6 Ways to Cook a Turkey for Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is just a few days away! Is this your first year cooking thanksgiving dinner? Maybe you’ve been cooking thanksgiving dinner for a while but want to change it up this year and WOW your guests? There are many different ways to cook a Thanksgiving Turkey, some more traditional ways, some more modern and different. Below is a list of ways to cook a Thanksgiving turkey:

Roasted Turkey:
PREHEAT: 350 Degrees

  • Season your turkey, place vegetables (if desired) into the turkey.6 Ways to Cook a Turkey for Thanksgiving
  • Place the turkey in the roasting pan breast up and cover with foil.
  • Roast the turkey for 1 1/2 hours, basting it with 1/2 cup chicken broth every 30 minutes.
  • Remove the foil (if the legs are browning too much place foil over them) Roast the turkey until a thermometer inserted in the deepest part of the thigh (be sure not to hit the bone) registers 170 degrees F, basting every 30 minutes with the pan drippings, about 1 hour total.

Baked Turkey: 5-6 pound turkey
PREHEAT: 450 Degrees

  • Season your turkey, create a sauce.
  • Recommended: 2 cups of apple cider, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch.
  • Place the turkey in a pan breast up and bake uncovered for 30 minutes
  • Remove the turkey from the over and lower the temperature to 325 degrees.
  • In a large bowl combine the sauce recommended above, (you can use any sauce you desire) and pour the mixture over the turkey.
  • Cover and bake for 1.5 – 2 hours basting the turkey frequently.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer the turkey to a serving platter and serve.

Crockpot Turkey:

  • Barely cover the bottom of your slow cooker with water.6 Ways to Cook a Turkey for Thanksgiving
  • Place the turkey in the crock-pot.
  • Season as desired.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8-12 hours depending on the size of the bird. You could start this the night before and free up oven space, and you’ll be ready for an early afternoon feast if desired. The turkey is done when an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached in the breast and thigh.

Smoked Turkey: 

  • It’s suggested using a turkey under 12 pounds as you will have trouble getting bigger turkeys to cook fully.
  • Brine the turkey.
  • Get your smoker ready. Light your charcoal and choose your wood chips.
  • Take your turkey out of the brine, wash the salt off, rub a healthy dose of butter on the skin of the turkey and sprinkle seasoning of your choice.
  • Once your smoker reaches 225 degrees place your turkey on the rack, breast side down and close the door tightly.
  • Figure about 20 to 30 minutes per pound of turkey. A 10 pound turkey will take about 5 hours of smoking to reach it’s done state.
  • A meat thermometer should read 175 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the turkey and 180 degrees when inserted into the thigh.

Grilled Turkey: 6 Ways to Cook a Turkey for Thanksgiving

Season your turkey and place it on the grill, breast side up, in the middle of the cooking grate and cover with a lid.

Charcoal grill: Cook time takes 11-13 minutes per pound of turkey and the thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone) registers 180 degrees and the juices run clear.

Gas Barbecue: ignite the grill and turn all burners to high, close the lid and preheat to 500-550 degrees.

  • Turn burners down to medium heat and place your turkey breast side up in a roast holder inside a foil drip pan.
  • Keep grill covered, your turkey is done once the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone) registers 180 degrees and the juices run clear.

Deep Fried Turkey: 13-14 pound turkey.

  • Brine the turkey.
  • Remove the turkey from the brine (6-8 hours) rinse and pat dry.
  • Place the oil into your pot and set over high heat (till 250 degrees).
  • Slowly lower the bird into the oil and bring the temperature up to 350 degrees.
  • After 35 minutes check the temperature of the turkey using a probe thermometer.
  • Once the breast reaches 151 degrees gently remove the oil and allow to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes prior to carving.




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