A DIY Thanksgiving Day Basket!
Happy Thanksgiving

How To Make A DIY Thanksgiving Day Gift Basket

Make a Do It Yourself Thanksgiving Day Turkey Gift Basket

Fill it with Essential Turkey Cooking Facts and Turkey Cooking Gadgets

To Find Out How To Do That – ⇓ Scroll down ⇓

What Size Turkey Do You Buy?

According to most Grandmas we know:

  • If you want to count on leftovers then you’ll buy a turkey that equals 1.5 # (# = pound) per person, because each person will eat nearly one pound each of turkey meat.
  • Always count on a higher bone to meat ratio when you are buying a turkey and buy the heavier weight.
  • For instance, if you are feeding ten people, and want leftovers, buy a 15 pound turkey weight.

What is the difference between an un-basted and a pre-basted turkey?

  • A “Pre-Basted” turkey is also called a “Self Basting” turkey.
  • It is a turkey that has normally been injected with broth, vegetable oil, and seasonings.
  • Reading the turkey label will help you tell if it was pre-basted.
  • An Un-Basted turkey has none of these ingredients injected – This is the best choice in our humble opinion.

Defrosting Your Turkey

For fridge defrosting

Leave turkey in plastic wrapper and let unthaw in the refrigerator approx 2-5 days before you cook it – This equals about four pounds a day.    Because the last day or two it unthaws will be a bit messy, make sure your turkey is sitting in a pan that will catch mess and drips.

Quick sink defrost

Fill your sink with cold water and place your turkey face down in the water.  This is a long day of defrosting because you have to change your ‘turkey water’ every half hour to help reduce and prevent the growth of salmonella causing bacteria.  Again, you can expect a mess and approx half an hour per pound to unthaw.  For a 25 pound turkey, you’ll need about 48 hours to use a sink defrost method.

Storing Your Turkey Before It’s Cooked

  • Always read the information on date that comes stamped on the turkey package wrapping.
  • Take your turkey out of the freezer and – ideally – unthaw it in your refrigerator 2-4 days before you cook it.  Beware:  Bacteria is spread through spores travelling in the air.
  • If you take advantage of sales and buy your turkey in advance – Never more than one year – Freeze it immediately and keep it frozen until you are ready to unthaw it in your refrigerator over a 2-4 day period.

How To Rinse your Turkey

  • For us this is not an optional step – that’s because one of us worked in a meat packing plant and both of us grew up on farms.  We rinse the Turkey.
  • To  Rinse – Take off the turkey plastic wrapper (you’d be surprised how many people need this step in writing)!
  • Take out the giblets and anything else that isn’t supposed to be ‘attached,’ to your bird  and put it on the stove on a slow boil to add as flavoring for your gravy or leftovers or freeze it to perform that task later.
  • In the sink, rinse your turkey in cold water – Leave it sitting on its neck side down so it drains the water out.
  • Use a cloth or a paper towel to dry your turkey – both inside AND outside.
  • Set it in the turkey pan to prepare for cooking.
  • Pour a capfull of bleach into your sink and clean or rinse your sink out with warm, soapy water immediately.

What is The Best Way To Cook And Stuff Your Turkey?

Grandma cooked her stuffing on the inside, we cook our stuffing on the outside. It is up to you and your personal palette.  The government recommends cooking on the outside, but ours has never been as moist as Grandmas and it never made us feel as sleepy, either.  We just never wanted to be the ones who felt “stuffed.”

But if you do stuff your turkey – Here are some Turkey Stuffing Tips:

  • Prepare stuffing ahead and stuff your turkey before it goes in the oven
  • Use 3/4 C stuffing to pound of turkey – or fill your turkey loose around the edges if you don’t want to measure.
  • Fill ‘er up’ – Put your stuffing in both front and back and close the ‘back flap’ on your turkey with a tooth pick or steel skewer.  Tie the main cavity closed with string or accompanying leg clamps or even tinfoil if you don’t have anything else.

Grandmas Stuffing Tip:

Add Sage spice, an egg, onions,  and a bit of cooked sausage to your stuffing to really add some great flavor (the egg keeps it all stuck together better).

Moist Turkey Tip:

  • Two hours before your turkey is cooked, turn it over onto the opposite side and let it soak in the juices upside down – Neck faces downward in the pan.
  • We tried this technique and it worked so well that our turkey – “melted in our mouth!

Holiday Cookware And Accessories

Turkey Alternatives:

  • Ham
  • Roasted Chicken
  • Shrimp
  • Eggplant
  • Lamb
  • Pork Roast
  • Seafood Stew
  • Soup
  • Roast – stroganoff, fajitas
  • Duck
  • Casseroles
  • Potlucks

DIY Turkey Gift Basket Idea – Click Each Picture

Smithfield Cooked Half Spiral Ham & Whole Smoked Turkey

Farberware Stainless Steel Poultry Lacers Set of 8

Elizabeth Karmel’s Turkey 101 Cooking Kit

CDN DTP482 Programmable Probe Thermometer/Timer

How to Cook a Turkey: And All the Other Trimmings

Regency Cooking Butcher’s Twine for Meat Prep and Trussing Turkey 100% cotton 1 LB cone

Granite Ware 19-in. Oval Roaster with Lid

Cuisinart CEK-40 Electric Knife

Paderno World Cuisine 3-Piece Basting Set,Baster, 10 Extra Long Cleaning Brush, Flavor Injector

Generally speaking, turkey dinner pairs well with white wines like Sauvignon Blanc, or Chardonnay style=