Just a friendly reminder: if you haven’t started thawing your turkey yet, it’s time to get on it!
Thoughts on Thawing
For thawing in the refrigerator, you should leave 24 hours of thawing time for every 5 pounds of turkey. If you’re pressed for time, I’d suggest buying two smaller turkeys as opposed to one big one. Personally, I only buy my turkeys completely frozen and thaw them myself – I don’t really trust that they’ve been stored properly in the store otherwise. If you’re REALLY pressed for time, another easy option is thawing in cold water, which only takes 30 minutes per pound. To do this, you need to submerse the entire packaged turkey in ice cold water, making sure to change the water frequently (every half hour or hour) to avoid bacteria.
Pound for Pound
I’ve heard a lot of people suggest buying one pound of turkey per person. Now, maybe these people aren’t fond of leftovers, or maybe their family just eats a lot less than mine does (which is actually highly likely, come to think of it…). I buy at least two pounds per person so there’s no danger of running out, and I don’t have to stress that I’ll miss out on my coveted post-Thanksgiving cranberry-stuffing-gravy-sweet potato-turkey sandwiches (what, like YOU don’t pile it all on there too?).
I’m not going to offer suggestions for how to cook your turkey, as I’ve always had extensive help from older and much wiser people (aka my parents and grandparents) for that. This is the first year I’m stepping up and attempting to take the lead. We’ll see how it goes. But don’t worry, I won’t leave you totally on your own: Pioneer Woman has step-by-step directions (complete with photos!) for brining and roasting a turkey.