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How to Cook The Perfect Turkey

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Thanksgiving is almost here, so let’s talk turkey! How will you cook your Thanksgiving turkey? Traditional oven-roasted, slow cooker, electric roasted, Instant Pot, smoked, or grilled? 

The turkey is the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving feasts, but why not break from tradition and cook your turkey differently this year? Last year I cooked our turkey in my infrared cooker, and it was easy, and the best part was it did not take up any oven space.

I am trying something different this year. This year I am contemplating trying a slow cooker (crock-pot) recipe, smoked turkey, or maybe both. I gathered some great how-to prepare turkey recipes ideas from some of the best food bloggers anywhere.

10 Ways to Cook The Perfect Turkey 

I remember my Mother getting up before dawn on Thanksgiving to cook a 23-pound Butterball Turkey. She used a turkey baster and was tied to the oven all day, setting the timer and opening the oven and basting the turkey repeatedly. The huge turkey took up all the open space, so it was a turkey circus trying to cook all the sides. For this reason, I love the non-traditional turkey cooking methods.

Apple Cider Sage Turkey

This amazing Apple Cider Sage Turkey Brine recipe results in a moist, flavorful turkey! Katie from Good Life Eats shares her turkey cooking method for a beautiful centerpiece turkey that is moist. Her turkey cooking secret is her turkey brine (apple cider turkey brine), and she has some easy to follow turkey instructions to achieve her results.

Apple Cider Sage Thanksgiving Turkey Brine

Apple Cider Sage Thanksgiving Turkey Brine

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Roast Turkey in an Electric Roaster Easy Recipe

Julie answers all your questions about how to cook a turkey in a roaster from Taste of Lizzy T. This turkey cooking method leaves your oven available for those side dishes your guests are going to rave over. Julie answers your questions: how do you make herb butter for turkey? Also, how do you prepare a turkey for roasters? Most importantly, what temperature to roast a turkey?

Electric Roaster Thanksgiving Turkey

Electric Roaster Thanksgiving Turkey

Slow Cooker Whole Turkey

How to cook your Thanksgiving turkey in a crockpot is a great question since I am very interested in trying this turkey cooking method. Easy crockpot turkey is Julie’s from The Litte Kitchen’s specialty recipe. You can free up your oven and just set it up, switch it on, and then walk away. That is my Thanksgiving dream come true! Hint: I will prepare veggies and the turkey rub the day before.

Slow Cooker - Crock Pot Whole Turkey

Slow Cooker – Crock Pot Whole Turkey

Dry Brined – Fried Turkey Without Oil

This method cooks wonderful turkey with a crispy outside and juicy inside. So you ask, is this recipe sent from heaven? Sharon shares Oil-less turkey fryer recipes from Grits, and Pine Cones (yes, she is Southern like me) is the dry brine turkey frying (oil-less) expert. Those Southerners can and will fry anything, according to Sharon. She used an infrared cooker.

Dry Brined Oil Less Fried Turkey

Dry Brined Oil-Less Fried Turkey

Instant Pot Turkey Whole Turkey

If you are lucky and have an Instant Pot, then cooking your Thanksgiving turkey will be a breeze. Angelia from Bacon is Magic (I agree) shares all you need to know about cooking a whole turkey in an Instant Pot. Her 8-pound turkey cooked in 48 minutes. That is definitely not the old school method for turkey cooking!

Instant Pot Turkey

Instant Pot Turkey

Note: Save this post on Pinterest HERE.

Grilled Tuscan Style Turkey

Grilling a Thanksgiving turkey, you ask? Why yes, Annemarie from Just a Little Bit of Bacon shares how to prepare a turkey for the gill. She uses the spatchcock method; thus, she warns takes some strong kitchen shears! Annmarie shares her secret tips to getting that perfect grilled turkey (I am trying this one) on the grill.

Tuscan Style Grilled Turkey

Tuscan Style Grilled Turkey

Tuscan Style Grilled Turkey Served with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes

Tuscan Style Grilled Turkey Served with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes

How to Smoke a Whole Turkey for Thanksgiving

Whole Smoked Turkey

Whole Smoked Turkey

Smoking your Thanksgiving turkey will leave your oven open all day. Michelle from Blackberry Babe has been smoking her turkeys for 15 years, and she knows how to smoke a prize-winning whole turkey. She points out the difference between turkey brines (dry vs. wet), and she shares all her tricks to get a perfectly cooked turkey on a grill. I would love to have this smoker for my turkey.

Deep-Fried Cajun Turkey

Deep frying a turkey for Thanksgiving is another method to cook your turkey outside (this would be my hubby’s task), leaving your oven, counter, and table free for other important Thanksgiving dishes. Michelle from Blackberry Babe shares the easier way to cook a turkey in a turkey fryer. Michelle likes to inject the turkey with her special injector recipe blend to add extra flavor and to guarantee the moistest turkey ever.

Deep Fried Turkey

Deep-Fried Turkey

3 Secrets To Perfect Roast Turkey

If you are using your oven to roast your Thanksgiving turkey, you can have a perfectly cooked turkey with Chellie from Art From My Table’s three secrets for turkey roasting. Chellie is taking that old school method to new heights with her secrets to cooking the turkey in the oven to be moist!

The Perfect Turkey

The Perfect Turkey

How to Cook a Turkey

If this is your first time cooking a turkey or if it’s twentieth time cooking a turkey Tonia from The Gunny Sack has all the answers to your questions. She has a guide for figuring how much turkey you need to prepare per person. How to thaw a frozen turkey is another frequently asked question. Are you wondering how long to cook a turkey, then you will want to printout her cooking guide? She has an instructional video showing how to carve a turkey. Tonia’s post is a great resource to have on hand.

Turkey Sliced on Platter

Turkey Sliced on Platter

Best Way to Cook a Turkey

Everyone has different ideas of the best way to cook their Thanksgiving, Turkey, so the best way is the way that fits your need and desire. I like the idea of trying something new every year. Break from tradition and mix it up this year!

Hint: If you purchase a frozen turkey, start making room in your freezer and grab one on sale. If you are cooking a fresh turkey, make room in your refrigerator (fresh turkey can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks) so you have space when you bring home the turkey.

Apple Desserts: You might want to add one of these delicious fresh apple desserts to your Thanksgiving feast.

Want a Stress-Free Holiday Season?

Want to enjoy all the holiday season has to offer, but it all seems overwhelming? Join me as we enjoy a stress-free holiday season with a ton of inspiration, money-saving ideas for decorating, gift-giving, and so much more. Join HERE! And have the best of everything this holiday.

Thank you for your visit today. I hope you found some sweet inspiration. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?

Merry Christmas,


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