Keep Your Bird Juicy: 5 Tips From the Pros

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5 pro tips for a juicy turkeySo you got stuck making the turkey this Thanksgiving huh? I don't know about you, but the threat of having to make the bird always makes me think of that awful dried out carcass from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Remember how it just cracked open, and everyone stared? Don't let that be you! A juicy turkey is easier than you think.

And you don't have to trust me (why would you; I'm a vegetarian!). I always turn to the pros when I'm on holiday dinner duty. Here's what the experts have to say about keeping the bird nice and moist!

Gordon Ramsay -- The Hell's Kitchen chef doesn't require a single f-word to get his bird to stay moist. He simply takes it from the oven when it's done, then creates a tent of tin foil over the turkey and lets it sit for about half an hour. This allows the juices to redistribute themselves throughout the bird.

Paula Deen
-- There's no sticking the bird in the oven and heading off to watch the parade in Paula's kitchen. She suggests drizzling the turkey in its own juices, get this, once every 30 minutes!

Tyler Florence -- You can tell this chef has young kids at home. He speeds up the whole Thanksgiving cooking process by cutting the turkey in half! It cooks in half the time, and Florence says it won't destroy the "texture" of the bird ... so it's a whole lot juicier.

Ree Drummond -- The Pioneer Woman is all about the brine before you roast your bird, which she says guarantees a "juicy, fantastic turkey" every time. You can buy a pre-made brine or mix up her recipe!

Ina Garten
-- If you've never seen a stick of butter you didn't want to cook with, you'll love Ina's trick for a juicy bird. She uses slices of an herbed butter stuck beneath the skin to keep the meat moist.

What's your tried and true trick for keeping the bird nice and moist? Will you be trying one of the pros' tips this year?

 

Image via Jon Edwards Photography/Corbis

thanksgiving, chefs & cookbooks