If you've ever had turkey at a thanksgiving dinner, but found it dry or bland, then this article may help you understand why. Sometimes it is simply down to the flavoring they used, but often it is down to the way the turkey was cooked – either it was not properly ordered, or often enough, or it was cooked at the wrong temperature.
Some people mistakenly cook a turkey at too high a temperature, and keep it in for far too long – this can leave you with a turkey that is very dry and over cooked. While this has a less than ideal taste, it is better than the alternative – an undercooked turkey, and food poisoning.
The Right Way to Cook a Turkey
In general, turkeys should be cooked at 325 degrees. Preheat the oven, and then keep everyone away from it – especially inquisitive children who could be inclined to try to play with the knobs! Try not to open the oven door without it is time to baste the turkey, as this lets out the heat, and slows down the cooking process.
You can rely on the cooking directions to get an idea of how long the turkey should take to cook, but if you have a meat thermometer this is even better. Insert it into the deepest part of the turkey to check the temperature. A turkey is fully cooked when the meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. If it is anything less than this, put the turkey back in for a bit longer, as you could risk giving your guests food poisoning if you serve up an undercooked turkey, and food poisoning is most certainly not fun!