Introduction:Thanksgiving turkeys aren't really that hard to cook. Simply follow the directions and it should be a breeze. However, that doesn't always seem to work. These are a few ways you can overcook your Thanksgiving turkey. Please do not do any of them!
Do you know how to "Lionel Richie" a turkey? It is too simple to do and even more simple to avoid. To do this, all you have to do is put the turkey in the oven Thanksgiving Eve and let it cook "all night long." This is a great way to overcook a Thanksgiving turkey. Do not do this. Start cooking your Thanksgiving turkey on Thanksgiving to avoid overcooking it.
One way to overcook a Thanksgiving turkey is to forget about it. This is much harder to avoid than "Lionel Richie-ing" it. With everything going on - guests arriving, other things cooking and football, it is easy to forget the poor turkey in the oven. Use a timer to remind yourself to baste the bird and to take it out of the oven.
Another way to overcook a Thanksgiving turkey is to ignore the pop-up timer most turkeys are equipped with. You don't trust the timer installed in your turkey? Use a meat thermometer. Still not sure? Once the timer pops out, turn off the oven and leave the turkey in the oven. It probably will be slightly overcooked, but you shouldn't be serving kindling as a main course.
High heat will overcook a Thanksgiving turkey. Follow the directions on the package. Guests are arriving and they are all starving? Don't be tempted to crank up the oven. This will both burn and dry out you Thanksgiving turkey. Offer your guests a light snack or bring out a pie. Play a few games - anything except overcook the Thanksgiving turkey. Good things are worth waiting for.
Ignoring the Thanksgiving turkey overcook it. You must remember to check on it regularly. You should check on the Thanksgiving turkey more often the closer it gets to being fully cooked. Remember to baste the bird several times as it cooks. A clean, new paint brush works well. Use melted butter and the turkey's drippings to baste it. This will help to keep the turkey from being dry.
Cooking a Thanksgiving turkey isn't rocket science or brain surgery. Relax and follow the directions. Of course, pay attention to the bird. You don't want the guest of honor to be overcooked and dry.
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