Picking Your Poultry:
- Start early: reserve your turkey ahead of time to make sure you get your pick of the flock.
- Weigh your options and try to get fresh: Go for turkeys that allow at least one to one-and-a-half pounds per person. At Whole Foods Market, fresh turkeys are raised to reach the perfect size just before the holiday season, then processed and stored so you get the juiciest, most flavorful meat possible.
- Consult your butcher: When it doubt, your butcher is your best friend. From organic to heritage turkeys, there are a lot of options to choose from. Your butcher can help you pick the perfect bird for your gathering.
- Factor in defrosting time: For the best results, your turkey should be as close to room temperature as possible before roasting. Frozen turkeys take about 24 hours per five pounds of meat to thaw in the fridge. Extra tip — you can save on time with a fresh turkey!
- Brining is the way to go: Brining makes for a tender, juicy bird. Whole Foods Market's 365 Everyday Value brine kit and adaptable basic brine recipe are two great picks for first-timers.
- Instructions: They are your friend – each bird tends to cook differently, so follow instructions carefully.
- Check for doneness: Use a meat thermometer to test the thickest part of the thigh, not touching bone. When it registers 165 °F, the turkey’s ready. If you stuff your turkey, plan for an extra 5 top 7 minutes cooking time per pound.
- Rest: A key thing to remember when your turkey is done is to let it sit for 30 minutes before carving so the juices can redistribute. This locks in moisture and makes for smooth slicing.