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How to Roast a Turkey

How to Roast a Turkey

Once you’ve chosen your Thanksgiving turkey recipe and selected your bird, it’s time to think about cooking. If you’re using a specific recipe, you can follow the instructions outlined in the directions—but if you’re keeping it simple, here are some all-purpose guidelines to successful turkey roasting every time.

Your Roasting Pan

For best results, roast your turkey on a wire rack in an open roasting pan. Because of the turkey’s weight, a sturdy pan with good handles is recommended. Should you decide to use a foil roasting pan, double it for extra strength and take special care when transferring it into and out of the oven. Keep these rules in mind when picking a pan to fit the size of your turkey.

 

  • Up to 12 pounds: 14″ x 10″ x 2 3/4″ high (small)
  • Up to 16 pounds: 15 3/4″ x 12″ x 3″ high (medium)
  • Up to 20 pounds: 16″ x 13″ x 3″ high (large)

Your Turkey

First, Bring Your Bird to Room Temp

Your turkey will cook more evenly and faster if you start it out at room temperature so remove the turkey from the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting. If you plan to stuff your turkey, wait until you’re ready to put it in the oven before putting the stuffing in the turkey.

Figure out Your Bird’s Time & Temperature

Creating a loose tent of aluminum foil over your turkey can keep the bird moist and avoid over-browning the skin. If you’re concerned about over-cooking, start roasting the bird with the foil for the first hour, then remove it for the remainder of the cooking time.

For an unstuffed turkey, start with an oven preheated to 400ºF. Here’s the trick: start roasting the bird breast side down for the first 45 minutes, then flip it breast side up and reduce the temperature to 325ºF to finish cooking. Since cooking times depend on the size of the turkey, use these guidelines.

 

  • 10 to 12 pounds: 2 1/2 to 3 hours
  • 12 to 14 pounds: 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 hours
  • 14 to 16 pounds:  3 to 3 3/4 hours
  • 16 to 18 pounds: 3 1/4 to 4 hours
  • 18 to 20 pounds: 3 1/2 to 4 1/4 hours
  • 20+ pounds: 3 3/4 to 4 1/2 hours

To ensure that a stuffed turkey cooks evenly, roast the bird slowly, breast side up, at 325ºF, covering the breast loosely with foil for the first two-thirds of the roasting time. Using the chart above, add about 30 minutes to the total cooking time for stuffed birds weighing 16 pounds or less, and about 1 hour for birds weighing more than 16 pounds.

 

Note: You can use this Digital Thermometer or Wireless Digital Meat Thermometer to test internal temperature of your turkey.

Test Your Turkey for Doneness

Turkey breast and thighs must reach different internal temperatures for ideal doneness. The breast should register 165ºF and the thigh, 175ºF. Begin testing for doneness about 30 minutes before the total roasting time is reached.

 

  • To test the breast: Using an instant-read thermometer, insert it into the meatiest part, several inches above the wings.
  • To test the thigh: Insert the instant-read thermometer away from the bone, alongside the opening of the main cavity underneath the drumstick. This is the meatiest part of the thigh.

The turkey will continue to cook internally after you remove it from the oven, so you may take it out when the thermometer registers 3-4ºF below the minimum temperature. Then cover the bird loosely with aluminum foil. If roasting a stuffed bird, be sure the stuffing reaches 165ºF.

Give It a Rest

After taking the turkey out of the oven, let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes. This allows time for some of the juices to be absorbed back into the meat, which makes it juicier and easier to carve.

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You need a digital thermometer? You can find it in our store

Moreover, only today we offer you a Special 10% Discount. Please use the coupon code: SKT10OFF on checkout page.   

    

 

Kitchen Facts You Didn’t Know

Kitchen Facts You Didn’t Know

A place for everything and everything in its place.  It’s one of those sayings – which, if you like a perfectly tailored kitchen to your needs, may be true.  Whether you have the most wonderfully organised and designed fitted kitchen, or one that needs a little more TLC, discover some interesting facts about the treasures that you can find in your trusty kitchen. And some points that you may not be so keen to read about.  Read on…

1. There’s more to your cutlery drawer. 

If you’ve always thought that cutlery just means a knife, fork and spoon you’d be wrong.  There is such a thing as a spork – a cross between a spoon and a fork.  In fact there’s even a splade – a spork with a blade.

