How to cook and carve a Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey

Most people often get so much stressed over their Thanksgiving Turkey as it is the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal. And you do not want to disappoint your guests. After reading this article I believe all your insecurities or fears will go away and you will be able to make a beautiful and perfect Thanksgiving Turkey. This method is completely easy and has no complications. There is no involvement in cooking it upside down, basting or bringing the turkey, or anything weird. The most basic part of roasting a great Thanksgiving Turkey is not to cook it too much because that makes the meat completely dry. Plan for the right timing if you want to crave a juicy turkey at the Thanksgiving ceremony. Thanksgiving Turkey is the most important meal of Thanksgiving Dinner. In this article, you will find out How to cook and carve a Thanksgiving Turkey.

Easy and Unique Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

The best Thanksgiving Turkey recipe contains juiciness and a lot of flavors as you expected for the perfect Thanksgiving Turkey, with no stress! I am pretty much sure this recipe is not just the easiest way of cook a Thanksgiving turkey also produces a super juicy, ravishing, and perfectly cooked turkey.

  • Size of Turkey: In terms of how big of a turkey you need to buy, the general rule is for each person one pound of Turkey or a pound and a half Turkey if you want leftovers. However, 12 to 16 pounds of Turkey is enough for this method.
  • Garlic and Onion: The garlic will be used for rubbing the outside area of the turkey and on the inside of it onion will be placed. Here these two together will soak the meat and make the skin savory flavor.
  • Butter: A good amount of butter will make the turkey juicy. There will be no requirement for brine and it’s time-saving.
  • Lemon: On the inside of the turkey the lemon wedges will be added which will help the meat to keep it moist and brings a sparkle of freshness.
  • Herbs: Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme is the perfect combination of different herbs. Although these can be used as dried the fresh ones have more flavorsome.
  • Salt and Pepper: Use these on a certain amount and based on our taste level.
  • Vegetables: Although vegetables are not required for roasting. But I add carrots, onion, and celery under the turkey to make it more flavorable.

How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey

The most common mistake people usually do is to buy a frozen turkey day before the Thanksgiving. Do not do that and keep in mind that a turkey that big takes a while for defrosting in the refrigerator. For every five pounds of turkey, it usually takes 24 hours to thaw it properly. My suggestion will be to buy the turkey minimum a week ahead of the big day. Then let the turkey defrost in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days to thaw before Thanksgiving. Defrost your turkey on a plate or tray to prevent liquid from going everywhere in your refrigerator.

Do not wash the turkey

By washing the turkey you will just make your kitchen and sink contaminate. At first, separate it from the packing and dry the turkey by using some kitchen paper. Then arrange the turkey for the oven and remember one thing that any bacteria on it will be get killed inside the oven when it’s roasting.

Do not cook stuffing inside a turkey

If you put a lot of stuffing in the cavity of a turkey, it will take a lot of time to cook and by that time the turkey will be overcooked. It’s best to cook both of them separately for a perfectly balanced cooked turkey and stuffing. So, cook the stuffing in the casserole dish rather. Afterward fill up the cavity of it with various things such as herbs, celery, carrots, onion, salt, and pepper which will give it moisture and flavor.

Required Equipment

There is 3 basic kitchen product that you require to equip for roasting the turkey which are:

  1. Thermometer: You can use any type of thermometer. I usually use the instant-read thermometer but the basic meat thermometer or a probe thermometer can be used.

    Basic kitchen product
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  2. Roasting Tray: Cheapie disposable foil roasting tray, mid-priced one, or an expensive one any of these works just fine.
  3. A Sharp Knife: A necessary item among kitchen elements. I also have a fork set and carving knife.

How to prepare a Thanksgiving Turkey

Let’s prepare the Thanksgiving turkey before cooking it. While preparing the turkey preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and we’re not gonna start the oven hot and reduce the temperature. Follow the steps below.

