Had your fill of dry turkey?
Cook this one only if you want to be responsible for the turkey forevermore.
Here is the secret – Everyone tells you to uncover the turkey during the last half of the cooking. This makes for the dry turkey everyone has grown up with.
I’ve even come up against a cooked in the bag turkey, at the same dinner. This turkey won hands down.
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Clean turkey inside and out. (Don’t forget the rear…)
Place Turkey in pan. Turkey lifters are a great things to have.
Generously sprinkle with Garlic Powder. I was afraid that I had gone a little overboard with the garlic powder at Thanksgiving, but the Turkey was one of my best ever – It was so good!
Melt 2 sticks of butter.
Loosely stuff bird. Do not pack. Stuffing expands.
I always just tuck the legs under that flap of skin.
Place meat thermometer in thickest part of thigh muscle- Not touching a bone. OK, truth be known – I don’t use a thermometer, but you should.
Brush bird with melted butter coating every part well.
Put in oven uncovered and forget about it for at least ½ hour. Check and baste with juices from pan every half hour until bird is nicely golden brown.
Cover completely with foil. Continue cooking until bird should be about done. Turkey cooks at about 17 to 20 minutes per pound depending on your oven. Mine is more like 20 minutes.
You need to allow at least half an hour for setting time and carving.
So if you are cooking a 20 lb. bird, at 20 min. per pound – it would take 400 minutes, or 6 hours and 40 minutes. The turkey will be nicely browned at 3 ½ to 4 hours. So from the time you cover the turkey, you will have about 3 hours to do other things.
If you plan to eat at 3, and you are cooking a 20 lb. Bird- It will need to be in the oven by 7:45 AM.
Check meat thermometer. When done, it should register 185 degrees. Stuffing should register 165 degrees. If not done, baste and put back for another 20 minutes.
If done, take the bird out of the oven and let it sit for 15 – 20 minutes before trying to carve. Any earlier and you will just shred it. This is the time when you put all those other dishes in the oven for the last half hour.
And have a really good knife on hand for best results. I like it when there is someone else who can carve the turkey for me. The last half hour is when you need help to get everything on the table hot.
How big a bird do you need?
My rule of thumb is 2 lbs. per person. That gives you a little left over, but not too much. You can always send turkey home with people if you have too much. Just make sure to get it all packaged up and in the fridge within 2 hours for safety.