How To Cook A Thanksgiving Turkey

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Thanksgiving turkeyThere are about 45 million turkeys cooked in the US every thanksgiving

Many of them are not to successfully cooked for one or the other reason.

We will help you cook the best and easiest thanksgiving turkey.

There are no big secrets in cooking a turkey or any other poultry like chicken.
follow our guidelines here and I am almost sure that every turkey comes out perfect every time.

Table of Contents (click ahead to jump ahead!)
1. Pick the right size turkey
2. Frozen or Fresh
3. Thawing out safely
4.How to cook
5.Recommended Fryers
7.Tips from users

Pick the right size turkey

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Some people like leftover turkey and I love it to, but it seems that I always had more leftovers then I needed. I found out that using the rule “one pound per person” works perfectly for me.
To cook a turkey I never use a turkey over 18 lbs in my way of cooking. If I need more pounds according to my one lb per person rule I cook 2 turkeys of about the same size.

Frozen or Fresh

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This is one of the misconceptions we hear a lot. It is basically a personal choice what you like to eat.
Frozen can be just as good as fresh when we talk about taste, but they contain a lot of water most of the time.
When you buy fresh you know more about the history of the bird and you can adjust your cooking to this.
Frozen turkeys need to be thawed out the right way. Look at our thawing out table to have an idea how long it takes to thaw out a frozen turkey
Fresh turkeys have the tendency to cook a little faster and you need to keep your eye on the internal temperature way before you expect it to be done.
You can always keep it warm. But you don’t want to overcook the Thanksgiving turkey.

Thawing out safely

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The best and safest way to thaw out a frozen turkey is in the refrigerator. Place it at the bottom, however.
The leaking fluids contain most of the germs and you do not want them leaking on the other food you have in the fridge.
Other ways I read like running cold water over or using a microwave are not recommended. The chance of contaminating other food is a lot higher.

Frozen turkeys need to be thawed out the right way. Look at our thawing out table to have an idea how long it takes to thaw out a frozen turkey.

WeightTime in refrigerator
8 to 10 lbs2 to 3 days
13 to 16 lbs3 to 4 days
17 to 20 lbs4 to 5 days
21 to 24 lbs5 to 6 days

How to cook a Thanksgiving tukey

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Now we come to a very important and also very controversial part of the best Thanksgiving turkey.
How are we going to cook the turkey.

I have used many methods in my life. From deep-frying to cooking in the oven and even on a gas or charcoal grill.
The last few years, however, there is only one thing I use to cook my Thanksgiving turkeys and that are infrared turkey cookers.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of spending Thanksgiving with the family in Tennessee. The turkey that we had for dinner was one of the moistest turkeys I ever taste. So I asked my host how he cooked it since I am always on the lookout for new recopies. He took me to his garage and showed me his new “toy”. A Char Broil oil less turkey fryer.

I can tell you how to use it, but there are many sites and youtube videos available for that.
One of the main reasons I like it is that it does not use any oil like in a standard turkey fryer.
Now have I always been pretty much of a safety freak with turkey fryers and never had any accidents, but this takes all the risks away.

Another advantage of an oil-less turkey fryer is the fact that you can use a rub and it will not be washed off like in a fryer with oil. I love to use rubs on all my poultry.

My recommended infrared Turkey fryers

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I have reviewed many infrared turkey fryers here on better grills but I am personally very impressed by the Char Broil turkey fryers.

You can have a look at all the prices by clicking on the buy button below or read all the Char-Broil easy infrared reviews by following this link.

infrared turkey fryer prices

Tips from real users

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  • Use a thermometer in your meat to keep track of the internal temperature of the turkey.
  • Although this is safe to use. Keep an eye on it all the time.
  • Write down you results for future cookings
  • Can also be used for bigger cuts of meat like chicken, roasts, pork loins etc
  • Easy to heat up, cool down and clean.


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Let me know about your Thanksgiving turkeys and what your opinion is on how to cook a Thanksgiving turkey

recommend this article to your friends or share it on social media if you like.
In the meantime, I have done many other Char Broil infrared grill reviews here and am getting more and more impressed with their quality.

If you also think that this produces the best turkey you have ever tasted, or think it is worth sharing this article please link to this website from your website or recommend it to others.

Eddie van Aken

Eddie van Aken AdministratorWPAutoTerms Legal pages editor
Eddie van Aken has many years of experience in the field of cooking. Starting out as a cook in some of the big chain restaurants and later in running his own full-service restaurant. With this experience and working with professional kitchen equipment, he is reviewing grills, smokers, and all other types of tools needed to cook some great meals. With his passion for outdoor cooking, he has used many grills and pellet smokers. You can more about him here.
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