Tips to Add Flavor to Your Turkey



Flavor Tips
• I always baste the turkey with real butter, either by taking a stick of butter and rubbing it completely over the whole turkey once the bird is been in the oven and is warm so the butter melts, this not only results in a very golden looking turkey but the taste if the skins and turkey is so very good. I also put some butter inside of the cavity of the bird and also salt and pepper the inside of the bird. (Submitted by Dennis R.)

• Late in the cooking of my turkey, as all the juices from the bird bubbling , I add some seasonings and a little butter right before its done I use my injector to suck up the juices and I inject into thigh and breast, the turkey comes out very good every time, juicy and tender and loads of flavor. It does not let the juices out and when the turkey rests, it evenly distributes the juice. That's my tip. (Submitted by John B.)

• Cover the turkey with bacon while it is cooking. Not only will the bacon create rich gravy but it will keep the skin of the turkey from getting too brown while cooking. (Submitted by Gretchen S.)

• Melt 2 cubes of butter, pour over turkey, cover with heavy duty aluminum foil, add 2-3 cups water to the roasting pan, and then base as needed while roasting turkey. (Submitted by Grace I.)

• I always use a roasting bag to cook my turkey in, it cuts the cooking time and makes the turkey moist and juicy. I add olive oil, minced garlic, sage, melted butter, onions, bay leaf, and an orange or lemon inside the cavity. Lather the olive oil, garlic, butter, salt and pepper on the skin. Place your herbs under the skin to even add more flavor. (Submitted by Cathy V.)

• Put butter or margarine or spice under the breast skin before cooking your turkey. It will make the breast meat taste wonderful. (Submitted by Stewart A.)

• Brine that bird! The best way to keep a turkey from being desert dry is to soak it (no more than 24 hrs) in a brine - salt, sugar, your choice of whole spices (ginger, peppercorns, allspice berries). Not only does it keep it from drying out, but it infuses wonderful flavor to the meat! (Submitted by Helen R.)

• Brine your turkey overnight in 2 quarts of strong sweetened iced tea (I use decaffeinated English Breakfast tea made extra strong) with three large cloves of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of Aleppo Pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, one large sweet onion finely minced, and 1/4 cup fresh sage or two teaspoons of dried sage stirred into the tea. Place turkey in extra large freezer bag, pour brine over bird and leave in refrigerator for 12-24 hours prior to draining and cooking the turkey using your favorite holiday turkey recipe. The cooked turkey will be extra tender and juicy when cooked and served. (Submitted by Beverley P.)

• Always pour a combination of Coke a Cola (any brand) and a bottle of regular beer over the bird after seasoning it. This combined with a little butter and olive oil will make a crisp delicious skin like you won't believe! Try it; it is great and proven for over 30 years in my kitchen at home each year! (Submitted by Denis T.)

• One of the easiest ways to season and guarantee a moist and flavorful turkey is to: Pull the bags of parts out of the birds cavity and wash bird completely inside and out. Chop up extra herbs/seasonings and mix with either freshly chopped pineapple (canned will do also) and in bird's cavities, and close the flap with a string or toothpick. Pour the pineapple juice over the outside of the turkey and then season with your normal spices. Cover the bird and bake not only does the pineapple and herbs simmer and set the flavor inside and out and create a very moist bird, it is also healthier than lubing the bird with butter or oil. (Submitted by Paige Elizabeth R.)

• Use vegetable oil instead of butter on the skin as the butterfat in the butter could burn. Add your herbs and oil under the skin so it doesn't fall off and makes the meat taste better instead of just flavoring the skin. Then baste the skin so it doesn't dry out. (Submitted by Laura B.)

• Loosen the skin and rub herb butter under it. Stuff it with apples and spices. (Submitted by Cathy C.)

• Stuff your turkey with sauerkraut! Drain the kraut first and stuff without packing it in too tight. It gives the meat a great flavor and the gravy is to die for. My in-laws have done this for many years and I continue the tradition. (Submitted by Sandra F.)

• Inject butter under the skin of the turkey and put a stick of butter inside of it (Submitted by Leigh Z.)

• Fill the cavity of your holiday turkey with onions and celery to keep it moist from the inside out. Before carving the turkey remove & discard the onions and celery. It adds flavor and moisture. (Submitted by Michelle C.)

• My seasoning is a ginger soy garlic mixture which I rub over the meat (under the skin). Then I slice a lemon in half, squeeze it under the skin and put the lemon halves under the breasts. The result is unbelievable moist meat and the lemon booby bird makes everyone laugh! (Submitted by Karen A.)

• I nearly coat my turkey and turkey breast with Frank's Red Hot, Lea and Perrin's, and use plenty of fresh ground black pepper; a light sprinkle of sea salt and it always gets rave reviews. Casual observers expect it to be unpleasantly hot, when they observe the complete coating with the Frank's Red Hot, but the meat will be perfectly seasoned. (Submitted by Myron T.)

• Melt butter with smashed garlic cloves, fresh sage, rosemary and thyme. Just to infuse. Strain - load syringe and inject everywhere in the turkey EVERYWHERE!!!! Under the breast skin, place fresh whole sage and flat leaf parsley leaves. Place fresh rosemary branches between the legs and the breast, stuff and truss the bird. Rub EVOO all over the turkey and roast as usual. Ends up with the most flavorful moist and beautiful looking bird. So pretty you don't want to carve it. Golden brown skin like stained glass with the sage and parsley showing thru. This technique has never failed me. Been handed down thru generations, and the sausage and chestnut stuffing, an Italian treat to be sure. (Submitted by Desiree D.)

