I’ve cooked a turkey at least once each of the last 15 years and invariably something goes wrong. I’d like to save you some heartache by listing out the very worst ways to mess up a turkey.
I’m hoping you’ll learn from my mistakes.
10 Ways to Mess Up a Turkey
1. Forget to thaw it. Yep done that. There I was, the day before Thanksgiving with a rock solid frozen bird. You can read about how I solved that one in this turkey post.
2. Forget to pull the plastic bag of “innards” out of the bird. Does this really need explanation? While I’m on the subject, do yourself a favor. Do NOT make eye contact with anyone while holding the turkey neck.
3. Smell plastic and stick your unprotected hand inside a HOT turkey to remove the silly bag. (You saw that one coming, didn’t you.)
4. Misread 1/4 cup of salt as 4 cups of salt when making the brine. (Yes, it was as salty as you can imagine.)
When frying a turkey:
5. Put too much oil in the pot and end up calling 911. (I haven’t done this one, but I have seen it. It looked like this video. Yikes.)
6. After frying, pour the hot oil into a plastic container and watch in horror as the plastic container melts and then seeps into the concrete. You can read the whole sad story, including the part where we tried to fix it with kitty litter. (Pour a fresh cup of coffee for this one – it’s a three part story).
When grilling or smoking a turkey:
7. Forget that you don’t have any matches and try to start the fire using a piece of spaghetti. (That was two years ago. To make matters worse, the charcoal would NOT stay lit.)
8. Ignore pesky flame ups until the bird catches fire. (I haven’t done this one, but I know who did. snicker)
9. After you brine the turkey, be careful. Don’t drop the glass bowl of raw turkey juice all over the floor. (Two years ago. Between the raw turkey nastiness and the glass embedded in my shoes, I threw away some brand new shoes that day. Sigh.)
10. Anything in this video.
This year, my husband is in charge of turkey cooking. I’m sure I’ll find something worth writing about.
Just so you know, the whole epic story from two years ago is sitting in my draft folder. It’s at 10,000 words and counting. I’m thinking of writing a book called “how to mess up Thanksgiving in 10 easy chapters.” Or maybe not.
Seriously… what did I miss? What’s #11 on this list?
Looking for more Thanksgiving goodness? Check out my Thanksgiving page