I love turkey, I really do. But I love it most the day after Thanksgiving when we have leftover turkey and stuffing sandwiches.
What Size Bird Do You Need:
The hard part about cooking the Thanksgiving turkey is not roasting that big bird, but calculating how big of a bird that you need. I count on 1lb per person for every person who’ll be at the main meal and an extra .5 lbs for every person who’ll be eating leftover.
Here’s the formula:
(# of persons at Thanksgiving meal) + (0.5)( # of persons needing turkey leftovers) = the lbs of raw, frozen turkey that you need to buy
Remember, the frozen weight includes a lot of water and turkey bone. I’m not saying that you’re actually going to eat that much turkey, just that you need to cook that much turkey.
When Does Your Turkey Need To Start Thawing?
The next hardest thing about cooking the turkey, is figuring out when you need to move it from the freezer to the refrigerator so that it can begin thawing.
The turkey needs to thaw for 24 hours for every 4 lbs of turkey. So a 20 lb. Turkey would need to thaw for 5 days. If the turkey is going to go into a brine on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (and I do highly recommend that, then the turkey needs to start thawing on Friday morning – almost a full week before Thanksgiving.
Today’s Assignment: Calculate the size of the turkey that you need to buy, as well as how many days it will need to thaw. Mark the “Move the Turkey To the Fridge” day on your calendar and set alarms on your phone.