Thanksgiving Turkey Fixes

Hit a snag with your turkey? Don't reach for the takeout menu! Here are 5 ways to fix common turkey mishaps.

Cooking Channel: The Voltaggio Brothers Take On Thanksgiving (behind the scenes). Bryan and Michael Voltaggio.

Cooking Channel: The Voltaggio Brothers Take On Thanksgiving (behind the scenes). Bryan and Michael Voltaggio.

Photo by: Ed Anderson ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Ed Anderson, 2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Cooking Channel: The Voltaggio Brothers Take On Thanksgiving (behind the scenes). Bryan and Michael Voltaggio.
Turkey blunder? No problem! Learn five quick fixes for common turkey mishaps.

1. Still-Frozen Bird?
Submerge your turkey in a cold water bath if it's still not defrosted by Thanksgiving morning. Wrap the turkey tightly in plastic, and place it in a bowl of water below 40 degrees F. Change the water every 30 minutes, and rotate the turkey to safely defrost it; expect the process to take about 30 minutes per pound. If it goes into the oven later than expected, just stretch your cocktail hour a little longer!

2. Turkey Not Browning?
Everyone loves the look and taste of a beautifully browned bird—but turning up the temperature won't get you there. If your turkey is not browning the way you'd hoped, brush a honey and melted butter mixture onto the skin. The sugars will caramelize, crisping the skin while keeping the meat inside moist.

3. Meat Cooking Unevenly?
White meat tends to cook faster than dark meat, making turkey all about timing. You can avoid dry, overcooked white meat by brining the whole bird the night before or by slipping pats of butter under the skin. If the white meat is done sooner than the dark meat, cover the breasts with greased foil during the end of roasting. You can also control doneness by removing the legs and thighs and roasting them separately while the white meat rests.

4. Too Little Juice in Your Roasting Pan?
If there isn't a lot of juice left in your roasting pan, or you fear it might not infuse your gravy with enough turkey flavor, simply add some good-quality chicken stock. For more added flavor, make sure to deglaze your roasting pan with white wine, scraping up all the tasty bits stuck to the bottom; cook down your gravy by around half to eliminate any alcohol taste.

5. Turkey Taste Bland Once Carved?
Perhaps the most crucial step in flavoring your turkey is sprinkling it liberally with salt and pepper before roasting. If the meat still ends up tasting flat, just carve the bird and then sprinkle sea salt and freshly ground pepper over the slices before serving. Served with a well-seasoned gravy, your turkey will be back on track.

Next Up

Top 10 Tips: How to Cook a Turkey

Serve your best bird yet — and make the turkey the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving table — with our tried-and-true top 10 turkey tips.

How to Brine a Turkey

Learn the basics of brining and you'll be guaranteed the top turkey in town.

Extreme Alternatives to Roasted Turkey for Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, why not try a new spin on the same old roasted turkey? The flavor in these recipes is definitely something to be thankful for.

Thanksgiving Turkey Buying Guide

Everything you need to know to pick out the perfect turkey for your Thanksgiving feast

Top 5 Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips

Abide by these food safety rules for peace of mind during Thanksgiving, from prepping the feast to packing up the leftovers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! The feast doesn't end with pie: Get our best recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers, from turkey soup and chili to potato quesadillas and more.

Thanksgiving Countdown

Here are five ways to get a head start on your Thanksgiving menu this year from Cooking Channel.


Carnival Eats

7:30am | 6:30c

Cheap Eats

8am | 7c

Cheap Eats

8:30am | 7:30c

Cheap Eats

9am | 8c

Cheap Eats

9:30am | 8:30c

Unique Eats

10am | 9c

Unique Eats

10:30am | 9:30c

Unique Eats

11am | 10c

Unique Eats

11:30am | 10:30c

Man v. Food

6pm | 5c

Man v. Food

6:30pm | 5:30c

Man v. Food

7pm | 6c

Man v. Food

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Man v. Food

8pm | 7c

Man v. Food

8:30pm | 7:30c
9pm | 8c
9:30pm | 8:30c
10pm | 9c
11pm | 10c

Man v. Food

12am | 11c

Man v. Food

12:30am | 11:30c
1am | 12c
1:30am | 12:30c
2am | 1c
3am | 2c
What's Hot

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Sundays 10|9c

So Much Pretty Food Here