So I’m smoking a few turkeys this year for my family, and as I’m prepping them I realized I wanted to give you just a few more thoughts about how to make your turkey extra delicious tomorrow. Here are 5 quick tips:
1. Brine. Keep it simple. 1 Gallon water, 1 cup salt, 1 cup brown sugar. Add other herbs (sage, bay leaves, thyme) if you desire.
2. Butter spread. 1 stick of butter softened, 1 clove of garlic crushed, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp sage, 1/2 tsp thyme. Gently lift the skin and smear this happiness directly on the turkey breasts.
3. Aromatics. Do NOT put stuffing inside your bird. I know that’s tradition. It’s called STUFFING for heaven’s sake. But that stuffing will suck out all the juices from your meat! Granted, the stuffing will be delicious, but your poor turkey suffers because of it. Instead, please consider aromatics in the cavity: Onion, apple, celery, lemon, garlic, thyme, salt & pepper. Any or all. They add GOBS of flavor and moisture. Yes, dad, I’m speaking directly to you with this point.
4. Inject. Especially if you don’t brine, please consider injecting. Again, keep it simple: 1 stick Butter, 1/4 c apple juice, 1 tbs honey, dash of salt. That deliciousness is injected directly into your meat. How can you not want to do that?
5. 165. Not 180. 1 6 5 . That’s the magic internal temperature for your turkey breast. Not a degree over. If your legs aren’t done, cut them off, put them back in the oven/smoker and finish them. The legs need to be at least 175 to be safe. But don’t let your breasts suffer because of your legs. 🙂
Lastly, don’t forget to let your turkey rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing. These basic 5 ideas work for your smoker, oven, or roaster. If you don’t feel like lighting your grill/smoker tomorrow – that’s ok! But take a couple of these steps anyway and it will be the juiciest, tastiest turkey you’ve ever cooked.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody!