Five Ways to Cook a Turkey

Cook a turkey this holiday season and win guests over with a delicious bird. Consider a variety of different methods for how to cook a turkey such as baked, slow cooked, brined, deep fried, and grilled. Select the most appropriate style of how to cook a turkey based on the preferences of your family and friends.

Five Ways to Cook a Turkey

  • Baked: Learn how to cook a stuffed turkey for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Gather the ingredients, which include 1/2 cup of unsalted softened butter, salt, ground pepper, 1 1/2 quarts of turkey stock and eight cups of stuffing. As the first step, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey. Rinse the turkey off in the sink. Put the turkey in a roasting pan rack, breast side up. Fill the turkey with stuffing (optional). Season the outside of the turkey with butter, salt and pepper. Create an aluminum foil tent over the turkey, and place it in the oven. Pour two cups of turkey stock into the bottom of the pan. Every 30 minutes, baste the turkey with the stock from the pan. Add more stock if necessary. Cook the turkey for around four hours. Use a meat thermometer to be sure the turkey thigh reads 180 F.
  • Slow Cooker: Use a slow cooker to make a moist and delicious slow cook turkey. Start by assessing how big of a turkey will fit in the slow cooker. Completely thaw the turkey, as the first step. Next, rinse the turkey and remove the giblets and neck. Pour a can of turkey stock in the bottom of the slow cooker. Season the skin of the turkey with butter, salt and pepper. Place the turkey in the slow cooker, with the breast side facing up. Cook the turkey on high for one hour and then on low for 8-10 hours.
  • Brined: Make a brined turkey this Thanksgiving for a very moist and seasoned meal. Enjoy the crisp turkey skin and salty tones. Start to brine the turkey the night before you will cook it in the oven. Plan around 10-12 hours to brine the turkey. Gather a large container, salt, water, sugar and seasonings. Next, it's time to prepare the turkey. Make sure the turkey is cleaned and completely thawed. Avoid self-basting and Kosher turkeys.

Make the brine with one cup of table salt and one gallon of water. Make sure to dissolve the salt completely, and then add seasonings. Add seasonings such as peppers, herbs and spices, molasses or brown sugar. Avoid seasonings with salt.  Add up to one cup of sugar per gallon of brine to maintain the flavor of the turkey.

Place the turkey in a container, and pour in the brine mixture to cover the turkey. Put the turkey in the refrigerator. Marinate the turkey in the brine for exactly one hour per pound of turkey. Rinse the turkey off in cold water to remove all of the salt, both inside and out. Double check to be sure all of the salt is gone, otherwise the turkey will be too salty. Cook the turkey with a standard method, based on the weight of the bird and enjoy!

  • Deep Fried: For a deep fried turkey recipe, select a turkey that is less than 14 pounds. Thaw the turkey completely, and remove excess fat, along with the neck and giblets before starting the process. Add oil to the fryer and preheat it to 400 degrees. Once heated, slowly lower the turkey into the fryer. The turkey may not be totally immersed in the oil. Make sure to cook the dark meat to an internal temperature of at least 175 degrees and the white meat to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees. Once complete, place the turkey in a pan or on paper towels for around 25 minutes to drain off the excess oil. Serve and enjoy.
  • Grilled: Learn how to grill a turkey, as an option for the holidays this year. Thaw the turkey thoroughly and remove the neck and giblets. Wash the turkey thoroughly and pat it dry. Season the turkey with one tablespoon of vegetable oil (brushed on), one teaspoon of Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Cook the turkey on an outdoor grill on medium-high. Place the turkey, breast side up, inside a large roasting pan, and put it on the grill. Grill the turkey for two to three hours. Make sure the thigh temperature equals at least 180 degrees F.
Give guests the options between dark and white meat when presenting the turkey. Serve the Thanksgiving turkey with additional side dishes, such as green beans, sweet potatoes, and corn bread. Enjoy! And remember to kick off your holiday celebration with one of our free Holiday party invitations!

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