Thaw and separate the neck and giblet

The first thing you are gonna do is let rest the thawed turkey at normal temperature for about 1 hour. Then remove the packet of giblets that you will most often find in the neck cavity of the turkey. Then if there is any excess skin around this area you can trim that off. At the other end, in the big body cavity, you will find the neck. So, remove that and you can then trim off the tail. You can discard them or, save them for gravy it’s up to you.

Stuff Turkey

With a great amount of pepper and salt season inside of the turkey. Then place the quartered lemon wedges and onion inside the cavity. Now inside of the turkey place a few branches of fresh herbs like sage, thyme, and rosemary. The herbs besides the lemon and onion make the meat moisture and flavor.

Herb butter

To make herb butter you will need 1 TBS of chopped thyme and rosemary. Also, peel and mince 6 to 7 garlic cloves. Then add all these to ¾ cup of softened room temperature butter. At the end of the herb butter add a little salt and pepper. After all these ingredients are in the mixing pot, mash them all by using a fork or spoon and check if it’s well combined.

Spread Herb butter

For adding the herb butter you need to loosen the outside skin of the turkey and do it gently by sliding your fingers under the skin. Also, try to avoid kitchen tools like knives, spatulas, etc because those will puncture or tear the skin. Here your hands are the best kitchen tools around. Meanwhile, keep adding herb butter until you have loosened the skin entirely along with the peak of the breast. Now, from the bowl take around 1/3 of herb butter and rub-down the skin. After applying it underneath the skin now smooth it out by using your top fingers also pull the skin to flat and nice. Later rub all the remaining herb butter on the skin of the turkey as well as the thighs, wings, and legs.

Placing vegetables and Wing tucking

No matter which roasting pan you are using just place the chopped vegetables in the pan and set the turkey on the rack of the roasting pan. However, you can just set the turkey on top of vegetables without a rack. Now, underneath the turkey tuck the wings and do not truss the legs. Tucking helps the turkey to sit flatter and prevent it from burning.

Thanksgiving Turkey
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How to cook a Thanksgiving Turkey

Are you ready for cooking the Thanksgiving turkey? If this is your first time, don’t get anxious just think of it as roasting a large-sized chicken. The apply of ideas and methods will be the same. Let’s cook it. Place the prepared turkey in your oven and if you are using a meat or probe thermometer, place the thermometer into the meaty part of the turkey such as thigh or breast. If you are using an instant-read thermometer when the temperature is about 70% done began to check the turkey. For every pound roast the turkey for about 15 minutes, for me, it takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes or till the internal temperature goes up to 158 °F to 160°F. Keep in mind that even the turkey is removed from the oven it will still continue to cook. Later after it’s rested the temperature will rise to 165°F when it will be perfectly done. But until 165°F if you leave it there that’s when the turkey might turn out to dry meat. If you follow all these steps you will have a juicy, perfectly golden, mass flavorful, and mouth-watering tasty roasted Thanksgiving turkey.

Let the turkey rest

After removing the turkey from the oven the most important thing at this stage is to let the turkey rest for 30 minutes at the minimum. This allows the meat to completely cook and inside the meat the juices redistributed.

How to carve a Thanksgiving Turkey

After resting your successfully roasted Thanksgiving turkey the only thing that is left now is carving it to serve and present in front of your guests. Carving is not just only show it off for the centerpiece meal but to make sure everyone gets both meat and skin with every bite. You will need a big cutting board and a sharp knife. So, don’t be frighten it is really easy just follow the steps below.

Carving a Thanksgiving Turkey
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Slice Legs and Thighs

In the first cut, make it throughout the skin between the breast and the leg to remove the thigh and leg from the body. Also till you hit the joint keep slicing down the meat. Then pull out on the leg, spread it on the board flatly, and from underneath of the joint push it up. Then use your knife to slice throughout the joint when you spot it and separate the thigh and leg. Similarly, on the other side repeat this.

Remove the Breast

For removing the breast, slice it down by using long strokes on one side of the bone of the breast. When your knife cut to the bottom part then gently drag the breast out by using your thumb. You can also slice it horizontally by cutting it bottom part of the breast from the outside to separate it. Then on the other side repeat this and put these aside.

