The centerpiece of Thanksgiving tables across the country will be turkeys, and there are many ways to achieve the desired combination of juicy, tender meat and crispy skin.
While you can get a tasty bird out of a good quality oven, try a new method this year with our top four choices for turkey cooking. If you’re feeding a family, you can supplement the oven-roasted bird with one of these methods.
4 Ways to Cook a Turkey
Celebrate the Thanksgiving feast this year by using an electric smoker, and expand your cooking options beyond your kitchen. When the stovetop and oven are packed to the max, it’s good to know you can rely on an outdoor smoker for cooking, plus it adds that mouthwatering smoky flavor to any dish.
With a roomy smoker, you can tuck in side dishes, freeing up your kitchen. You can also check out these recipes for a delicious Thanksgiving feast from your smoker. Count on at least 30 minutes of cook time per pound, meaning a 12 pound turkey will need a minimum of six hours in the smoker.
Frying a turkey is an event. Not only do you get ultra-crispy skin and tender, juicy meat, but it cooks very quickly, about three minutes per pound. Choose smaller birds in the eight- to 10- pound range for frying. The fried turkey cooks so fast, you can fry multiple birds in succession for your feast.
When selecting a turkey fryer, you can choose a traditional outdoor fryer, being sure to follow all safety instructions when setting up and cooking. There’s also an indoor version, the Butterball Electric Fryer that uses 1/3 less oil than traditional fryers, and can also be used to steam and boil vegetables and seafood.
Fried turkeys take well to seasoned marinades. Look for specialty packaged marinades, or try a homemade version, as in this recipe for Cajun Deep-Fried Turkey.
A standalone roaster is useful if you have limited oven space to cook the bird. Plus, these ovens produce a moist, perfectly roasted turkey.
Still, there’s a new way to roast your Thanksgiving turkey. In addition to traditional, convenient countertop roaster ovens, consider the Butterball Oil-Free Electric Turkey Roaster that gives you many of the advantages of a deep-fried turkey (outdoor cooking and crispy skin) without the bother and expense of the oil.
Cooking a huge turkey is great when you’ve got a houseful of Thanksgiving guests, but when you’re cooking for a smaller gathering, you may want a simpler—but just as delicious—option. When you use your grill to cook the turkey, choose parts, like turkey tenderloins, for quick and even cooking.
Not only does this savory grilled turkey sage tenderloin recipe take just 30 minutes to prepare, but it gives the whole idea of “Thanksgiving turkey” an upscale makeover.
Read More about Turkey:
- Cook Your Holiday Dinner in a Smoker
- Turkey Gets a Fresh Herb Makeover
- Non-Traditional Chili-Rubbed Roast Turkey Recipe with Orange
Add a side dish of carrot and sweet potato puree to your Thanksgiving feast.