The big (turkey) day is swiftly approaching, and Food Network star Sunny Anderson is on TODAY to share her top tips, tricks and techniques for making the perfect turkey — from how to get shatteringly crisp skin to what to do with leftover herbs (cocktails, of course).
1. Brine your bird in a cooler
If you can't find a brining bag or you want to save some precious fridge space, just brine your turkey in a cooler. Make sure to replenish the cooler with ice as it melts; you want keep the turkey at or below 40 F.
2. Do you need a whole bird?
3. How to get crispy skin
For crispy skin, the turkey must be dry before it goes into the oven. So, after you season or brine the turkey, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours to dry and then pat the skin with paper towels before putting it into the oven.
4. Grill your turkey
Your grill can do what your oven can do and vice versa. If you decide to grill it, consider butterflying (or spatchcocking) the turkey — it will cook faster and it's a great way to break with tradition.
5. Use your grill for warming
If your oven is at full capacity, keep sides warm in the grill. Set at 200-275 F.
6. Let the turkey rest before carving
You’ll lose the juices if you slice into the turkey hot from the oven, so tent it with foil and let it sit for 30 minutes before you carve it.
7. Heat up chicken broth as you carve
You can drizzle it on the meat to warm it up before serving. Everyone wants their turkey served hot!
8. Use leftover herbs to make drinks
Use your leftover herbs for cocktails! Rosemary and sage are great in holiday drinks.
9. How to save leftover turkey
Freeze leftover turkey in glass or plastic, making sure the air is out — air is the enemy to frozen food. And don't wait until the food is room temperature: Put it in the fridge or freezer ASAP.