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Wild Turkey Cooking Tips for the Holidays

It’s that time of the year and you are finally getting ready to make use of that turkey you bagged earlier this year. Cooking a wild turkey is a bit different that cooking a domestic, store-bought turkey. Here are our pro tips for success with cooking your wild turkey.

First, some big “Don’ts” for cooking your Wild Turkey.

- Don’t overcook it! This may seem obvious, but so often done. Pay attention to the meat thermometer and be sure to use the bottom rack of the oven. Wild turkeys are longer and taller than store bought ones and you will need the extra space to avoid over cooking your meat.

- Don’t stuff it! Stuffing the bird will make it take longer to cook through which increases your chances of overcooking the turkey. Just cook the stuffing separately and add into the cavity of the bird just prior to serving.

- Don’t use a garbage bag for brining. (Seriously you’d be amazed how many people do this. Just don’t)

As we just mentioned, if you are going to brine your turkey, please be sure to use a large, food safe bag. Whatever you do, do NOT use a garbage bag. These are not food safe at all, and you will regret it. Once in the brining bag, be sure to rotate the bird twice daily so that it gets an even brining. When you are ready to season and cook the bird be sure to dry it very well both inside and outside. Use paper towels to soak up all the water before applying your rub to ensure a nice, crispy skin.

Wireless meat thermometers are the best for cooking this type of bird. On average a wild turkey needs 15 minutes per pound of bird to roast at a temp of 325°F. You will want to watch the breast carefully since it is closest to the top of the over. Once it is browned a bit, tent it with some foil and baste the top very well.

As soon as the thermometer reaches 160°F pull the turkey from the oven. Then tent the whole bird and let it rest for 30 minutes. Then add your stuffing, serve, and enjoy!


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