Tips For Cooking The Perfect Thanksgiving Day Turkey

Roasting Turkey in the Oven for Holiday Dinner

The season of thanks has arrived, and the big day, Thanksgiving, will be here before we know it! If you’re doing the cooking this year, our experts at Hillside Turkey Farms have a few tips to help you prepare a delectable turkey.

Five Tips to Help You Cook The Perfect Turkey This Thanksgiving

1. Buy a Fresh Turkey

Many families enjoy frozen turkeys, so they can buy them in advance, which is a great option. However, they can take up a lot of freezer space, and properly defrosting can be a challenge if you’re not prepared. Buying a fresh turkey will ensure it’s ready to be prepped and cooked right away, saving you some time and worry. 

2. Start With a Brine

Brining is a culinary technique that involves soaking your meat for a while in a solution of water, salt, and sometimes sugar or other spices. Letting your turkey soak in brine is a method many use to ensure the bird is moist and maintains its juices while cooking. Some also opt for a dry brine, which consists of rubbing the turkey with a good portion of salt and letting it sit. 

3. Add Some Seasoning

Turkeys are naturally tasty birds, but if you want to ensure you’re not missing out on any flavor, consider seasoning your turkey before cooking. The seasonings don’t have to be complicated, and simplicity will often go a long way when making a delicious Thanksgiving turkey. Rub your bird with salt and butter to start; if you’d like to take it a step further, consider adding fried thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, smoked paprika, brown sugar, and other herbs and spices you enjoy. 

4. Use a Meat Thermometer

Before Thanksgiving, ensure you have a good quality meat thermometer to help you on the big day. Using a thermometer is the best way to ensure your bird is cooked all the way through (turkey should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit). When cooking, periodically stick your meat thermometer into the turkey to check how much longer it needs to be cooked to avoid over or under-cooking. 

5. Let It Rest

It may be tempting to cut right into your perfectly cooked turkey once it comes out of the oven, but it’s best to be patient and give it some time to rest. Your turkey will continue to cook with the temperature rising another five to ten degrees once it’s out of the oven; letting it sit during this time will help ensure the bird retains its juiciness and flavor. Carving too early will result in much of the juices leaking onto your cutting board, so aim for at least 20 minutes of rest time while covered in foil before diving in. 

Thanksgiving Turkeys in Frederick County, Maryland

Enjoy Thanksgiving with your loved ones while sharing high-quality turkey from Hillside Turkey Farms. Our family has been in the business in Thurmont, Maryland, since 1939 and proudly provides families with delicious, fresh turkeys all year round. 

We will begin taking Thanksgiving pre-orders on November 1st! Place an order for pick-up or delivery on our website, or give us a call at 301-271-2728 if you have any questions.