The Holiday season is upon us and cooking should be made simple. Cooking a juicy delicious turkey does not have to be difficult. Here are 10 tips to simplify your turkey cooking process.

#1 Fresh or Frozen

Thawing the bird properly is a very important first step. It takes up to 4 days to thaw a frozen turkey properly. A fresh turkey is also an option, and it gives you a chance to keep it local. Word to the wise, if you choose to go the fresh route reserve your turkey ahead of time.

#2 To Brine or Not to Brine??

First of all what is a brine? Brining gives you a safety net to ensure tender and juicy meat. Most frozen turkeys are already brined. you can just check the packaging to make sure. If that is the case DO NOT BRIN the turkey. If you buy a fresh turkey, defiantly consider brining it. Here is a simple brine that you can use.

 VSC Brine:

-Stir 28 cups of hot water with 1 ½ cups of salt and ½ cup of white sugar in an extra large pot.

- Add herbs, dried cranberries and/or dried citrus peels for extra yummy flavor. Place turkey in the brine pot and let it soak overnight in the refrigerator.

 #3 Drain and Let It Rest

Take the turkey out of the refrigerator and drain the liquid, leave the bird out at room temperature for up to 1 hour.

 #4 Pat it Dry

Use a clean dish towel and pat the whole turkey down, this step will ensure a crispy Skin.

 #5 Seasoning the Turkey

Seasoning plays a big part on how tasty the bird will be. You can buy poultry seasoning already to go, but I like to mix my own.

Turkey Seasoning

-In a medium size bowl mix dried sage, paprika, salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and a little nutmeg.

Butter is also a key ingredient, first take some butter and rub it under the skin between the skin and the breast meat. Season the turkey generously all over top and bottom, do not forget to season the cavity!

 #6 Space

If you haven’t already, invest in a good roasting pan with a rack, it will make a difference on how the turkey cooks. Place the turkey on top of the rack and cover with aluminum foil.

 #7 To Baste or Not to Baste

Basting your turkey will require additional cooking time, because you will be opening the oven several times. I do not baste my turkey, the butter between the skin and the breast meat will slowly do the job.

 #8 Don’t Rush the Turkey!

This bird cannot be rush and by now you know you are in for the long haul. Preheated oven at 450 F degrees and bake Turkey for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes uncover the birdand bring oven temperature to 350 degrees.

#9 Taking the Temperature

Always use an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh reaches a temperature of 165 degrees, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours more.

 #10 Resting is Key

Resting is a must, do not skip this step! Rest the Turkey for at least 30 minutes before carving, this will allow the juices to reabsorb.

I hope these tips and trick help you cook a juicy and delicious turkey with ease!

Cheers and Happy Holidays!!!