Tips For The Perfect South Dakota Thanksgiving Turkey
Turkey prices around Sioux Falls vary from $.89 to $1.49 a pound. Aside from the amount of money you are spending on your bird your pride is at stake. The one thing all your guests are going to remember, (other than the argument your drunk uncle and grandpa had about politics), is how your turkey tasted. Here are some tips to aid your success.
Fresh or Frozen Turkey? If you are going fresh of course you don't have to worry about thaw time. The rule for thawing a turkey in the refrigerator is approximately 24 hours for every 4 pounds.
How Big a Turkey Do I Need? You can figure 1 to 1 ½ pound of turkey per person. When buying your turkey be sure to factor in a couple of pounds for bones, parts, and such.
Stuff The Turkey? Your grandma may well have stuffed the bird before cooking it and you survived just fine. It works. But stuffing the bird cavity full of dressing also can cause uneven cooking in your turkey which opens up the door to food born illness. Cooking the stuffing separately is suggested.
Rub, Brined, or Seasoned? Buzzfeed did a tasted test of turkeys that were prepared with a dry-brined, wet-brined, and one with just seasoning. The winner was: 1-Dry-brined, 2-Seasoned, 3-Wet-Brined. You decide.
Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey? If you are adventurous and want to spatchcock (cut the spine out of the bird and splay it open) and smoke it. Go for it! But research and do a practice run before Turkey Day. You'll be glad you did.
Should I Baste My Turkey? Not if you have a choice. Bag it. Opening and closing your oven door can cause wide swings in your oven temp which can really dry out your bird.
Check The Neck! That's where the giblets are stored. That little bag of disappointment can affect how evenly your turkey cooks. If your weird uncle has a real hankerin' for the turkey gizzard, neck, heart, and liver tell him to head to the Legion Club. You're cooking a good meal.
Rest Your Bird? Yes, it is important to rest your turkey for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to reenter the meat before you cut the bird.
Number #1 tip...enjoy those you are with, count your blessings, and have fun! Happy Thanksgiving!