Keep Your Turkey Moist


Does anyone have a good recipe for turkey that will be moist when cooked?



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By Katie (Guest Post) 10/27/2008

If you cover the turkey with cheesecloth that has been soaked in a mixture of butter and broth, and baste that every so often, it will keep the bird moist. Take the cloth off for the last 30 minutes to get a nice crispy skin.

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By Eva (Guest Post) 10/27/2008

Brine it and it's fantastic. Boil 1 1/2 gal water, dissolve 1 1/2 lbs salt & 1 lb. sugar in the water. Add 7 lbs ice or equivalent cool water & chill. When cold, add turkey & soak 10 - 18 hours. Rinse, dry, coat with oil & roast at 400 until reaches 160. For brining: either combine the turkey & brine in a trash bag & place in an ice filled cooler or place brine & turkey in a large canning pot in refrigerator.

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By Judi 18 939 10/27/2008

I use a large syringe with a large needle attached and poke it full of broth before baking. You can get a syringe and needle from your vet for pretty cheap and reuse it for many years.

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By LAURIE (Guest Post) 10/27/2008

I use the Reynolds cooking bags in the turkey size. Easy to use, easy clean up and the turkey always gets done well before the time stated per pound. The meat is so tender you don't have to carve it, you can pull it off the bone with a fork. The juices in the bag can be used for gravy and the turkey still browns nicely.

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By Mimi (Guest Post) 10/27/2008

I always roast my turkey upside down. Juices run to the bottom to the drier white meat in my roasting pan.

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By Deb C (Guest Post) 10/27/2008

I, too, feel I bake a moist turkey every time when I use the Reynolds baking bags. The turkey falls off the bone and it is full of flavor. So easy and oh so good!

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By Sandra 10/27/2008

First brining is actually koshering the turkey. Second, mix a turkey rub, rub onto dry turkey, roast breast side down, dark meat juice keeps the breast moist. You can add stuffing or an apple. Do not baste, turkey skin comes out like a food magazine cover and crisp. Do not cover the turkey.

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By rae (Guest Post) 10/27/2008

I use my grandmothers' 100 year old roasting pan. It is aluminum and has a top that fits over the bottom, It will hold up to a 24 pound turkey. I cook it breast up, covered until the end when I want it to brown. If it isn't self basting, I add some water.. It also cooks the turkey more quickly than other methods. An old shoe would be tasty in this pan.

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By CHARLENE (Guest Post) 10/27/2008

I've been using the Reynold's Turkey Bag for years, so moist an easy, wouldn't do it any other way.

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By Betty (Guest Post) 10/27/2008

Put turkey in crock pot with chicken broth. cover and cook on high for 6 hrs.

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By Maureen Barnard (Guest Post) 10/27/2008

I just read Eva's feedback on moist turkey and I have to say, I do something similar every year and it works great, when I first heard of it I thought it was crazy and I'd ruin the turkey, not so, it was moist and delicious and I have been doing it for 20 years and have never had a problem. I get a big canning pot with ice water and 2 lbs of salt, yes thats right, 2 LBS! Place the turkey in the pot and let it sit for at least 8 hours, take turkey out and rinse it well inside and out, and rub it with olive oil and bake. You won't believe it! I thought it would be salty, its not. The salt apparently closes the pores and locks in the juices, I really don't care how it works, I just know it does and I don't buy the most expensive name brand. I usually buy the store brand turkey and for 20 years I have had compliments, but this year I might try adding the sugar like Eva does and see how it works.

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By CARLOS BADEL 2 10/27/2008

I always use a Reynolds x-tra large turkey bag. The bird has defrosted completely, maybe 3 or 4 days at room temp.
I use an old-fashioned roasting pan, the one with a dial and 3 or 4 slots.
I really don't think it makes any difference. In the back of your mind be ready to use a second bag.
I don't pat or dry-rub the bird. Their is a liquid concoction in the Hiispanic or Latino section known as Mojo Criollo or Mojo. It is about a quart size or two.
I will insert the bird breast-size down (bottom of pan) about 1/2 size down, shake the bottle well, and empty in down the gullet.
Inserting the rest of of the bird I'll let flow about 1/2 the remaining bottle.
Sit and enjoy. Follow the rest of the directions and swear your guests to never reveal where they were. I made that mistake. This is NOT a hot/spicy mix, but I did get yelled at for not making it the following year.
Please enjoy.
Carlos in Lakewood, Ca.

