It’s turkey time! Tips & tools you need for the best turkey ever

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner and Healthy Living is here to help make sure your celebration goes off without a hitch! Here are some tips for brining, stuffing, roasting and carving your bird as well as a list of great turkey tools we have in store.

BRINING YOUR BIRD:

•        To properly brine your bird you must start this process the day before roasting.
•        Combine 1 cup Kosher salt per 1 gallon of water in a large stock pot. For a 15-lb turkey, about 3 gallons water is suggested. You can also add aromatics (spices or herbs) to your brine. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the salt is dissolved. Let the mixture cool completely before adding the turkey.
•        Place turkey in a large stock pot or clean bucket and cover with brining liquid. Refrigerate or leave in a cool place (below 40°F) for at least 10 hours and up to 15.
•        Remove turkey from brine, rinse inside and out, pat dry and rest on a roasting rack in the refrigerator or cool place for 3–4 hours.
•        If you choose to brine your turkey, we recommend NOT stuffing your bird as the stuffing will absorb much of the salt from the brine during the roasting process.

STUFFING YOUR BIRD:

•        Don’t stuff your bird too tightly. One cup of stuffing per pound of turkey is a good rule.
•        Alternatively, stuff your bird with aromatics: onion, garlic, citrus, fresh herbs, etc. This will add to the depth of flavor of your gravy.
•        Truss the legs of your bird with butcher’s twine or trussing bands (we have both in the store). This helps the breasts and legs cook evenly.

ROASTING YOUR BIRD:

•        Turkey typically needs 15 minutes per pound to roast. A stuffed turkey will take approximately 5 minutes longer per pound to roast.
•        To reduce burnt bits and smoke, pour some chicken stock into the bottom of your roasting pan when you first put your bird in the oven, adding more if necessary during the roasting process.
•        Start your bird at 400°F for about 45 minutes, and then reduce oven temperature to 350°F for the remainder of the time. Baste your turkey frequently!
•        Your turkey is done when an instant read thermometer inserted in the joint between the breast and leg reads 155-165°F. When inserted into the stuffing, the thermometer should read 160°F.

CARVING YOUR BIRD:

•        When you remove your turkey from the oven, let it rest for at least 30 minutes (if not longer) before carving. This will help it retain more moisture for juicier meat.
•        Click here to see a great video on how to carve the bird. This technique will maximize the amount of meat you get from your turkey.

GREAT TOOLS we carry, tested and loved by our staff:

• Instant read thermometers
• Turkey basters
• The best roasting rack we’ve ever used
• Butcher’s twine
• Trussing bands
• Healthy Living’s Famous Brining Spice Kit
• Brining bags
• Turkey timers
• Turkey lacers