Turkey season is upon us!
There are those who find themselves daunted by the prospect of cooking holiday meals, while others rise to the challenge of planning, prepping, cooking, and serving the best possible version of Grandma's recipe that they've ever tasted. We choose to be the latter! And the best way to ensure this time of year remain joyful is to employ the help of some of the best kitchen tools out there. Here is our list of the Top Turkey Tools:
No stuffing, side dish, or table linens will be able to distract your guests from the misshapen turkey that will emerge from the oven if your bird is not properly trussed. While slightly daunting for first-timers, trussing is remarkably simple and will make your presentation memorable for all of the right reasons.
A quality roasting pan is a vital part of any kitchen. The key is to pick the pan that will be appropriate for you- Not everyone needs a standard size roast pan capable of handling a 16 lb turkey. Whether you choose a full size roaster or one fit for a toaster oven, remember to look for solid handles and even heat distribution.
The perfect roasting pan will be worthless without the proper roasting rack. Not only will this keep your bird from sticking to the pan and allow it to cook more evenly, but it will keep it safely out of those wonderful drippings that you’ll baste or make gravy with later. A "V" shaped rack or one with sloped sides will be helpful not only with turkeys, but with loins and roasts in the future.
Everyone has an opinion about turkey cooking times. Some theories are based on weight or skin color, but the most accurate way of knowing when your turkey should come out of the oven is by temperature. The bird will be cooked fully when the internal temperature of the thigh meat is 165°. You can use the classic pop-up version, an instant read meat thermometer, or our favorite- the Polder digital probe that will sit nicely on the counter and beep when your bird is done.
A good basting schedule will keep your bird nice and moist while adding extra flavor. Some people prefer the classic bulb baster, while others like to use a basting brush. This preference will depend somewhat on the thickness of your basting liquid of choice. The drippings caught in your roasting pan will work nicely or you could create a sauce with your flavors of choice. One of our favorite techniques is to cover the bird in a butter and herb soaked cheesecloth- the cloth will do most of the basting for you!
Your bird is cooked. It’s out of the oven with a temperature of 165° and has turned a beautiful shade of bronzy brown. Your best platter is on the counter waiting to be the center of attention and your standing in front of the stove with 2 oven mitts, a fish spatula, a bbq fork, and a cookie sheet. Turkey lifters are the kind of item that you might overlook until this very moment. We are here to remind you- Buy the turkey lifters now so your prized poultry doesn’t end up on the floor!
Gravy is an integral part of many holiday meals. The classic turkey gravy takes advantage of those long hours in the oven and uses the pan drippings for wonderful flavor. You’ll want to strain off the majority of the unnecessary fat with either a fat mop or a gravy separator and then you’ll need a good whisk to keep the gravy moving.
After everything is cooked, rested, and whisked, you are ready to move to the table. Holiday meals can require certain tableware that might not be present on regular Thursday nights. A large turkey platter is essential, along with quality carving tools. A gravy pourer, whether the traditional gravy boat or a modernized version, is also vital. Appropriate servingware for each side dish and glassware for wine, champagne, or punch. A little ambiance is always nice as well- candles and linens are an easy way to make things special.
Finding your supplies a little lacking? Check out our selection of turkey tools here!