My sweetie brought home a 25-pound turkey and proclaimed, I was to cook it when the kids and grand kids visited during the new year holidays. Without thinking, (I’m a guy, like a moth to a flame, when will I ever learn.) I inquired about the ham, that I was expecting to cook. With that smile, that’s not a Smile, she flashed those lovely blue eyes at me, in that way that no explanation was needed. (I’m a guy, when will I learn.) Shrinking the next five minutes of conservation down to one sentence. Turns out the ham was $55 and the turkey was $12. If you’re not laughing by now about the hole, I had managed to get in. It was like watching a slow-motion train wreck. I could not stop my lips from moving. “But Honey, turkey is for Thanksgiving.
I was WRONG, turns out you can cook an amazing turkey any time of the year. Even on New Year’s Day.
First thing you need to figure out is how big is the turkey and long is it going to take to get ready. Most people just want a number.
13 minutes per pound at 350°F for a bird without stuffing, (that’s about 3 hours for a 12- to 14-lb turkey).
Which brings up one key fact about turkey stuffing. It is not worth making a mistake and someone getting sick. If you’re reading this fun blog trying to learn how to cook a turkey. You have no business trying your hand at stuffing. That is next level cooking and I would never teach from instruction’s how to do that. It is critical to cook stuffing right.
My Turkey Is 25-Pound
My turkey is a 25-pound bird and I am going to cook it at 350. Since it has been frozen, I will need to start three days before the meal. Thawing the turkey is crucial for a good bird. Those people that unwrap a frozen bird and shove it in the oven. That just isn’t right. A 25-pound bird will need at least three days probably thaw in the refrigerator.
Getting It Ready For the Oven
Getting it ready for the oven that is the secret to cook an amazing turkey. You should start the day before if you want (I would suggest that, since that bird needs in the oven early the morning of.)
Start by melting a stick of butter in a sauce pan. On second thought, let’s make it two. Then add a full bulb of Garlic. Peal each clove and chop into pieces and put in the melted butter. To be clear we are using real butter, not that oleo can’t believe it’s not butter crap the world calls butter. For this we need real butter. Okay it’s a 25-pound turkey and all the fixings, if you are worried about the calorie count at this point, I can’t help. For the garlic don’t try and short cut the garlic. That powdered stuff will ruin the bird and you will be blaming me. Use the real Garlic.
Keep the butter hot but don’t burn the garlic for about 30 min. Then grab a coffee filter and filter off the garlic in one bowl and the home-made garlic butter in another.
The Day Of
The day of you need to wash the bird very well inside and out place on a towel and pat dry. Since you tried to skip this part or didn’t wash it well enough the first time put the bird back in the sink and try to get it right this time place on towel and pat dry. I think my grandmother who taught me how to cook made me wash the bird 3 times. Back in those days we would also put a few drops of Clorox in the sink when we washed it, but that was because of the well water.
Next place the bird in a pan large enough for the entire bird. Take the chopped-up garlic from the day before and smear it around the inside of the bird. Take about half of the garlic butter and smear all over the bird, taking special care to get it down in those arm pits, leg pits whatever you want to call them. Up under the skin where you can but don’t pull the skin loose.
At this point you are wanting to put water or something in the bottom of that pan.
DO NOT FALL FOR THAT, YOU WILL STEAM BURN THE BIRD.
Cover it loosely with tinfoil with the edges of the foil inside the pan
A 25-pound turkey would take approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes of total cook time so your done for 4 hours and 45 min. With 45 minuets left open the oven take the foil off the bird and use a brush to baste the bird. Now you’re on bird watch until done — when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast and thigh registers 165 F.
Now it’s time to take the bird out and put in yeast bread hot rolls. There is really no reason not to have hot rolls since that bird won’t be ready to cut for 45 min.
How To Keep That Turkey Moist.
- Do not cook an amazing turkey and then cut into that bird for at least 45 min after cooking.
- Brine the turkey, if it’s a wild bird, store birds are packaged in brine.
- Rub soft butter under the skin.
- Truss your foil loosely, I just crinkle my foil first and not worry about the Truss.
- Don’t overcook it, you cook that bird to 175 don’t come crying to me.
- Let the turkey rest before carving. Do not cut into that bird for at least 45 min.
I hope this helps you get a basic idea. I’m sure you cooked a bunch of turkeys, maybe reading this, you can figure out a neat clean way to cook your next bird.
The old Man