Some people get really uptight at the thought of cooking a turkey, but their worry is unfounded. Actually roasting a turkey is one of the easiest cooking feats to accomplish successfully. Allow for adequate turkey cooking time, and you can be successful your first time out. By following a few simple cooking tips, anyone can roast a perfect turkey to complement their Thanksgiving feast or any other meal.

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The traditional way to cook a turkey is to roast it. Even roasting can be done a number of different ways. To start with, always wash a turkey thoroughly. Check it over for any remaining pin feathers, and cut off large chunks of fat. Tying the drumsticks together with a piece of string and securing the wings with toothpicks will help ensure even browning. If you aren't going to stuff your turkey, salt the bird's cavity well. Stuffing will increase the turkey cooking time you will need to allow for.
If you have a roasting pan with a lid, that is ideal to roast your turkey in. If not, a large baking pan will do. Spray the pan with cooking spray and then cover it with aluminum foil for ease of cooking. Put the turkey into the pan, and tent another sheet of foil over the top. Your turkey cooking time is going to depend on the way you cook it. A good rule of thumb in roasting an unstuffed turkey is to allow a half hour for each pound your turkey weighs. Roast your turkey until a meat thermometer inserted into the breast reads 170 degrees or 180 degrees in the thigh. The touchiest part of roasting a turkey this way is not to cook it too long which will cause it to dry out.
If you want a shorter turkey cooking time, you can invest in a roasting bag. These bags are quite inexpensive and will save you a lot of roasting time. Using a bag, a ten pound turkey can be roasted in about 2 hours. A timetable comes in the box with the bags which gives you the exact times depending on the size of your turkey and whether it's stuffed or not. All you have to do is add a tablespoon of flour to the bag to keep the turkey from sticking, pop in your prepared turkey, and use the enclosed tie to secure the end of the bag. Your turkey will brown beautifully and remain juicy.
Probably the fastest, although most expensive, way to cook your turkey is by frying it. This method is costly, because you have to invest in a turkey fryer and several gallons of oil. However, if you're pressed for time or oven space, this may be the way for you to go. It will only take about three minutes per pound to cook your turkey this way, and it will turn out very moist and flavorful. One caution, however. Frying also adds a large number of calories to low-calorie turkey meat.