7 Tips To Help Keep Your Bird Moist This Xmas


As titles to blog posts go I'm pretty proud of this one. Anyway moving on to the serious business of making sure your bird is as moist as possible this Xmas. Buy her a Chloé handbag from Brown Thomas. I'm joking, I'm joking calm down it's Christmas. Right cooking a Turkey is a pretty huge challenge for most people but there are some simple things you can do to help with the pressure. You see most of us are lucky if we can rustle up a pasta dinner for the rest of the year and then suddenly we are expected to cook this enormous bird that even the most experienced chefs would have trouble cooking. People are so anti-turkey as well because they think of it as this super dry meat but that is just because people haven't been cooking it right. Here are 7 tips you simply have to follow this Xmas...

Buy A Quality Bird

This one isn't rocket science but you really should spend a little extra if you can afford it to buy a quality turkey. I know some people balk at the idea of paying 70-100 Euros for a bird but if you think about how special the meal is and who rarely you see your family and have them all around one table I think it is worth it. You think nothing of paying 50-100 for a meal in a restaurant so why not spend a little more on an Xmas bird this year that has had a good life and is well raised. I'd suggest a bronze turkey which you'll find plenty of info on online.

Gerry McEvoy's Bronze Turkeys | 2013 from Gerry McEvoy's Bronze Turkeys on Vimeo.

Bring The Bird Up To Room Temperature

You are going to be able to cook the bird much better if you take it out of the fridge well in advance and bring it up to room temperature. I would suggest a good 2 hours before you actually want to cook it. This helps the bird cook more evenly and you'll end up with a much more moist bird.

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Butter Butter Butter

Butter not only tastes amazing on everything that it ever touches but it also helps to crispen up the skin and keep the bird moist. When it comes to turkey you really can't have enough butter so smear it all over the outside and inside of the bird.

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Buy A Meat Termometer

You'll find one on Amazon for as little as 5.99 and this is one of the best tools you'll ever have. Instead of having to worry and check the juices etc you can just stick this in the thigh and wait for the bird to hit 170F. Strongly advise any home cook who is worried about the process to invest in one of these. Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 17.38.58

Start Upside Down

If you start the turkey upside down on it's breast in the tray what will happen is the juices will flow down into the breast and help to create the moist effect you are after. Flip it after an hour and you'll still have time to get that lovely crispy skin on top. 

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Buy The Right Size

Although the tendency can be to go for the biggest possible bird that you can find the one that is going to be the most moist, easy to cook and give you the best flavour is between 6.5kg and 8kg. That will feed between 10-12 people and will fit in your oven easily. 

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Let The Bird Rest

Although the temptation is to whip the bird out of the oven and start eating it straight away what you should actually do is let it rest. When a bird is in an oven at that temperature it tenses up and becomes tough but by letting it rest for 30-60 minutes you'll allow the juices to start flowing again and make it much more moist. 

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Carve The Bird Correctly

Most people have no idea where to start when carving the meat and most birds are just hacked together on the centre of the table as everybody sticks a knife in. The easiest way to do it is to follow this video which means you'll be getting way more servings out of your lovely bird.

Written By

Niall Harbison

Niall founded Lovin' Dublin with a few fairly simple aims: discover new places to eat in Dublin and share simple recipes cooked up in his kitchen.