Thanksgiving Dinner Myths
The countdown to Thanksgiving is on. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of cooking advice over the years. Well, here are some tips from Bon Appetit Writer of the Year Harold McGee. He breaks down the most common Thanksgiving dinner myths.
- Myth #1: For the moistest turkey, soak it in brine before you cook it. That’s false. Brining the bird can make it too salty. The fix: Take the bird out of the refrigerator to warm up a couple hours before roast time. Then, put ice packs on the breast to keep it cold so it’ll heat up more slowly than the tougher dark-meat legs. Then, while it’s roasting, check the doneness early and often to avoid overcooking.
- Myth #2: You can cook a turkey slowly overnight. Don’t do it. Food expert McGee says that low temperatures and long cooking times are the perfect recipe for out-of-control bacteria growth. To avoid serving a toxic turkey, cook your stuffing separately and roast the bird at a temperature above 300 degrees.
- Myth #3: The bird will come out perfectly if you follow a cooking chart. False. The chart is a guide, not a science book. That’s because all ovens and birds are different. Instead, check the bird’s doneness with a meat thermometer.
- Myth #4: It's safe to put leftovers away before you go to bed. Nope. Harmful bacteria can survive cooking and at room temperatures can double their numbers several times an hour. The fix: Refrigerate leftovers before you slice the pumpkin pie.