Have you ever had a turkey that tasted like it was made out of rubber? As the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal the turkey is the “make or break” dish so #NoPressure if you are on bird duty this year. The most common complaint is – you guessed it - a dry turkey! There are many contributing factors so here are my foolproof ways to get the most juicy, moist turkey that will be the hit of the dinner.
1.Brine Baby Brine – A brine is a salty water mixture that allows both water and sodium to pass through the turkey’s cell walls thus hydrating it in a way. This generally intimidates people but it shouldn’t …. in fact it’s pretty easy! Just get a 5 gallon bucket, fill it half way with water and 1 ½ cup of Slavo Salt (All-Purpose or Pure Garlic), ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, a bay leaf and ¼ cup brown sugar. Mix this all together really well and dunk your bird. Depending on what climate you live in you can leave your bird in the brine outside or in the garage overnight, just wrap the top of the bucket with plastic to prevent bugs and such from getting in. If it’s too warm or cold where you live then make room in the fridge and stick it in there. You should still season the bird prior to cooking!
2.It Takes Two To Make a Thing Go Right – The bigger the turkey the longer it takes to cook allowing for a greater probability of drying out. Instead of one large turkey, get two smaller birds and speed up cooking process without risking dry meat or running out.
3. Butter It Up! – Rubbing softened butter under the skin is my mother’s go-to move( mainly because she loves butter)!!! As the turkey roasts the butter will baste the bird for you so don’t be stingy with the butter! Also, for an extra flavor, you can make and use a seasoned or compound butter with herbs and Slavo Salt Seasonings.
4.Take Your Time – Let the turkey rest 15-20 minutes before cutting into it or tearing it apart. This allows the muscles to relax and draw fluids back to the center rather than pushing them out.
5.Watch the Temp - You’re looking to hit 165-170. You absolutely must use a thermometer (either a probe style or instant read). DO NOT RELY ON THE LITTLE PLASTIC THING THAT COMES WITH THE TURKEY AND POPS!!! Be sure to test your thermometer the day before so you know it works ( put it in a glass of ice water and use that as your baseline - FYI ice water should be 32 degrees).