Top 8 Turkey Questions Answered

  • POSTED Oct 28th, 2022
  • BY Chef Carrie Walters

DO I NEED TO BRINE A TURKEY? 

Our Non-GMO DLM Free-Range Turkey is great simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and rubbed with a little fat (like a good butter) before roasting. Brining has become popular and many folks like the extra hit of moisture that a wet brine can give. Or try dry brining by seasoning generously with salt and letting the bird air dry (uncovered) in the fridge overnight for the crispiest crust. 

TO STUFF OR NOT TO STUFF: WHAT SHOULD I DO? 

Stuffing the turkey slows cooking time and has the potential for harmful bacteria growth. Try loosely filling the cavity with fresh herbs, like aromatics, such as rosemary, sage, or thyme. I like to add half of an onion as well. 

DO I HAVE TO TRUSS MY TURKEY?

Don't truss a turkey (aka, tie its wings). Tying it up tight will only lengthen cooking time. Try tucking the wing tips gently under themselves to prevent them from burning. 

HOW CAN I HAVE THAT PICTURESQUE TURKEY?

The Norman Rockwell turkey dinner looks so good because the skin is perfectly golden. Rub the exterior evenly with DLM Pure Olive Oil or butter to help achieve this. 

whole turkey

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO COOK A TURKEY? 

There are so many different ways to cook a turkey, such as slow and low, high heat and fast, or a hybrid of both. Pick your method based on the results you would like on your plate. Your safest and smartest bet is to buy a good meat thermometer to ensure proper cooking temperature regardless of which recipe you choose to follow. This removes the guesswork. View our chart for some general cooking guidance based on the size of bird (VIEW CHART). Remember when reserving a turkey that our fresh Non-GMO DLM Free-Range Turkeys are grown locally, not manufactured, so sizes will vary! 

DOESN’T BREAST MEAT GET DONE FASTER THAN DARK MEAT? 

Breast meat cooks faster than dark meat, so it’s smart to cover the breast meat with foil after the skin is golden brown. This will help slow the cooking of this area down a bit while letting the dark meat catch up. 

HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN THE TURKEY IS DONE?

We all need to make sure our turkey is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F, with the meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the thigh. Even when following cooking time recommendations, be sure to ultimately use your meat thermometer as ovens can vary. You’ve got this! 

WHEN IS IT TIME TO CARVE? 

Allow the bird to rest before carving. Remove it from the oven and loosely cover it with foil while it rests for at least 15-30 minutes. This extra time allows the turkey to retain natural moisture after cooking. 

Reserve Your Turkey

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Nov 18th

I plan to cook our turkey in a cooking bag. What are your thought on this? Also is it okay to cook breast side down to retain moisture in white meat?

- Mary

Dorothy Lane Market says:

Hello, Mary! Thank you for reaching out with your questions. Cooking your turkey in a cooking bag sounds like a fine idea. Oven bags help to keep the turkey tender as they trap most of the moisture and delicious juices within the bag. However, if you're hoping for crispy skin, the oven bag prevents that from happening. For cooking your turkey breast-side down, you can absolutely do that. Although we haven't noticed much of a difference from cooking the turkey the traditional way, there are many folks who highly recommend cooking turkey breast-side down. Good luck with your turkey cooking endeavors!


Nov 22nd

We purchased a DLM Brined Turkey. 13lbs. HOW DO WE BEST ROAST? No directions came with turkey. Thanks ve

- Richard

Dorothy Lane Market says:

We had a good article in the November Table on how long to cook your turkey. You may use the same directions with a brined turkey. Preheat oven to 325ºF, Insert thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. Cook to 165ºF. Cover the breast with foil after it is golden brown.

8-12 lbs about 3-3.5 hours

12-20 lbs about 3.5-4.5 hours

16-20 lbs about 4-4.5 hours

20-26 lbs about 4.5-5 hours




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