3 Easy Steps to a Moist and Delicious Turkey

3 Easy Steps to a Moist and Delicious Turkey
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Here’s how to cook a moist turkey for Thanksgiving!

Are you hosting Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving or Christmas this year?  Set your holiday table with a gorgeous, moist turkey in just three easy steps. I’ll show you how to make a brine for your turkey, which is the secret to getting a juicy and flavorful bird every time!

 

Are you hosting Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving or Christmas this year? Set your holiday table with a gorgeous, flavorful turkey in just three easy steps. I'll show you how to make a brine for your turkey, which is the secret to getting a moist, juicy and flavorful bird every time!

After hosting several Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, I’ve come to the conclusion that without a really delicious turkey, your holiday dinner can be a bit of a let-down.  Turkey can be moist, juicy and flavorful when you do the right things ahead of time.  Brining your turkey is probably one the easiest ways to add some great flavor and moisture to your bird.  Once you brine a turkey, you’ll never go back!  I’m going to show you three easy steps on how to cook a moist turkey for your table this holiday season.

Here are your three easy steps on how to cook a moist turkey:

Are you hosting Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving or Christmas this year? Set your holiday table with a gorgeous, flavorful turkey in just three easy steps. I'll show you how to make a brine for your turkey, which is the secret to getting a moist, juicy and flavorful bird every time!

Step 1: Prepare your turkey and brine

Start by defrosting your turkey.  If you’re making Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, you’ll likely need to take your turkey out of the freezer by Sunday.  Depending on the weight of your bird, it will need at least 48 hours to defrost, if not more.  Check the label of your turkey, along with the weight to see how long it will take to defrost.  My turkey was 12 lbs and took about 2 1/2 days, not counting time in the brine.

Prepare the brine.  Here is my recipe for Apple Cider Turkey Brine that I’ve been using for years! The brine not only acts as a tenderizing agent, but also flavors the meat nicely.  I firmly believe this is the key on how to cook a moist turkey!

Get my recipe for Apple Cider Turkey Brine here:

Want to know how to add extra flavor and moisture to your Thanksgiving turkey? This Apple Cider Turkey Brine recipe is the key to roasting the most amazing bird! Made with apple cider, brown sugar, spices and herbs, this turkey brine recipe will be your new go-to for every holiday meal!

Once you have your brine, you’ll need to boil it to dissolve all the salt.  Then, let it cool completely, and add more water. (Follow the directions on the brine package.)  You can also add apple cider, beer or even wine for a nice flavor.  When your brine is completely cool, you’ll pour it over your turkey into a large brining bag. (A brining bag is like a huge zip-lock plastic bag, big enough to hold a turkey. They can be found at most grocery stores, especially during the holidays.)  From here, seal up the bag with the turkey and brine and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.

Note: Do NOT use an oven bag. These are not made for brining, and the plastic is not thick enough to hold the weight of the turkey and liquid. You’ll likely spring a leak and have brine all over your refrigerator.

Are you hosting Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving or Christmas this year? Set your holiday table with a gorgeous, flavorful turkey in just three easy steps. I'll show you how to make a brine for your turkey, which is the secret to getting a moist, juicy and flavorful bird every time!

Step 2: Prepare your turkey to roast

Once you’re ready to roast your turkey, you’ll need to do just a few things to get it prepped for the oven.  First, you’ll need to thoroughly rinse your bird after taking it out of the brine.  (Discard the brine and the bag.)  As you can see in the picture above, I laid some old towels in the sink so the turkey wouldn’t slip as much.  Rinse it well, making sure to rinse the turkey inside and out.  From there, transfer the turkey into a roasting pan, and pat dry with paper towels. Having a dry skin surface will help attain a beautiful golden brown skin.  Next, drizzle the turkey with olive oil and rub all over the skin – this will help it attain a nice golden brown color.  Lastly, lightly season the skin with the seasoning of your choice – you can go with a poultry seasoning, or add whatever fits your tastes.  I added a light sprinkling of rosemary, sage and pepper.

Tired of dry, bland turkey? I'll show you three easy steps to a moist, flavorful and completely delicious turkey!

