s for sure. You’ll need a smaller bird and a large sous-vide bag. Start by making a jus with herbs, onions, celery, carrots, and chicken stock, then place the turkey in the sous-vide bag before emptying the jus into the cavity of the bird. Vacuum seal the bag and place into the water bath for 1 hour at 185℉ then cook for 5 more hours at 170℉ for a ten-pounder. You’ll be left with a delicious stock that you can set aside to make gravy later on, and a fully cooked turkey!

Most of these are definitely unconventional, and would require a lot more work than oven roasting a turkey, but just in case the oven is not cooperating, you’ll know where to go. Do you have any last-minute tips to salvage a plummeting Thanksgiving dinner?

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