How to Cook a Turkey

Are you wondering how to cook a turkey? In this blog we will discuss several ways that you can cook a turkey. We will also share some tips and tricks on how to have that perfect bird presented on the table.

The most basic way how to cook a turkey is to roast it in the oven. Most of our mothers, aunts, and grandmas may have taught us this technique, but there are so many other ways how to cook a turkey. Let’s discover some of them and give them a try!

Smoked Whole Turkey

Do you like that smokey flavour in your meat? If you are having a bbq meal, you could try smoking the turkey. The smoker may need tending to through the night, but it will be worth it for that bronzed bird. The extra bonus is that cooking the turkey in the smoker frees up every appliance in the kitchen. If you don’t have a smoker, grilling the turkey can give you a bit of a smokey flavour. Make sure to stuff the turkey with your choice of citrus fruits and onions. Then cook it directly on the covered grill.

Smoked Turkey with Hilltop Acres Poultry

Turducken

Okay, so I understand that a lot of people may have never heard that word before! If you are cooking a holiday meal for the same family and friends that you always cook for, it might be time to change things up a bit. A turducken is an interesting way how to cook a turkey that is sure to please the crowd. It may just shake things up a bit and start a new tradition.

Turduckens are not a mythical creature of some kind – you can actually make one. It does take quite a bit of time, but the end result is worth every minute of preparation. It involves stuffing a chicken into a duck and then into a turkey, along with some dressing. Then the process is to roast it until everything is cooked through.

Bacon Wrapped Turkey

For the family that is obsessed with bacon, why not try covering the entire breast of the turkey with thick-cut bacon slices. The bacon will flavour the turkey meat and the drippings. It will also keep the breast meat from drying out.

Deep-Fried Goodness

Most people believe that deep frying any type of meat will result in it being very greasy. A deep fried whole turkey is not greasy. Deep-frying will make the skin extra-crispy, It cooks in much less time than traditional roasting, and it frees up the oven for the dressing and the potatoes. You will need a turkey fryer, and a space to use this outdoors. The juicy meat with the crispy skin is sure to please the crowd around the table.

Spatchcocking

Yes, here is another interesting name – but trust this recipe as it has its benefits. Spatchcocking means to butterfly the whole bird. You remove the backbone, then flatten it on the pan before roasting it. There are 2 main advantages to cooking the turkey this way. Number one – the dark meat and the white meat cook at the same rate so you won’t have the white meat drying out. Number two – it takes much less time to cook a whole turkey in this manner. This is the closest way to cook a turkey to the traditional roasting – but if you have someone who needs to carve the turkey, this may not be the one to choose!

Roulade

A roulade is basically just a rolled-up version of a food. For this you will need boneless turkey breasts. One of the tried and true recipes has the turkey breast wrapped around figs, cranberries, brandy, sausage and herbs. Roll this mixture inside of the turkey breasts into the shape of a log and then tie it shut. This will definitely be one of the simplest turkey meals to carve, and it looks absolutely amazing on the serving plate.

Roulade Turkey with Hilltop Acres Poultry

Slow-Cooked

For a turkey that is super moist and meat that falls apart, you can turn to your slow-cooker. Make sure that the turkey that you buy will fit into your slow cooker! Nothing is worse than trying to stuff a large bird into a slow-cooker that is just not large enough! You can add to the slow-cooker your favourite additives. Some suggestions would be: fresh rosemary, cloves, orange slices, fennel, onions, garlic and carrots. Adding a bit of chicken stock in the slow-cooker can assist with the bird not sticking to the bottom. For a bit of a crispy skin, you can broil the turkey in the oven for a few minutes once it is done in the slow-cooker.

BBQ’ed

This is a great way how to cook a turkey when the weather is warmer and you and your guests can be outside while you are cooking! Try a mix of paprika, garlic powder, chilli powder, pepper and brown sugar. Rub this all over the exterior of the turkey before you put it on the bbq.

Braised Turkey Legs

If you are looking for a meal that includes only the dark meat, how about some braised turkey legs? You can make a pan sauce with the drippings from the pan the turkey was cooked in along with some garlic, carrots, leeks and some white wine.

White Meat Only

If you have a large crowd that will only eat the white meat – why not cook just the turkey breasts! This way you will not have all of those dark meat left-overs, and everyone will get the cut of meat that they prefer. Roasting a whole, bone in turkey breast is quicker than a whole bird as well.

Injected

Any type of flavouring and/or seasoning can be injected into a turkey with a device that is like a large hypodermic needle. This will season the turkey from the inside. The most popular flavouring or seasoning is using cajun spice, injecting with beer, and of course with butter.

Beer Can Turkey

Beer can chicken is popular, so why not try it with a turkey? This is a recipe that cooks the whole bird sitting upright on an open can of your favourite beer. Make sure to get the largest can of beer you can find. If you can’t find a large can, then use an empty 32 oz juice or soup can and fill it with your choice of beer.

In Conclusion

We will sum up this blog by providing some basic guidelines for how to cook a turkey. If your turkey weighs more than 4 kg (around 9 lbs) then you want to calculate 20 minutes per kg, plus another 90 minutes to finish. If your turkey weighs less than 4 kg you will want to calculate 20 minutes per kg, plus another 70 minutes to finish. Now it’s time to order your fresh bird and try one of these ideas of how to cook a turkey!

Roasting a Turkey with Hilltop Acres

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