• How I make my turkey I always season it the night before, add about 8 bacon strips crisscrossing over on top of the turkey and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day when I am ready to roast it, first, place it in the oven at a pre-heated temperature of 400 F degrees for about half an hour, then lower it to 350 F, basting it every half an hour or so and then the turkey will be very moist and so tasty! The last 40 minutes of baking I uncover the turkey so it gives it a nice crispy outside and tender and delicious inside. (Submitted by Ida O.)

• Melt butter and put some crushed garlic in it. Then coat the inside of the turkey generously with the butter garlic mix. Also put the butter garlic mix in your stuffing. Yummy! (Submitted by William J.)

• When turkey is in pan ready to go in the oven, rub entire bird with olive oil. Cover all exposed parts of bird with thick cut bacon & secure with toothpicks. Cover with foil and roast at 325 F degrees. NO basting needed ever. An hour before the turkey is finished, take it out of the oven and remove & reserve the bacon. Finish roasting uncovered, it browns beautifully. Gravy from these drippings is most incredible you'll ever have and the bacon makes amazing BLT sandwiches. (Submitted by Charles B.)

• I brine my fresh or pre frozen turkey every year. The secret is to brine. I use the basics such as kosher salt, citrus (orange, lemon. Limes, including the peel) or all the above. Pepper corns, brown sugar, bay leaf, thyme, and rosemary. After brining for three days in water, ingredients, and ice. I rinse the brine off and pat dry. I cover with olive oil and place a little kosher salt to create a brown crust. I then stuff the cavity with onions, celery, carrots, parsnips, garlic, and rosemary and then place a tent over it for several hours while cooking (per package instructions) and the last hour I remove the tent and it creates a picture perfect, Rockwell-moist Turkey. If it does not brown enough just use butter. (Submitted by Brian D.)

• Always moisten your turkey with butter, margarine or oil, Baste your turkey every hour and after you take it out1! (Submitted by Norma O.)

• While roasting your turkey, to add extra flavor to the bird, thinly slice a granny smith apple and place it under the breast skin then add your favorite sliced bacon to cover the skin of the bird. It will give the bird an added boost of flavor (Submitted by Dan P.)

• I dredge cheesecloth in butter and put it on the turkey, then a loose foil tent over the pan. The cheesecloth comes off a half hour before the turkey is done cooking. This makes the meat tender, juicy and it gets nice and crisp for the folks who like the skin. (Submitted by Connie M.)

• Mix your seasonings into your basting ingredients this way the flavor will spread throughout the meat.... (Submitted by Deborah B.)

• When preparing your turkey, stuff cavity with onion, bell pepper, 2-3 slices of lean bacon, garlic, and green onions all rough chopped. Cook inside turkey for the first 1hr to 1 1\2 hrs. Drain the 2/3 the juice from the turkey pan. Remove the veggies stuff the turkey with your dressing. Wrap it in bacon. Finish cooking it. Chop the veggies some more and add it to your favorite sides (potatoes, squash medley, or green beans etc.) Use the drained juice instead of water for your sides or make a delicious gravy or broth with it. (Submitted by Christopher R.)

• To enhance the flavor of your stuffing and to make sure the ingredients aren't crunchy, always sauté the veggies first in butter and then add chicken broth to veggies before adding the dry stuffing. Dressing can be placed inside turkey or separately in a casserole dish. (Submitted by Monica H.)

• Precook your turkey wrapped in foil overnight at 325. Before cooking inject with teriyaki, butter and salt, pepper, then after cooking on low overnight, baste him with butter an roast him that day about 2 hours before serving (Submitted by Jackie M.)

• Before you season your turkey rub it down with a good mustard then use the season you would use on the turkey. The mustard will give it a very pretty golden brown color and enhance the flavors of your turkey. (Submitted by Emery L.)

• I rub my turkey with a seasoned butter inside and outside the skin and fill the cavity with sliced oranges and rosemary sprigs. Then I roast my turkey in a preheated 500 degree oven for 20 minutes to produce a nice sear. I then reduce the temp to 350, tent the bird, and finish cooking. That produces a really juicy bird with great flavoring. (Submitted by Santa Kelly C.)

• Use a rack for your turkey & put cut celery stalks, cut carrots, quartered onions & water/stock/white wine (as preferred) into the pan. Stuff cavity with celery, onion, parsley/fresh herbs & citrus fruit. Tent bird to keep in moisture & flavor remove tent towards the end of cooking to brown bird & crisp skin. Use the strained cooking liquid & drippings for gravy. Adds so much more flavor you can't get otherwise. (Submitted by Rosalie C.)

• Coat chicken with olive oil and garlic slices sprinkle paprika, crushed red pepper flakes. (Submitted by Robert C.)

• Submerge thawed turkey in 2 cups brown sugar and1cup rock salt in enough water to cover the turkey(separate skin from meat w/hands, this will keep from skin coming hard) for 2 days in fridge. (I use plastic bucket) I use 1 chimney (charcoal starter) full briskets in kamado for 5 hrs. (do not cover turkey) (Submitted by Dennis Y.)

• No dressing in the cavity!! I place sliced citrus fruit, an apple, and a onion inside and squeeze some of the citrus juice on the outside before I oil the bird up. Start the bird at high temp 450F for about 30 minutes then down to 300F to 350F until temp is reached. This flavors the bird and keeps it moist. If you can splurge, purchase a fresh turkey (never frozen) from a butcher. (Submitted by Judy Y.)

• Roast some hatch green chilies and sliced onions sprinkled with salt and fresh ground pepper in parchment with the turkey for the last 45 minutes of cooking and it will add to the turkeys flavor and you'll have two wonderful side dishes. (Submitted by Jimmy B.)

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