Let’s Talk :: How To Cook The Perfect Turkey

DSC_0417It has been my second year cooking a turkey on my own and I am happy to say they both came out great.  But…not quite spectacular.  Both years I have followed The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook directions.  The main concept is that you cook the turkey breast side down for about an hour and flip it over and cook the breast side up for the remaining cooking time to ensure even cooking. 

This year I also decided to try brining the turkey.  It was not as complicated as I had imagined.  I purchased a styrofoam ice chest, filled it with water, salt, the turkey, and ice (according to same cookbook directions).  To prepare the turkey, all I did was butter under the skin and on the outside.  I also watched the turkey while it cooked and kept the pan filled with chicken stock.  When I tried it, it tasted fine.  Nothing fantastic.  But then when I tasted someone else’s turkey, mine stood out as much more moist. 

So the question is, what was it?

The flipping.

The brining.

The chicken stock.

The combination of all three???

I do not know.  So I reach out to all of you…

How do you make the perfect turkey?  What are your tricks?  How can I add extra taste?  Spill it.

Oh, and in my frugal ways, I of course have another $8 turkey in the freezer to try out in a few months once we get through this first one and give my husband a turkey break.  I would love to hear your opinions and try it out on this second one and update you all on the outcome!