When the holidays come around the pressure is on. Not only are you left having to worry about how many gifts you need to buy for your loved ones, but you also have to worry about the cooking. With the holidays comes the need to purchase and cook a turkey.
Cooking a turkey is always the most difficult part of cooking holiday meals because for some reason, you just can’t seem to get it right. For many people, a fast cooking turkey is always the biggest issue.
What to Do?
Those who have accidentally started cooking their turkey much sooner than they should have may be left wondering what they should do while they wait for every other side dish to cook. Luckily for you, we have a few tips and tricks up our sleeve that can help keep your turkey happy and healthy while it awaits its arrival.
The first thing you are going to want to do is take your already cooked turkey and wrap it in as many layers of aluminum foil as you can. Once you’ve done that, wrap it in a large beach towel and place it inside of a cooler with boiling hot water.
In doing this, you’ll be able to keep your turkey warm while also not having to worry about overcooking it.
After all of your sides are done, you can take the turkey out of the cooler and begin to serve.
Other Common Turkey Problems
Aside from having a turkey that has been cooked too quickly, there are many other issues that could easily happen to your bird.
For one, your turkey could be frozen solid. If this is the case, you are going to have to thaw it as soon as possible. You can do this by immediately submerging it in ice cold water as a way to keep bacteria from growing onto it.
If you don’t know what temperature you should be using, you can always find out by putting a thermometer and planning on 20 minutes per cooking time per pound.
If you simply do not have time to wait for your turkey to thaw, you can always cook it cold. However, be aware of the fact that it won’t taste as good.
On the other hand, you may find yourself in a situation where your turkey just simply won’t cook. No matter how high the temperature, you’re still left with a raw turkey.
Luckily, there are a few solutions so you and your guests won’t have to starve. First, wrap your turkey up in tin foil and turn the heat up in the oven to 450 degrees.
The length of time that you put it in for depends on how much your turkey weighs. You will want to put it in for two to three minutes per pound.
Another solution to speeding up the process of cooking your turkey would be to cut the turkey in half. This way, you will be able to cook each half separately.
Be sure to cut your turkey right down the middle, between the breasts and backbone. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your turkey will cook!
If you want, you can also remove the turkey legs and wings and cook those separately too.
Unfortunately, sometimes parts of your turkey simply refuse to cook. Your first instinct may be to continue to put your turkey back in the oven. However, doing this could result in over drying your turkey.
Instead of placing the entire bird back in the oven, you can take the parts of it that refuse to cook and place them into a pot of boiling broth. Not only are you able to cook the turkey this way, but you’re adding in extra flavor via the broth.
If your turkey ends up a little too dry, don’t worry. This is a common problem that can also be fixed quite easily. Your solution here is obviously moisture. You can use broth, gravy, or even turkey fat to cover the turkey and keep it from drying out even further.
Use a combination of melted butter and chicken broth and start spooning it over your turkey. You will then want to cover it back up in foil and leave it sitting for about 15 minutes. This should do the trick!
If that doesn’t work, you can always use the gravy to cover up the dry turkey. Another option would be to continue adding the broth mixture to the turkey as you cut it.
Although delicious, turkey can be difficult to cook. It’s delicate and has many parts to it that all cook at different rates. If you find that your turkey is cooking too fast, simply wrap it in foil to keep it warm while you wait for the rest of your dishes to cook!