I’ll need a meat thermometer…

Well, the big day is almost here. No, not Halloween. Thanksgiving. The big Turkey day. My first away from home. I am very excited about the prospects of the up-and-coming holiday, and recently I had a conversation with Jeff that went something like this:

“Hey Jeff, I want to host Thanksgiving.” – me

“OK. Cool.” -Jeff

“Hey, I think Jen and I are going to host Thanksgiving.” – Becca, who just had walked in.

“Oh.” – me (Disappointed because I wanted to cook the turkey)

“But, can you do the turkey? Please?” – Becca

“Um, sure, no problem.” – me (Internally screaming YES OF COURSE)

But now I had a problem. I had to make a turkey. I’ve never so much as thought about roasting a bird. But my friend K can do it, so if she can, I can. Thus, I came up with a six week plan.

Week 1: October 19-25

*Research types of recipes for roasted turkey

Week 2: October 26-November 1

*Practice roasting a chicken

Week 3: November 2-8

*Practice on a small-sized turkey

Week 4: Nov 9-15

*Whittle away recipes, choose favorite 1

Week 5: Nov 16-22

*Whittle away recipes, choose favorite 1, buy ingredients

Week 6: Nov 22-27

*Discuss with Becca how her oven cooks, lay out final plan, purchase turkey


Now I know that might seem a little ridiculous, but I want my first turkey to be delicious. So I am going to practice. I’ve bought a chicken for this week, and last week looked at some recipes. However today, I was researching a bit more, and I found this:

Number of Diners: 12.
Turkey Size (including leftovers): 16 to 18 pounds.
Thawing Time (for a frozen turkey): Refrigerator, 3 1/2 to 4 days; cool water (changed every half hour), 8 to 9 hours.
Roasting Time (unstuffed): Roast at 425° F for 45 minutes. Cover with foil, reduce temperature to 350° F, and continue to roast until a thigh registers 180° F, 2 1/2 to 3 hours total.”

This sounds harder than I originally thought. And that information is from “Real Simple.”

Real Simple also had this little trick: “Tip: Roast two small turkeys side by side rather than one extra-large bird. They’ll be done in almost half the time.”

I just might, Real Simple, I just might.

Meanwhile, I’d like to hear what you all think–what’s hard about cooking a turkey, what’s easy, what do I need to remember?

I already feel like I need to purchase a meat thermometer, and a baster. So I did some more probing on the website from Real Simple, and found out there are 7 things I should own to make a turkey. This might get expensive.

*Meat thermometer
*Roasting pan
*Roasting rack
*Carving board
*Carving set
*Gravy separator

Looks like I have some work to do…next up, “40 ways to Simplify Thanksgiving.” I can’t think of 10 things I’d need to do, let alone 40 things I’d want to make my life easier. Looks like I have some learning to do…


About sorellaaglio

I am 26. I love nature. I love trying new things, and I love children. I love cooking, baking, and sometimes even cleaning. I am an organized mess, and yet manage to eat three meals a day and get eight hours of sleep a night. If you stop by, I'll feed you and make you a mixed CD. Oh, and I am a fan of you.
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One Response to I’ll need a meat thermometer…

  1. mykindoftownchicago says:

    Ahem– you don’t actually need a baster. In my experience with roasting birds (and I have roasted a lot of them, for a 24 year old), it is better to let the bird cook on its own then it is to open up the oven ten times and squirt some juice on it.

    Also, a good idea is to use some tinfoil and tent it over the top of the bird/roasting pan–this locks in the juices.

    Another extremely important point of roasting is to ensure that you let the turkey rest for at least a half hour before cutting it–also locks in the juices.

    These are my wise points of bird roasting.

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