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By (Guest Post) 10/27/2008

I was told by a friend that most people don't know that a dry turkey is caused by the stuffing inside. Most people stuff there turkeys with dried breadcrumbs thats is a no no. A stuffed turkey should have moist bread chunks right out of the bag like you would normally eat a sandwhich with. Mix your sage and onions with your bread and stuff it in. Next cover your turkey with heavy foil with the shiny side in at 325degrees for 22 minutes per pound.
My turkeys always come out tender with lots of gravy and I never baste it.

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By Jen Hummell 7 22 10/27/2008

We do turkey on a can just like you would a chicken. We love it!!

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By Ashley (Guest Post) 10/27/2008

Brining and cooking in a bag are good ideas, but your turkey will still be dry if you overcook it. Use a kitchen thermometer and take the temperature in the thickest part if the breast - not touching any bone. Cook to 160 degrees and then take it out! At this temperature, you have killed all pathogens but still have a moist, juicy bird. Going by time alone will not give you an accurate temp and can be dangerous. I like to season mine with a seasoning salt also.

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By Dorothy from Edmonton (Guest Post) 10/27/2008

I do the Emily Barnes -style of turkey cooking: Season, stuff as usual, then put in a covered roaster and cook at 400 or so for about 1 hour. Add some water or stock at this point and turn your oven down to 250 or 275 and slow-cook (still covered) for 12 hours, give or take. I may baste once or twice. I usually put the turkey in on Saturday night in order to serve it for Sunday dinner. When the turkey is done, remove it from the juices, cut up and place on serving dish. Make gravy from the drippings, adding stock and/or bouillon powder to taste. Be sure to cook stock from the bones, make casseroles, Turkey-a-la-King, pot pie, turkey salad, etc., etc. from the leftovers. I recently read that French chefs make a second batch of stock from the same bones, then boil it down to reduce it and concentrate the flavors. That worked very well and you seldom need to buy any stock. Good luck!

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By Grandma J 54 1,041 10/27/2008

NEVER thaw your turkey at room temp. Use the fridge, I use the cold water method, changing it often. It is bad enough when bacteria comes from the processor plant, much less create environment for it carelessly.

I make the turkey a week to a couple days prior to use.
Read the end of what I do-

I thaw the turkey safely, clean it well inside and out. Some processor plants don't remove all the insides. I use a roaster pan a bit larger than the turkey. They say Breast Down is the best, I tuck it in back down. I don't stuff my turkeys. My dressing is in a separate dish.
Anyway, I olive oil rub down the turkey, use some rubbed sage, rosemary, basil mix and smear that over the bird breast. I use kosher salt--larger crystals make for easier cooking and knowing how much got there. Touch of pepper. Then I add 2-3 cups of water to the pan and seal it with foil. I buy the large sized heavier foil for things like this. Tent it but SEAL edges and tuck into the oven and forget it for about 3 hours. I do not baste.

Take out, remove the juice to a kettle for your gravey making, dressing broth. Freeze if you do not use it for use another time. Take the time to cook it down first if space is a problem.
If you have the pop up timer, use that. Or use the meat thermometer. 3 hours on 350 for a 12-14 pound turkey is just about right.

I carve or cut it into slices, put the dark separately from the white. I pour the broth from cooking or a couple cans of canned broth over each kind of turkey and pop them into the freezer (I use tupperware). The extra broth seeps into the meat and makes for really tender. I take it out the night before needed and thaw in fridge--dump each kind of meat into the crockpots for easy heat/keeping hot, including the extra broth frozen in.

I am the keeper of the turkeys for all family functions. They love the flavor and juiciness.
Extra info--I save all broth/stock and for holiday dining, I use samplings of many kinds of frozen stock in the gravy. Ham, beef, chicken, turkey. Makes the most delicious gravy no that can't be traced back to one flavor.

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By Barbara Jean 2 24 10/28/2008

I do the brine it is really the best way to go and your turkey will be very moist. Then I have a turkey injector and I will either buy some all ready made up or make up my on enjector sauce that is usually melted butter onion juice garlic juice sometimes wine there are so many recipes for you to use just go on line and you will find a ton of recipes for you to enject into the turkey and you will have the most flaforful turkey you will ever have tasted The brine which is salt and water will make your turkey moist and tender

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By Kim (Guest Post) 10/28/2008

Cook your turkey in a cooking bag upside down with an onion. The onion gives moisture but doesn't taste like an onion. Cooking it upside down will keep the juice in the meat.

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By cecii (Guest Post) 10/28/2008

First stuff it with your favorite stuffing this helps to keep moisture in then cover with butter or margarine and also strips of pork bacon over the entire turkey. Wrap tin foil over it too and cook as usual. Just before it is nearly done take the foil off the turkey so that it can get brown.

