Considering it’s pretty much the star of the Thanksgiving show, the ever-elusive properly cooked turkey is high on our list. So often we’re faced with either an overcooked, dry bird or flabby, fatty turkey skin. But we just discovered a game-changing cooking method that eliminates those issues—and it’s surprisingly easy.
All you need is butter and some cheesecloth. (Stay with us.)
Depending on the size of your turkey, melt two to three sticks of butter (we recommend three for a 20-pound bird) with your choice of fresh herbs, like thyme or sage. Fold a large piece of cheesecloth into quarters, then cut it into a four-layer square that’s big enough to cover the turkey (or about 17 inches). Immerse the cheesecloth in the melted butter until saturated, then drape it over your breast-side-up turkey before placing it in the oven. Cook as you normally would according to the weight of your bird.
The result? A turkey with shatteringly crisp skin and juicy, moist meat—no brining or basting required. Why does this method work? For starters, the cloth protects the skin from burning, but still allows it to release enough moisture for proper crisping. And butter adds both flavor and moisture, while also helping the skin brown. Genius.
All we need now? A foolproof method for stuffing.