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How to Cook a Turkey Perfectly For Thanksgiving

Home Skills Cooking & Food How to Cook a Turkey Perfectly For Thanksgiving

Want to know how to cook a turkey? Learn to cook a turkey perfectly in your very own conventional oven! I promise it’s easier than it looks.

I’m so excited about this tender and delicious roast turkey recipe and I’m sure you feel the same way when you try it. The turkey breast is so flavorful with a crisp skin and a beautiful golden brown color. It is very pleasing to the eyes and everyone will surely savor it down to the last slice of meat. It’s simply a turkey roasted to perfection for the Thanksgiving feast.

Learn How To Cook A Turkey To Impress Your Guests

It’s impossible to think of fancy holiday meals shared with family and friends without thinking of a plump, large turkey at the center of the spread. Many people have variations on how to cook a turkey properly and I will more than likely get a lot of grief for saying one way is better than another, but these are the tried and tested methods I use to cook a Thanksgiving turkey every year. I know many recipes get handed down from one generation to the next, so I have just documented the process I have found to be the best way to cook a turkey.

This recipe and methods featured in this post have been tried and tested by the original author via the kitchn.

Ingredients and Equipment:

  • 1 turkey, any size
  • 2 cups broth or water
  • Melted unsalted butter (optional, for basting)
  • Roasting pan
  • Roasting rack
  • Turkey baster or spoon

How to Cook a Turkey Perfectly:

Step 1 : Thaw The Turkey

Step 1 : Thaw The Turkey | How to Cook a Turkey Perfectly For Thanksgiving

image via lamthenao

Let the turkey thaw completely before cooking. A frozen turkey will thaw approximately 24 hours for every five pounds. If you bought a turkey a few days ahead, you can thaw it in your fridge. I recommend letting it thaw for an entire week in your fridge before you cook it.
Need to thaw in a hurry? Place the turkey in a cold water bath and change the water every 30 minutes until it’s thawed. But there is more than one way on how to thaw turkey quickly and safely.

Step 2: Brine The Turkey

Step 2: Brine The Turkey | How to Cook a Turkey Perfectly For Thanksgiving

image via tastyislandhawaii

To brine a turkey means to immerse it in salt water solution for a day or so before cooking. The basic ratio of salt to water for a brine is 4 tablespoons of salt per 1 quart (4 cups) of water (variety of herbs optional). Place brine solution and thawed turkey (with innards removed) in a container large enough for both meat and water. Make sure the whole turkey is completely submerged. Cover container with a lid and refrigerate.

The end result of this process is moist, perfectly seasoned turkey meat. This process is definitely worth going through.

Step 3: Prepare The Turkey

Step 3: Prepare The Turkey | How to Cook a Turkey Perfectly For Thanksgiving

image via thesepeasarehollow

Take the turkey out of the fridge an hour before roasting it. This will help the meat cook faster and more evenly. Since you brined the turkey, there is no need to rub any more salt into the skin. However, cracked black pepper and other herbs and spices of your choice are welcomed at this stage. I like to rub a mixture of chopped sage and butter between the skin and meat on mine, but as long as you’ve brined it, there’s no need for the additional flavors if that’s not your preference.

Step 4: Turn The Oven On To 450°F

Step 4: Turn The Oven On To 450°F | How to Cook a Turkey Perfectly For Thanksgiving

image via snapguide

Place an oven rack in the bottom third and let the oven completely preheat before placing the turkey in the oven.

Step 5: Roast The Turkey

Step 5: Roast The Turkey | How to Cook a Turkey Perfectly For Thanksgiving

Pour 2 cups of broth or plain water in a roasting pan. Put the turkey in the oven and lower the heat to 350°F. When cooking a turkey, the rule of thumb is 13 minutes cooking time for every pound of turkey meat. So if you have a 16-pound turkey plan a 3 1/2 hours cook time. There are factors which may contribute to a much faster cooking so it is best to start checking the temperature of your turkey about halfway through the scheduled cooking time to gauge how fast it’s cooking.

Step 6: Baste The Turkey

Step 6: Baste The Turkey | How to Cook a Turkey Perfectly For Thanksgiving

image via thehopelesshousewife

Baste the turkey every 45 minutes. To do this, take the turkey out of the oven (make sure to close the oven door so the heat will stay) and baste the turkey all over with the liquids coming from the pan. You can use a turkey baster or a spoon to drizzle the liquid all over the turkey.

Step 7: Check The Temperature

Step 7: Check the temperature | How to Cook a Turkey Perfectly For Thanksgiving

image via food52

To ensure the turkey is properly cooked through and through, check the temperature in three different places: the breast, the outer thigh, and the inside thigh. The temperature of the meat should be at least 165°F. If any place is under that temperature, put the turkey back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Use a foil to shield the breast meat to keep it from overcooking.

Step 8: Let The Turkey Rest

Step 8: Let The Turkey Rest | How to Cook a Turkey Perfectly For Thanksgiving

image via thekitchn

Before removing the turkey from the oven, tilt it so the juices inside the cavity run out into the pan. Then, take the turkey out and transfer it to a cutting board. Cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. This gives time for the meat to firm up and the juices to be re-absorbed, making the turkey easier to slice and taste juicier.

Step 9: Carve The Turkey

Step 9: Carve The Turkey | How to Cook a Turkey Perfectly For Thanksgiving

image via thekitchn

Remove the wings first, then the thighs, then the breast meat. Once you have all these parts removed, you can separate the thighs into thighs and drumsticks and carve the breast meat into individual slices.

Want to see the video on how to cook a turkey? Check out this video from Kitchn:

There you go folks, my juicy-licious turkey perfect for Thanksgiving! Now you know how to cook this tenderly delicious turkey recipe. I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday!

Need an amazing Thanksgiving dessert recipes? Click this link to get more Thanksgiving dessert recipes that your family will surely love.

What do you think? Was this recipe everything you hoped and more? Let me know in the comments section below.

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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?


Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.


  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients

Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips

Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt

Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage

Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar

Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar

You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band

Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!


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Self Sufficiency


Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!


Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.


Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.


Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.


Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.


Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.


There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.


A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.


Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.


Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!




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