2. Quick – there’s a spillage.

There’s nothing worse than an overspilling saucepan when you’re cooking pasta.  Trying to clean up dried boiled water after it has boiled over is not an easy task.  If you place either a wooden spoon or fork across the top of the pan, it will prevent any spillages.

3. No tears please – it’s only an onion.

There are several ways to avoid the dreaded tears when chopping up an onion.  Carefully cut your onion under cold running water.  Alternatively, try putting it in the freezer for a short while before chopping.  And once you’ve chopped your onion, use lemon juice to remove the smell from your hands.

4. Clever cheat to rid freezer smells.

This is a kind of a cheat as it involves the bedroom rather than the kitchen.  A sock filled with coffee granules can remove musty smells from a freezer.  Odd, but it works.  Obviously the sock needs to be clean… you don’t want to defeat the object!

5. Your kitchen – is it really the cleanest room in the house?

Most people think that the toilet is the most unhygienic place in your home but they are wrong.  The kitchen sink is the worst culprit, with over 100,000 times more germs than a bathroom or toilet.  Although it would be difficult to imagine eating near a toilet.

6. Think about your chopping board.

Did you know that the average chopping board has more than 200% more germs than the average toilet seat?  Keep your kitchen healthy – make sure you use separate boards for raw and cooked food.  Always wash after use with hot soapy water.  Also, glass boards are a lot more hygienic than wooden ones as they’re less likely to retain liquids.

7. The gadgets you simply had to have.

How many gadgets do you own?  Are you the proud owner of a melon baller, an avocado slicer or herb scissors?  A massive 87% of us own a kitchen necessity that we simply had to have – but never actually use.  This may possibly rank with the gym membership that was a great idea at the time…  What was that – you’re going next week?

8. Become a better friend with your oven.

Does your baking not go to plan?  Are you sure if you’re cooking your dishes correctly?  Invest in an oven thermometer to restore your faith in your oven.  No more baking disasters – well hopefully not.  One of the most useful kitchen gadgets.  Ever.  If you care for the temperature in your oven, you’re more likely to create a culinary masterpiece rather than a disaster!

9. Don’t waste the wine.

If you’ve had a great evening but haven’t quite finished off the wine bottle don’t waste it.  Pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze.  Perfect for using in sauces, waste not want not!

Why breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day if you want to stay slim

Why breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day if you want to stay slim

Those in search of a new weight loss plan are in luck. A major new study has revealed that eating a big breakfast, medium lunch and small dinner is the key to lowering your BMI. 

In one of the largest analyses of its kind, data from over 50,000 adults was collected by researches at California's Loma Linda University School of Public Health and in the Czech Republic. 

The nutritionists analysed the adults' eating habits and weight over a seven-year period. It found four factors that helped decrease BMI:

  1. Eating one or two meals per day
  2. Fasting for 18 hours
  3. Eating breakfast
  4. Making breakfast or lunch the largest meal of the day

The authors, whose research was released in the Journal of Nutrition, said: "Our results suggest that in relatively healthy adults, eating less frequently, no snacking, consuming breakfast, and eating the largest meal in the morning may be effective methods for preventing long-term weight gain."

Eating more than three meals per day, or snacking regularly, increases BMI. According to Dr Hana Kahleova, one of the authors of the study, the body is more likely to gain weight from eating  2,000 calories spread throughout the day, than in one sitting.

Eating a large breakfast has long been thought to help prevent weight gain. Professor Daniela Jakubowicz, author of The Big Breakfast Diet, found that those who piled on the calories in the morning were more likely to feel satisfied, preventing snacking throughout the day. And another study by Professor Jakubowicz found that eating chocolate in the morning, when our metabolism is at its best, was a surefire way to prevent cravings for sweet things later on.

Contrary to the common advice that a light meal should be eaten before 8pm, the new study found that skipping dinner altogether, and fasting for up to 18 hours overnight, was one of the biggest factors in losing weight. 

The study suggests that Jennifer Aniston's famous method of keeping her weight down, which consists of eating five small meals per day, might not work for everyone. 

How to brew the perfect cup of tea, according to the scientists.

How to brew the perfect cup of tea, according to the scientists.

Few subjects are more divisive than the correct brewing of tea, which remains our national drink: the British drink 165 million cups of the stuff each day, over 60 billion in a year.