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By Barbara Snyder 13 98 10/28/2008

yes you can do the stuffing if you want I do the giblet and sausage stuffing and then put butter or marg all over special in between the wings and stuff then wrap in cheesecloth turn upside down and pour chicken broth all over it man is that good honey it falls off the bone also don't forget to turn if over the last 30 minutes to brown it on top. Enjoy your turkey

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By DeedainSeattle (Guest Post) 10/28/2008

For two years I've used Safeway.com's 2-hr turkey recipe--it's great and foolproof, as it was tested by Sunset magazine. You start w/ a thawed-in-fridge turkey on a rack at 475 degrees (!) and turn it down to 400, using a thermometer. I do substitute half butter to coat the turkey instead of all olive oil as they recommend, and I smear it beneath the skin of the breast meat especially. I also use more than just salt and pepper to season the bird.

It's always come out very juicy and falling apart, even the breast meat, though you could roast it w/ the breast down and it would be even juicier! I do tend the pull the hindquarters off (drum and thigh) and the joint is a bit pink, so I microwave them for an extra 2-3 minutes. It's worth it, plus the time you save--it usually is more like SIX hours, and it could still be dry!

I don't like the bag method, as it's soft, yes, but not crispy, juicy, and firm--plus it's more attractive to present to guests at the table! Good luck!

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By LEONA LABINE 46 398 10/28/2008

I cook my turkeys and chickens the same way.
First, once the turkey is thawed rinse the inside and stuff the bird. Make your stuffing out of fresh bread not dried crumbs.
Put the turkey in an appropriate size roasting pan with 1 cup of water.
Bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees, then turn the oven down to 300 degrees and continue to bake for 10 minutes per pound.
For example if your turkey is 15 pounds, bake it for 1 hour at 400 degrees, then turn the temperature down to 300 degrees for 150 minutes( 15 lbs x 10 minutes)more.
Your turkey or chicken will always be juicy and tender

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By Karen. (Guest Post) 10/29/2008

Every year everyone brags on such a moist turkey I have. I inject mine the day before I cook it with zesty Italian dressing. It has a wonderful taste and is very moist.

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By (Guest Post) 10/29/2008

Try brining your turkey for 12-24 hrs before cooking. Be sure to rinse you turkey well before cooking. We've done this for the last 10 yrs. Everyone loves it.

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By Gypsy Artist 2 15 11/08/2008

I no longer stuff my turkey to keep it moist. I find it stays moister if I do what a friend taught me... stuff the cavity with cut up lemons and oranges, sqeezing some of the juice over the turkey. I also do what my stepmom did... I put an aluminum foil tent on the bird for most of the roasting time. I take off the tent about 30-45 minutes before cooking time is over. Also, I baste the hell out of my bird every 45 minutes to an hour that it's in the oven.

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By jeana1346 (Guest Post) 11/21/2008

MY grandma did this. I put raw bacon all over the turkey and that will baste it for you and when your done my gang eats the crisp bacon also I never stuff my turkey. I put my stuffing in the slow cooker and don't have to mess with digging out of the turkey and it is so much easier and only takes an hour or so to cook depending on you slow cooker

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By jeana 11/21/2008

Put raw bacon all over the turkey it baste and keeps it moist.

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By jeana 11/21/2008

I don't ever stuff my turkey it takes to long to cook for one and I hate trying to get stuffing out. I cook my stuffing in slo cooker and it does great. cooks in less time.

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By Cherie W. (Guest Post) 11/24/2008

Use a brine, you go on foodnetwork.com, there are all sorts of recipes for brines, using beer, or apple cider vinegar etc. Then also do not put the stuffing inside the turkey, the dry stuffing absorbs all the mositure from your turkey. Last but not least if your turkey still gets dry, slice up an onion. Put the sliced onion and a few ice cubes in the pan with your turkey, put it back in the oven for about 20 min. It will definetly add moisutre back to your bird.

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Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

Archive: Keep Your Turkey Moist

If you bake your stuffing in another dish, you can make the turkey stay moist by placing an apple inside while baking.

By Gladys Hill

RE: Keep Your Turkey Moist

Baste your Thanksgiving turkey with it's own juices every 30 minutes to keep it moist.

By Robin from Washington, IA (11/17/2005)

By ThriftyFun

RE: Keep Your Turkey Moist

I heard that you are not supposed to baste your turkey very often due to having to open the oven door too much and it also does not help keep the turkey moist anyways. (11/21/2006)

By Amber S.

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