How To Cook The Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

How To Cook The Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey


Listen, turkeys are hard to cook, and lots of factors — its temperature when it goes in the oven, how evenly your oven cooks — can affect the way it comes out. Avoid spending all day in the kitchen by skipping the low-and-slow method (325 degrees for hours, and hours, and hours). Instead, try this (meant for a 15 lb. turkey):

• Jam a thermostat in the thickest part of the turkey breast.
• Put it into the oven at 500 degrees. (The high heat will deliver crispier skin.)
• An hour later, adjust the temperature to 350 degrees.
• And hour after that, check the turkey’s temperature. If it’s between 155-160, take it out. If not, leave it in until it gets there.

cooking thermometerGrocery List:
HDE Non-Contact Infrared IR Temperature Gun Digital Thermometer with Laser Sight Targeting ($20 @


A man needs to know how to carve a turkey. When it comes out of the oven, let it rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting in to allow the juices to redistribute in the meat. Otherwise, they’ll spill out after the first slice.

• Locate the bone that runs down the center of the top of the turkey.
• Go to one side of this bone and cut straight down, following the bone as you cut. That’ll give you one breast. Repeat on the other side.
• Slice the breast meat at one-inch intervals.
• Serve and graciously accept compliments.

carveGrocery List:
Black & Decker 9-Inch Electric Carving Knife

Dan Whalen is the author of the food blog The Food in my Beard.