There are many ways to achieve the perfect cup, which are much argued over. Everyone has a slightly different method, whether it's pouring the milk in first or at the end, adding sugar or not, or how long to brew it for. As George Orwell wrote in 1946, "the best manner of making it is the subject of violent disputes."

Now scientists think they have found the perfect method, and it involves a five-minute brew - not a second more or less - and drinking from a red or pink mug. 

During the first episode of the new season of Inside the Factory, which aired on BBC Two last night, Dr Stuart Farrimond, an expert tea maker, told presenter Cherry Healey how to brew the perfect cup. 

According to Dr Farrimond, the longer a tea is brewed for, the higher its caffeine and antioxidant content. A tea brewed for 30 seconds contained 35 milligrams of caffeine, while a five-minute brew increased the figure to 50 milligrams. Leaving the teabag in for the same period also doubled the antioxidant level. 

"Tea is a great source of antioxidants and these are natural substances that our body uses to help fight disease so it is important you leave it to brew", says Dr Farrimond. 

Dr Farrimond cited four golden rules of tea. They are:

  1. Never drink from a Styrofoam cup, which absorbs the flavour
  2. Use a red or pink mug, which makes the drink taste sweeter 
  3. Filter the water, which removes calcium and magnesium residue, preventing scum from forming 
  4. Brew for five minutes

With so many tea-brewing methods, what do other experts say? 

Be patient 

In 2011 a study at the University of Northumbria found that it took eight minutes to make a proper tea. After eight minutes, the tea's temperature drops to 60C, the right heat to experience all the flavours at their most palatable.

The method involves adding boiling water to a teabag in a mug for two minutes before removing the bag and adding milk for six minutes. But the researchers stressed it was crucial not to wait too long, 17 and a half minutes to be exact, as the tea will drop to 45C, which will damage the flavour. 

The 11-rule guide

Author George Orwell was a tea obsessive. In January 1946, Britain still reeling from the war, he published an 11-step guide to brewing the perfect comfort drink in the Evening Standard.

He insisted on taking the teapot to the kettle rather than the other way around, and encouraged tea-drinkers to avoid sugar, which destroyed the drink's flavour. "You could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water", he quipped.

And what of the divisive tea or milk first debate? Tea was always first for Orwell. "I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable."

The Yorkshire Tea method

Yorkshire folk often claim to being the best tea brewers in the land. So how do they do it? 

According to Yorkshire Tea, it's fairly simple. The first step is running the tap, to aerate it and allow more oxygen to get in. After popping a teabag into your mug, add the boiling water and stir it briefly. Four to five minutes is the recommended wait time. The teabag should be squeezed, lightly, before removal. 

Afterwards, it's up to you whether to add sugar, milk, honey or lemon. 

Like Orwell, Yorkshire Tea supports the tea-before-milk method. Tea is best brewed in hot water, and the milk only serves to cool it down unnecessarily if added before the drink is properly brewed.

The classic method

It involves making your own teabag, by adding loose leaf tea to empty bags. Precision is key when boiling the water, and the recipe recommends keeping the temperature at exactly 96C. 

After brewing your tea in a pot, covered by the tea cosy of course, the teabag should be removed, to prevent the tea becoming overly bitter. No stirring or squeezing is suggested in this method. 

As for the tea cup, it has to be porcelain. 

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George Orwell, A Nice Cup of Tea, 1946 | The 11 points from his 1946 essay

  • First of all, one should use Indian or Ceylonese tea.
  • Secondly, tea should be made in small quantities - that is, in a teapot.
  • Thirdly, the pot should be warmed beforehand.
  • Fourthly, the tea should be strong.
  • Fifthly, the tea should be put straight into the pot.
  • Sixthly, one should take the teapot to the kettle and not the other way about.
  • Seventhly, after making the tea, one should stir it.
  • Eighthly, one should drink out of a good breakfast cup — that is, the cylindrical type of cup.
  • Ninthly, one should pour the cream off the milk before using it for tea.
  • Tenthly, one should pour tea into the cup first.
  • Lastly, tea - unless one is drinking it in the Russian style -should be drunk without sugar.

UCL’s 4 step points

  • Use loose leaf tea
  • Use soft or filtered water
  • Use boiling water for black tea
  • Let it brew for up to eight minutes