Tips for Preparing the Perfect Turkey

We talked to Chef Daniel Orr, chef-owner of FARMbloomington Restaurant in Bloomington, Indiana and co-host of Earth Eats, for tips on cooking a delicious turkey at home this Thanksgiving. Below are his sage pointers.

Photo credit: Farmbloomington Restaurant

Brining is Key!

Brining consists of soaking the turkey in liquid, sugar, and salt. The turkey then absorbs the moisture, making is less likely to get overly dry. There are no set amount of the ingredients for your brine, it’s kind of a free for all, so just toss in what you like! Here are some ideas to get you started:

Brining Ingredients:

  • sorghum
  • sugar
  • salt
  • water
  • citrus- orange, lemon, lime
  • spices: cloves, allspice, bay leaves, oregano

Baking The Bird – Don’t Overcook!

  • Refrain from using the thermometers that come with the turkey.
  • Use a “self-read” thermometer.
  • Take the temperature by plunging the thermometer right into the thigh of the bird.
  • Take turkey out of the oven when thermometer reads 155 degrees. *If drained juices are clear, the turkey is cooked.

Decorating A Festive Turkey

Feel free to dress up your turkey by garnishing it with a myriad of fruits and veggies. Oranges, berries, and lemons add the perfect touch of color to ensure a festive presentation. *And don’t forget to buy a local, free-range turkey. Happy birds taste better!

Shop Gunthorp Farms pasture-raised turkeys from La Grange, Indiana.