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Common Thanksgiving Turkey Mistakes

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC

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Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. It’s a special holiday that’s all about family, food, and giving thanks for everything we have. If you are the one cooking the bird this year there are some things you need to know beforehand. There are several common mistakes that lots of people make when cooking a turkey, especially if it’s their first time.

In this two part series, we are going to discuss these mistakes so that your dinner isn’t ruined and you do not wind up feeling like a turkey. For affordable Raleigh event catering, give us a call today. Our holiday calendar is starting to fill up and we’d love a chance to serve your family and friends.

Common Turkey Cooking Mistakes

Waiting Too Long to Buy Your Bird – The number one spot is reserved for the procrastinators who wait way too long to buy their Thanksgiving turkey. The rule of thumb is that if you going with a frozen supermarket bird you need to buy it 1-2 weeks in advance and keep it in your freezer. If you want a fresh turkey, you should reserve one at your favorite grocery store. You’ll have to wait until closer to the holiday to get it because it will go bad otherwise. Reserving a bird will ensure you do not miss out or get stuck buying a larger or smaller turkey than you need. If you’re ordering a fancy turkey from an online vendor then you should give yourself at least 4 weeks.

Thawing Frozen Birds – A frozen turkey can take days to thaw out. Furthermore, the best way to thaw one is in your refrigerator. You have to prepare for this ordeal ahead of time. To thaw out your turkey, you should give yourself one day for every 4 pounds of weight for the turkey. For example, if you have a sixteen pound turkey it will take four whole days in the fridge to completely thaw out.

Brining a Pre-Brined Bird – If you’re buying a frozen bird from your local supermarket, chances are that it has been pre-brined. This is even true for Kosher turkeys as well. So before you start brining your turkey, be sure to read the package first. Otherwise, you’ll have a bunch of “salty” guests.

Cold Turkey Cooking – Another common mistake that lots of Thanksgiving rookies make is cooking a cold turkey. Do not do this as it could cause the turkey to dry out and not cook evenly. You should take the bird out of the fridge, and its brine, between 60-90 minutes before you want to cook it. This will allow the meat to come up to room temperature. This is safe and sanitary and will not create any health issues before cooking.

Cooking a Wet Bird – As the bird comes to room temperature, it’s going to sweat a little bit. You don’t want to put a wet turkey in the oven, especially if you want crispy skin. Be sure to pat your bird dry on both the outside and the inside. Most people avoid the inside because they think it’s either gross, or they plan on using stuffing. Don’t skip this step, otherwise your bird might not turn out that beautiful golden-brown color.

Affordable Raleigh Event Catering for Thanksgiving

The holidays are almost upon us and Catering by Design is ready to provide your family with the best Raleigh holiday catering. We have a menu to fit any budget. You can also customize your catering menu, truly making your event “catering by your design”. Give us a call soon, our holiday event calendar is filling up quick but we still have some nights and weekends left.