Taste

Why You Should Cook Your Turkey Upside-Down

Breast-side down to gives the legs a head start.

If you're cooking an entire turkey this Thanksgiving, you already know that it takes a little bit of creativity to get it to cook just right -- and there's no one perfect method for every home chef.

If you're not careful, you'll overcook the white meat to make sure the dark meat's cooked, because dark meat tends to take a little bit longer than white.

But there's a tried-and-true trick to get the whole bird to cook evenly throughout, with all parts of it coming out moist, golden and flavorful: You just have to cook it breast-side down.

Because white meat (also known as the breast) is more exposed to the heat than the dark meat (the drumsticks, thighs and wings), it tends to cook a lot faster than the dark meat.

Your turkey might look golden-crusted, but you could pull it out of the oven and cut into it only to find that it's not nearly cooked all the way through.

"By the time the breast meat's cooked, the dark meat needs more time," Josh Capon, the chef behind Lure Fishbar, B&B Winepub and El Toro Blanco (and family Thanksgiving master) told The Huffington Post. "By starting it upside-down, you give the legs and sides a jump start."

He usually cooks his turkey upside-down for half an hour to 45 minutes before turning the bird over.

In the video above, a sliced and buttered loaf of bread provides a cushion for the breast, while the turkey roasts on the lower third rack at 425 degrees (placed in legs first).

Once you flip the turkey to be breast-side up, reduce the oven's temperature to 350 degrees and continue roasting, neck in first, for about an hour and a half, basting every 15 to 20 minutes (but always cook by temperature, rather than by time only. A perfect finished temperature is 165 degrees).

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