Remove both Wings

To remove both wings softly twist them apart from the body and cut throughout the joint. Then put these aside also.

Remove Drumstick and Bone from Thigh

After removing all the meat from the turkey, remove the drum stick from the thigh. Then remove the bone from the thigh by using a sharp knife to cut around the thighbone to keep the dark meat as much as possible. Once you have got thigh meat, cut it into strips and add it to the platter.

How to carve a turkey breast

Slice the breast meat into thin strips just cut them against the grain. Here a sharp knife is very useful, as it contains a small bit of skin on every piece. Once both of the breast meat is sliced, include them on your serving platter.

Plating the Carved Thanksgiving Turkey

You can arrange it in various ways. It basically depends on your serving platter size and if you have any extra garnishes such as herbs, cranberries, apples, or lemons. So, arrange it any way you want to. I always try to ensure that as many as golden pieces like the drumsticks and breasts take center stages. As for the wings, slice it throughout the skin and bend the wings backward for removing the drumette from the wingette. As there is no meat on the wingtip I usually remove it. However, it’s important for gravies and stocks. So, around the thigh meat, I put on those wing pieces to the serving platter and place the drumsticks later, which are like the centerpiece item on top. Then fill the gaps with garnishes. Thus serve it right away with sauces, salads, and other goodies you make.

Platting the Thanksgiving Turkey
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I hope that you guys enjoyed this tasty turkey recipe. As Thanksgiving is the day of gratitude I am very thankful that you read this food blog. And I hope you have a very happy, fun-filled, delicious Thanksgiving.

Please do share your advice, stories, and recipe suggestions in the comments box! Whether you cooking a turkey for the first time or you just decided to try this method, I would love to hear from you. Write your experience in the comment below and rate this recipe.


How big of a turkey you should buy?

It depends on how many people are going to eat. Here the rule is for each person 1 pound or 1 and a half pounds. In that way you will get some leftovers, so I suggest:

  • Eight people a 10 to 14-pound turkey.
  • Twelve people a 14 to 18-pound turkey.
  • Sixteen people an 18 to 22-pound turkey.

If there are less than 8 people a small turkey will be enough. Also, if more than 16 people gather on this case buying 2 turkeys will be more preferable rather than a monster-sized one.

How Long Does It Take to Thaw a Thanksgiving Turkey?

For every 5 pounds, it takes a day (24 hours) to thaw a turkey. If you are thawing it in the fridge it’s gonna take 2 to 4 days. However, you can also thaw it faster by bathing it with cold water. Until the turkey is thawed keep changing the cold water every 30 minutes for each pound.

How long to cook a Thanksgiving Turkey?

It usually depends on how big of a turkey you are going to cook or if it’s stuffed inside. For every pound, it takes precisely 15 minutes. Set 160F in the oven to cook it. A small guideline:

  • 10 to 14 pounds turkey it takes 2 and half hour to 3 and a half hour
  • 14 to 18 pounds turkey it takes 3 and half hour to 4 and a half hour
  • 18 to 22 pounds turkey it takes 4 and half hour to 5 and a half hour

Check every hour after 75% of the turkey is cooked.

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Prediction 2021, Betting Tips, Live Stream

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid next match

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are the two top giant clubs in the football world. These two great Spanish rivals meet once in this season already and following the next month they going to meet up again in the Camp Nou arena. Meanwhile, this clash could be the league decider match as both of these clubs are at the top spot at the league table fighting for the LaLiga championship. This most awaiting and exciting match will be held on 8th, May 2021. In this article, you will find out Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid prediction 2021, betting tips, Live stream, etc.

Match Preview

Barcelona Recent Form and Stats

Barcelona under Ronald Koeman doing pretty good right now. Although at the start of the season they were struggling as they were at the mid-table position. However, things have turned around as Barcelona was unbeaten 17 games in 2021. Both Messi and Griezmann are in their best form now. Likewise, Messi has the highest goals (25) with 9 assists which makes him the most goal contributor of 2021 till now. Also Griezmann the 3rd most goal contributor who has scored 11 goals with 14 assists this season so far. Others players like Alba, Pedri, De Jong, Stegen are also doing decent performances. But Barcelona’s defense still undeveloped and could cost them big time. Ansu Fati is recovering from the injury on his knee and could’ve used some time for reshaping before this clash. Barcelona might have a full-fit squad before this clash.