Step 3: Roast your bird

This is the easy part.  Simply put the bird in the oven and let the warm aromas fill your house.  When deciding how long to cook your bird, check the label and weight of your turkey for the cook time duration.  This will depend primarily on the weight of the turkey.  I cooked mine at 325 degrees, and with it being about 12 lbs, it roasted for about three hours.  It will need to reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

Once its done cooking, let it rest for about 20-30 minutes, and cover with foil before cutting.  This will help the juices settle and ensure a moist cut of meat.  Garnish with some pretty herbs like rosemary sprigs, thyme or sage.  Add in a few apples, pears or grapes for some color.

Are you hosting Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving or Christmas this year? Set your holiday table with a gorgeous, flavorful turkey in just three easy steps. I'll show you how to make a brine for your turkey, which is the secret to getting a moist, juicy and flavorful bird every time!

And there you have it!  The holidays wouldn’t be complete without a flavorful, delicious turkey.  With some preparation and planning, you can have one of the most flavorful turkey’s that your family has ever tasted.

Fair warning: cook an awesome, juicy, flavorful turkey, and you’ll likely be asked to host the holiday dinner again!  😉

Blessings to you and your family for a joyous holiday season!

Erin

Need some awesome Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner side dishes? Check out some of my recipes here:

This stuffing recipe will be an instant Thanksgiving dinner favorite with everyone at the table! Loaded with apples, sausage, mushrooms, pecans and more, this dressing is the ultimate side dish for your holiday meal!

Everything Thanksgiving Stuffing

 

The perfect side dish for your holiday dinner, this Cranberry Citrus Salad with Goat Cheese Crumbles and sweet Brown Sugar Pecans is flavorful and delicious! Mandarin oranges, cranberries, goat cheese crumbles and pecans make the flavor combination the perfect partner for just about any meal. The perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner side dish!

Cranberry Citrus Salad with Goat Cheese and Pecans

 

Ruth's Chris restaurants are famous for this amazing Sweet Potato Casserole - now you can make it at home! Creamy, delicious sweet potatoes are topped with a crisp, pecan streusel topping making for an amazing side dish to any holiday meal!

Ruth’s Chris Copycat Sweet Potato Casserole

 

Perfectly creamy, these Parmesan Mashed Potatoes are nothing short of spectacular. Russet potatoes are lightly seasoned and combined with sour cream, cream cheese and Parmesan cheese making these potatoes the ultimate side dish for any meal! A must for every holiday meal as well!

Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

 

A delicious twist on the classic pumpkin pie! Dazzle your Thanksgiving dinner guests with this wonderfully simple pie recipe that is topped with a silky, delicious meringue. Easy enough to make for your holiday meal, and fancy enough for a formal dinner!

Pumpkin Meringue Pie

 

Your favorite pie recipe made even more decadent and delicious! Dark chocolate is added to this pecan pie recipe and topped with chocolate covered pecans for a show-stopping dessert! This pie is perfect for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert table!

Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie

 

Are you hosting Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving or Christmas this year? Set your holiday table with a gorgeous, flavorful turkey in just three easy steps. I'll show you how to make a brine for your turkey, which is the secret to getting a moist, juicy and flavorful bird every time!

 

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Comments

  1. Fabulous tips, Erin! Your turkey is gorgeous ... and your family is in for a fantastic holiday meal. {Gorgeous photos, too. :-) } Tracey @ The Kitchen is My Playground
  2. What a great looking turkey! Thank you for the tips :D
  3. Helen Gynell says:
    The main reason a turkey is moist is not being overcooked. A lot of sources list :20 per pound and that is too much. In my experience, brining makes the meat softer. I prefer some texture to my turkey meat (not mushy). You do the same thing I do: keep it simple. Wash it, pat it dry, rub it with oil, season liberally. I add chunks of onion, carrots, and celery (there's a magic taste combination with poultry & celery) around and inside the bird, and make sure the inside is as liberally seasoned (I use only salt & pepper). I think fresh thyme is also a great flavor with turkey. Lastly, I pour a little of the pan juices over the sliced meat. THAT is the bomb!
  4. That's for the brining tip and sharing it on Sunday's Best Linkup. I'm going to try it next week. Looking forward to seeing more of your posts.
  5. Thanks for sharing this at the #HomeMattersParty!

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