December 21, 2015

Clarke’s 12 Tips for Turkey Success


by Chef Brittany Wezner

Turkey isn’t just for Thanksgiving, so here’s an update on turkey roasting just in time for Christmas and beyond.

When roasting a turkey, there seems to be endless possibilities. So here are some simple tips to ensure your turkey comes out perfectly!

  1. No need to buy a fresh turkey, a frozen turkey works just fine. Just try to go for an organic turkey that hasn’t been treated with hormones or antibiotics, as they have much better flavor!
  2. When purchasing a turkey, plan for 1 ½ pounds of turkey per person.
  3. Defrosting is important. Unfortunately, this part takes patience and some planning ahead. Make sure you allow ample time for defrosting. Plan for 24 hours of defrosting (in your refrigerator) for every 4-5 pounds.
  4. No need to brine! Yes, brining will ensure your bird is seasoned perfectly and has crisp skin, but if you skip it, the “food police” will not come knocking on your door!
  5. If you do want to brine your turkey, consider purchasing two smaller birds instead of a large bird, this will hello save time and space in your refrigerator. A 15-pound turkey, for example, fits perfectly in a 2 gallon plastic bag or any other large food-safe bag.
  6. Never brine a kosher turkey! They have already been dipped in a salt solution.
  7. Allow your turkey to sit at room temperature for at least 35 minutes before putting it into the oven. This will help bring the turkey to room temperature ensuring it cooks nice and evenly in the oven.
  8. Plan for approximately 20 minutes cooking time per pound when cooking a turkey in a conventional oven.
  9. Plan for 8-9 minutes cooking time per pound when cooking your turkey on a convection mode.
  10. Use an internal temperature probe.
  11. Don’t stress over the gravy. Have either store-bought or homemade turkey stock on hand in case you don’t have as much juice as you would like at the bottom of the pan after roasting. No one will ever know!
  12. Allow ample time for your turkey to rest once out of the oven. I recommend resting for 35-45 minutes.The bigger the bird, the longer the rest.

Turkey is a wonderful main dish any time of year and you need not stress over any part of the preparation. If you’d like more information, you might like to check out our two-hour Clarke video highlighting everything you’d like to know about cooking turkey in a Wolf range or oven