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid
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Atletico Madrid Recent Form and Stats

On the other hand, Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid started this season with a bang and they were dominating the league matches. In fact, Atletico Madrid was at the number 1 spot in the table with a huge margin point difference. But at the recent league matches, Atletico Madrid started choking as they losing points to other teams. Although they still at the number 1 spot on the table but losing any more points could be costly for them. The defense of Atletico Madrid is solid. Ex-Barcelona player Suárez is the highest scorer for them who scored 19 goals so far this season. He is recovering from his injury and might play this Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid clash which will make this match more enjoyable. Llorente, Correa, Oblak, Félix, Lemar, and Savic also their potential players. They will be in disadvantages as they are a bit weak in away matches.

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid
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Possible Starting Lineup

Barcelona: Marc-André ter Stegen, Jordi Alba, Clément Lenglet, Gerard Piqué, Óscar Mingueza, Pedri, Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi (c), Ousmane Dembélé.

Atletico Madrid: Jan Oblak, Mario Hermoso ,José María Giménez, Stefan Savić, Koke, Yannick Carrasco, Thomas Lemar, Marcos Llorente, Šime Vrsaljko, Ángel Correa, Luis Suárez.

LaLiga Table

LaLiga Table
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The title race of Laliga became more interesting as the top 4 teams have very close points. The match between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will be the most exciting match of the year and it could be the champion decider match.

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid: betting tips

As these two Spanish rivals going to meet each other within 2 weeks the bookies might release their odds soon. So we decided to give you the best free betting tips before this clash and which bets you should look after. Bettings mostly depend on these things such as over/under goals, the match-winner, are both teams going to score, etc. BTTS is an interesting market where people still bet. In here you just need to guess if both teams can score or not. With the present Barca beast form in attack and Atletico decent attacking lineup, we say go for BTTS. Over or under goals is also one of the most popular choices among betters. Here you just need to predict below a certain number how many goals will score during the match. Our experts predicted over 1.5 goals in this match. People still enjoy this Match winner as it is considered to be a traditional bet. As Messi and Griezmann both are in the hot form they will score in this match.

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid: Head To Head

They faced each other 44 times in total. Barcelona won 24 times and Atletico Madrid won 9 times and the rest 11 matches they drew. In Copa del Rey Barcelona won every time whenever they face their Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid. However, Atletico Madrid knocked Barcelona out of the UEFA Champions League twice. But in the league matches Atletico Madrid result pretty poorly against Barcelona. They meet 21 times where Barcelona won 14 times drew 6 times and Atletico Madrid won only one time which was played last time they meet.

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid match prediction

The last time these two Spanish rivals meet each other on Atletico Madrid home turf Wanda Metropolitano Stadium and the result was in Atletico Madrid’s favor where Atletico Madrid won by 1-0. But this time anything can happen. Koeman’s Barcelona will be careful with their shaky defense and Simeone’s Atletico Madrid will be extra alert with their mid. But this clash will be held on Barcelona home turf which gives ATM discomforting. As both sides have some key players who can change the match at any moment. So, anything can happen but losing points could dangerous for both managers. After analyzing these two giant’s recent forms we predicted it could be: Barcelona 2-2 Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Live


You can watch this clash match on TV by switching to these channels ESPN, Sky Sports, beIN Sports, etc. Although if you want to just update on live score sheet visit these sites:

Live Stream

If you want to watch this mighty clash between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid 2021 live. Follow these free live streaming sites:

On the contrary, if these sites are not working for you. You can stream this match live on Facebook. At first log in to your Facebook account then go to the LaLiga page there select the live option and click on the match. We can give you a 100% guaranty that these sites will work. Now enjoy the match and cheer your favorite team.