Going whole bird? We’re here to help. There’s nothing more synonymous with Thanksgiving than that big, beautiful turkey at the center of the table. It’s a symbol of tradition and comfort – plus, a whole turkey is simply delicious. Let’s get ready to gobble up the Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving!) feast.
There are a number of ways to prepare a whole turkey. Whether you’re going for something more traditional or thinking outside the oven, here are some of our favorites:
Simplest Smoked Turkey…Ever and the recipe, too.
1. Plan ahead! While the thought of tackling the entire Thanksgiving meal can be intimidating, a little bit of advance planning and organization can go a long way in helping your holiday run smoothly. Know what recipe your preparing and size of turkey you will need. If you want plenty of leftovers, plan for 1.25-1.5. pounds of turkey per person.
If you’re buying a frozen turkey, get it in advance. You can also check with your local grocery store or meat purveyor to get a better idea for when turkeys will be in stock or place a special order.
2. Make sure your turkey is thawed! There’s nothing like a frozen turkey on Thanksgiving Day to throw off meal prep.
Get ready for “The Great Thaw” by checking out our blog post for some quick turkey thawing tips. You can also visit USDA’s How to Safely Thaw a Turkey resource to learn more.
3. To brine or not to brine? Brining really has one main goal: keeping the turkey tender and extra juicy while it cooks. We recommend taking this extra step. You won’t regret it!
4. Don’t overcook the turkey! Keep that turkey tender by using a meat thermometer to make sure your turkey reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F. Our guide can help you use this handy tool to determine if your turkey is ready for the table.
For more information on making the most of your Thanksgiving meal, head over to Thanksgiving 101.