Turkey cooking tips

A few simple tips to make sure your turkey is juicy and full of flavor, no matter how you prepare it.

Few things are more central to family traditions than food and we know there are many methods to prepare a great tasting turkey – ovens, grills, and fryers, brined or buttered – the options seem endless!  No matter how you prepare your bird, here are some general tips for making sure your turkey is moist and delicious:

  • Make sure you leave enough time to thaw your turkey: We recommend at least 24 hours in the refrigerator for every 4 pounds that needs to thaw.
  • Before cooking your turkey, pat it dry inside and out, then let rest on the counter until it reaches room temperature
  • When cooking your bird, make sure the internal temperature of the breast reaches 165° F and the drums and thighs reach 170° F. A high quality meat thermometer is very important for an accurate temperature reading.
  • After your turkey has reached the desired temperature, let it rest on the counter for at least 20-30 minutes so the juices released during cooking can absorb back into the meat
  • Because our Ferndale turkeys do not contain any added water, salt, or flavorings, you don’t need to worry about hidden flavors competing with whatever your tradition calls for.

Ferndale Market’s Thanksgiving Roasting Tips:

● After your turkey has fully thawed, rub melted butter all over the outside and under the skin of the turkey. Season the exterior with salt and pepper (and any additional seasonings you would like!).

● Estimate about 14 minutes of roasting time per pound when roasting at 325° F (Remember fresh turkeys cook more quickly!)

● If you are cooking your turkey in a roasting pan, pour some broth in the bottom of the pan to keep the oven environment moist (the turkey drippings that collect in the broth make an excellent base for a homemade gravy!)

● Try one of these techniques for keeping the breast extra moist:
– Tent a piece of tin foil over the breast to retain moisture while roasting
– Cook the turkey breast side down: it will allow the juices to pool in the breast and applies more heat to the thighs, which need to reach a higher temperature. If you want browned, crisp skin on the breast, simply flip your bird so it is breast side up for the last 15 minutes of cooking.

● Remember to let your bird rest after cooking, at least 20-30 minutes on the counter, so that the juices can reabsorb back into the breast.

Enjoy your Ferndale Market turkey!