Thanksgiving: DO NOT BASTE YOUR BIRD!
I know, I was raised the same way… grandma would cook the bird for what seemed all day and constantly lathered it in some shining concoction like the bird was at the beach, but seriously, if you want a great bird keep the oven door closed.
Put down the basting brush and walk away from the oven. I promise you that if you follow this plan, your turkey will be perfectly brown with great crunchy skin to devour while you quietly carve the turkey in the kitchen and your bird won’t dry out. Opening the door every 30 minutes will increase your cooking time, increased cooking times will lend to a dry turkey. Don’t over cook the bird and relax… throw it in the oven and forget it… this is your time to first enjoy some of those lil smokies and chips and dip. (there will be plenty of time to mash and smash your other dishes)
okay, maybe it’s not the only way, but it is a darn good tasty way.
Rub a dub scrub your bird, don’t forget the goodies in the interior of the turkey, these need to be removed (great to boil in water (the neck and gizzards-i’d skip the heart-this makes a very flavorful stock that you can use for your gravy (remove the parts first)
Once your bird is clean and dry, lather that puppy with half a stick of softened room temp butter.. sprinkle with Season All, ground pepper and garlic powder. Place your roasting sheet or pan with the turkey into a 500 degree oven uncovered for 30 minutes, tent the breast portion and reduce the heat to 350 for another 1.5 hours (approximately for a 14-16 lb bird) Keep in mind every oven runs a bit differently so have an instant read thermometer on hand that you can insert into the thickest part of the breast nearest the rear, avoid hitting a bone this will give you a false reading. Your turkey should temp out in this spot at 161 and no more than 165.
Once you have reached the proper-healthy temp pull it out of the oven, set on counter and let rest for 20-30 minutes… now the carving can begin.