How to Roast The Perfect Turkey for the Holidays
Turkey and all the trimmings are the traditional choices for both Thanksgiving and Christmas in the majority of American homes.
Whether you try a new recipe or use a traditional turkey recipe, the
questions frequently asked are:
- “How should I roast the turkey? ”
the turkey be covered with foil? ”
- “What is the correct temperature to
roast a turkey? ”
- “Should I use a cooking bag? ”
The National Turkey Federation
recommends turkey be roasted by the Open Pan method in a preheated 325
degree F oven until the internal temperature, as registered on a meat
thermometer, reaches 180 degrees F in the thigh or 170 degrees F in the
breast. Sherrie Rosenblatt, director of public relations for NTF says,
“The open pan dry heat cooking method is the easiest and most reliable
of all cooking methods and results in a juicy, tender, flavorful golden
In addition the National Turkey Federation makes the following
recommendations when cooking turkey:
- Do not roast the turkey in a oven temperature lower than 325 degrees
F Poultry should be roasted at 325 degrees F or higher to avoid potential
food safety problems.
- Do not roast the turkey in a brown paper grocery bag. Present day grocery bags may
be made of recycled materials and are not considered safe for food preparation.
- Do use a meat thermometer to determine the correct degree of doneness.
The following chart highlights the qualities of the finished turkey produced by various cooking methods.
|QUALITIES OF TURKEYS ACCORDING TO COOKING METHODS|
| ||Heat Method||Oven Temperature||Appearance||Flavor Results||Suitable for Stuffing|
|Open Pan Conventional Oven||Dry heat method
F results in minimum bird shrinkage and oven clean-up
||Golden brown color; crisp skin; juicy||Full roasted flavor; pan drippings are most concentrated to produce a great gravy; tender||Yes|
|Wrapped in Foil
High Temperature||Moist heat method with turkey enclosed in foil
||May have bare bones on drumsticks; split skin; uneven browning; foil must be opened to produce a golden brown color||May have stewed or steamed flavor; a dry texture is possible||No|
|Oven Cooking Bag||Moist heat method with turkey enclosed in the cooking bag
||May have bare bones on drumsticks; split skin; uneven color and browning; skin may be torn if it sticks to the bag||May have stewed or steamed flavor; a dry texture is possible||Yes|
|Charcoal Covered Grill||Dry heat method
||Try to maintain
temperature between 325-350 degrees F Varies with outside temperature,
humidity and briquettes; extra briquettes must be added each hour.
||Red-brown skin color; crisp skin; the charcoal combustion may result in a rosy band of meat just under the skin and slightly pink meat.||Mild to moderate smoky flavor; tender||No|
Source: The National Turkey Federation