Turkey Tips

Turkey Tips

STORING

Grass Roots pasture-raised turkeys are frozen at the peak freshness as soon as they are harvested to preserve their quality. When it arrives, keep it frozen until ready to thaw.

THAWING

REFRIGERATOR: The fridge is the slowest but safest place to defrost. With this method, allow 24 hrs for every 4 to 5 lbs of turkey. So, if you have a 15 lb bird, you’ll need 3 full days to thaw. And don’t forget to place a baking sheet or tray underneath your turkey to capture any liquids.

COLD WATER BATH: If you have a big enough container or sink, you can also bathe your turkey until it thaws. Keep turkey in original packaging. This method is a bit faster but more labor intensive. You’ll need to submerge your turkey in cold water, and change the water every 30 minutes to keep it clean. It will take about 30 minutes per pound to defrost.

ROASTING WITH HERB BUTTER

Heat oven to 425°F and line large V rack with heavy duty foil and poke lots of holes in the foil. If you don’t have a V rack you can use a wire baking rack and rimmed baking sheet, but you might have to drain the baking sheet a couple times as you bake the turkey.

Remove turkey from fridge and set breast side up on baking sheet. Using your hands, carefully loosen skin from breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. Then using fingers, rub 2 to 3 tsp of an herb butter under skin of breast, thighs, and drumsticks.

Rub the rest of the herb butter inside the turkey cavity. Full recipe here.

To roast turkey, place it breast side down in V rack on the roasting pan. Roast for 45 minutes.

Remove the turkey from the oven and decrease oven temperature to 325°F. Using paper towels, rotate turkey so breast is up. Return to the oven and roast 1 to 2-1/2 hours longer until the thickest part of the breast registers 160°F and thickest part of the thigh registers 170-175°F.

Remove turkey from oven and let rest for 30 minutes. Carve and serve.

BRINING

Dry or wet brine? Whichever you choose, brining is a great way to infuse additional flavor.

DRY

TIMING: 1 to 2 days before you want to cook your turkey

INGREDIENTS: 4 tbs kosher salt | 1 tbs black pepper

PREP: Pat the turkey dry, both inside the cavity and all of the skin. Tuck the wing tips behind the neck bone and apply the dry brine rub. Apply a couple of teaspoons of the salt and pepper mixture into the cavity. Gently separate the skin from the breast meat and apply 2 teaspoons of the rub under the skin directly onto the meat. Apply the rest of the seasoning on the outer skin and allow it to sit uncovered in refrigeration for at least one day before roasting, smoking, grilling, or frying your turkey.

The turkey can be partially frozen when you apply this rub—a perfect solution for folks who miscalculate their thaw time or are looking to consolidate their turkey treatment steps.

WET

TIMING: Start brining 4 to 6 hrs before you want to cook your turkey

INGREDIENTS: 3 cups kosher salt | 1/2 cup brown sugar | 2 gallons water PREP: Dissolve the salt and sugar in a large stock pot or clean bucket. If you have a hankering for a little extra flavor, add your favorite dry spices or fresh herbs. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. Pat dry, then it’s ready to cook.

The turkey needs to be fully submerged in the brine, so using a cooler can work well.