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Roasting the turkey: what's more precise than "30 minutes at 500?"

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Roasting the turkey: what's more precise than "30 minutes at 500?"

Modemac | Nov 6, 2012 02:43 AM

Like everyone else, I'm trying to go for a so-called "perfect" Thanksgiving turkey, with juicy meat and a crisp brown skin. Last night I tried my turkey method on a 7-pound chicken and it tasted terrific, though the skin wasn't crisp and golden. Thanks to a good brine I've nailed the "moist" part, but I'm still working on getting a good golden brown color for the skin. A lot of roast turkey recipes call for a roast at high heat to brown the skin, then lowering the temperature to properly cook it. However, all of these recipes (even Alton Brown) are vague with the initial high temperature roast, as they just say "roast at 450 or 500 degrees for 30 minutes, then turn down the oven temperature to 350." Now, there's a real difference between roasting a 12 pound turkey at 500, roasting a twenty pound turkey at 500, or even roasting a 7-pound chicken at 500. Is there a more exact method for the initial roast to brown the skin?

tl;dr: How many minutes per pound should I roast the turkey at 500 to get a crisp brown skin?

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