Whether you signed up to bring the turkey to Friendsgiving, or are always the one responsible for the main dish at your family’s Thanksgiving—you probably already feel the pressure of producing a perfectly seasoned, juicy turkey for everyone to enjoy. The secret is all in the butter. How you incorporate herbs and spices into butter for your turkey can make the difference between tender, succulent turkey and a dry, flavorless bird.
Should you put butter on your turkey?
Yes! But don’t stop there. Salt, pepper, herbs of choice, and brine are all crucial to a perfectly cooked turkey. Remember, you’re cooking a lot of pounds of meat at once, so don’t skimp on adding other moisture and flavor elements. A sprinkle of salt, a dash of pepper, and a few spoonfuls of butter aren’t going to cut it. When in doubt, add more flavor.
A few other Thanksgiving turkey tips:
- Tuck your wings and tie your legs (this all helps with even cooking).
- Let it rest for at least 20 minutes before serving to help the juices distribute properly.
- Cook your stuffing separately. Otherwise, you risk it being underdone.
Should you put butter under turkey skin?
You might be surprised to know that a debate exists within the cooking world regarding exactly how (or even whether) you should best use butter for turkey. Should you tuck butter underneath the turkey skin, or slather the entire outside of the turkey with butter? Our recommendation—do both, but with one caveat: save your flavored butter for under the turkey skin.
Those herbs will flavor both the skin and turkey, and the butter will moisten the meat. Rub the outside of your bird with just plain butter to darken and crisp the skin without running the risk of burning any herbs. The best news is, you don’t have to worry about separating your butter, chopping a bunch of herbs, and blending your own flavored butter to use under the turkey skin. Just use a regular stick of softened butter for the outside, and grab some Epicurean Butter for the rest. We recommend Roasted Garlic Herb or Tuscan Herb for a juicy, flavorful turkey without all the work.
Should you rub turkey with butter or oil?
Some chefs suggest rubbing the turkey skin with vegetable or olive oil rather than using butter for turkey. This debate has very little to do with the meat itself but more to do with getting brown, crispy skin. Our thoughts? The key to that perfectly cooked turkey skin is more about the high-fat content than it is whether you choose butter or oil. We always think that butter makes literally everything better.
Now that you’re a “seasoned” pro, ready to make the most delicious and savory Thanksgiving turkey, what about the rest of the meal? Epicurean Butter can help you with that, too.
How to use flavored butter in your Thanksgiving sides
Garlic Butter Mac and Cheese
The only thing better than regular macaroni and cheese is the baked macaroni and cheese that graces the family dinner table during the holiday season. You know the one your grandma used to make—with bread crumbs, multiple types of cheese, and a whole lot of butter. Break out that old family recipe and make one simple tweak: Roasted Garlic Herb Flavored Butter.