Top 10 Turkey Tools
The mission, should you choose to accept it: Prepare a turkey for five to 10 of your closest friends and family. No dry, overdone birds need apply — you’re hoping for a juicy delicious main course that will have guests “oohing” and “ahhing.” Flying solo is a risky endeavor and could result in an under- or over-done bird, hungry guests and a panicked call to the local pizza parlor. Fear not: we give you a list of must-have basics and cooking extras, so your dinner doesn’t stand a chance of running “a-fowl.”
- Don’t be a birdbrain. These tools are must-haves to cook a turkey.
- 1. Roaster. The smartest purchase you’ll make this season? A high-quality roaster. This baby is not only key for cooking turkeys but a go-to for a whole host of other dishes (Cornish game hens, pot roast, lasagna). For maximum results choose a stainless steel or ceramic version that’s non-stick and dishwasher safe. Snag a roaster with a v-rack so your bird isn’t sitting in its own drippings.
- 2. Thermometer. Keeping abreast of your turkey’s temp is the key to success. Purchase a classic analog thermometer, or go hi-tech with a digital version that also sports an alarm.
- 3. Carving Set. A basic carving set is nice, but make serving up your feast quick and easy with an electric carving knife.
- 4. Laurel. if your roaster doesn’t have a v-rack, you can place your turkey on a heat-resistant, silicone laurel to keep it from simmering in nasty fats or sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- 5. Baster. This nifty basic lets you juice up your bird to keep it moist. Make sure to purchase a baster that comes with brush to make cleaning a cinch.
Next Level Tools:
- These tools take turkey roasting beyond the basics.
- 1. Flavor Injector. A flavor injector lets you fill your bird with seasoning and marinades from the inside out.
- 2. Turkey Lacer. Those who like to cook stuffing inside the bird will need this safe and sanitary rope to keep odds and ends from spilling out. No sewing skills necessary.
- 3. Turkey Lifter. Getting the bird to the serving tray is no easy feat. A turkey lifter can get it there with as much grace as possible. If you have a roaster with a v-rack or are in love with using a laurel, opt for a set of lifters (they look like giant forks). Otherwise, you can use a cook-and-serve version that fits directly into your roasting pan.
- 4. Brine and Bag. The secret to your cousin Mabel’s tender, juicy and downright delicious turkey is brining. You don’t need to be a master chef to follow in her footsteps, just snag a brine kit (a mix of tasty seasonings) and bags.
- 5. Fryer. In the last few years, frying turkeys has been a way to mix up the standard holiday feast. The end result is a bird that’s juicy on the inside and crisp on the outside. To avoid the danger of dropping a giant bird into a vat of hot oil, use a state-of-the-art electric turkey fryer.