How To Prep A Turkey

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It's here, the tips and advice you need to prep your turkey.  What better person to walk you through it all then Ace Hardware's Grilling Expert, Chef Jason!

Selecting the Right Turkey

Picking the Right Size

  • Remember that you will yield about 50% of the total weight
  • 19# Turkey will Yield about 9.5# of meat (dark and light meat)
  • I like to plan on about 1 – 1 ¼ Pounds of cooked turkey per person
  • This will account for any shrinkage, heavy eaters, leftovers, take home portions, etc

What Turkey is Right?

Read the labels, all turkeys will say what they contain, when in doubt check the nutrition panel for sodium content

Solution Free Turkey

  • Label should say contains Naturally Retained Water – that’s it
  • This allows you to control the flavor from the package to the plate
  • These Turkeys take on flavor very easily
  • I prefer this Turkey, that way I control all the flavor from start to finish

Pre Seasoned Turkey

  • Dhould say contains some % of Solution or Broth
  • This is a convenience that means there is already some brine in it
  • These Turkeys allow you to season the outside and get cooking
  • Less opportunity to control the end flavor

Defrosting the Turkey

  • I recommend the safest defrost process there is…. From the freezer to the fridge
  • Place turkey in a pan to catch any juices that may drip/leak
  • Plan on 1 day of defrosting per 5 pounds of Turkey
  • Plan ahead for the best defrosting plan

Turkey Prep Tips

  • Carefully open the netting and remove
  • Carefully open the packaging and remove
  • Drain any juices into the pan
  • Remove the Giblets from the front neck area – usually under the flap of skin
  • Remove the Neck from the cavity
  • Trim off the Neck skin if desired
  • Trim off the tail portion if desired
  • Rinse the cavity and turkey
  • Place rinsed turkey back into a clean pan
  • Tuck the front wing tips under turkey
  • Prepare to Brine the turkey
  • Prepare to inject the turkey

For more helpful tips and advice, visit a Neighborhood Ace or visit Ace Hardware's Tips & Advice

Published on 10/10/2022.

Always follow manufacturer's instructions before using any product.
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