INSIDE EDITION - As Clark Griswold demonstrated on National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, sometimes you can get your Thanksgiving turkey very wrong.
So INSIDE EDITION is helping you achieve perfection this Thanksgiving with some tips from Chef Lisa Beels. Here are some things she says you could be doing wrong:
1. Pop Up Timers Don’t Always Work
While some turkeys come with a built-in pop up timer, they don't always work.
"I like to just take this out and throw it away, and you'll do yourself a favor by getting a real thermometer," Beels said.
2. Don't Forget to Reach Inside The Bird
Lots of first-time cooks forget to reach inside the bird on both ends to pull out the neck and giblets. Cooking them inside the bird is just wrong - but it doesn't mean they should go to waste.
"You can make stock out of it which goes in the gravy," Beels said.
3. Don't Put Butter On the Skin
After mixing butter with any herbs and spices you like, don't melt it down and pour it all over the turkey. Instead, smear the butter under the skin, where it will melt right into the meat.
4. Don't Put the Turkey Straight in a Roasting Pan
When you put the bird in the oven, don't put it straight into the roasting pan. Instead, place the turkey on a rack in the pan, which will prevent the turkey from burning on the bottom.
Once it's in the pan, it can be put in the oven at 325 degrees and cooked for around three hours.
5. Don't Cut the Meat Right Way
Beels said it would be "totally wrong" to cut the meat to check it. Instead, slide a thermometer into the thigh meat, being careful not to hit the bone. You want the meat to reach 165 degrees.
Wait for at least 20 minutes before you cut it. If you slice it right of the oven, it will shred.