Preparing Thanksgiving turkey can be intimidating, so we chatted with the chefs at Bub City and RPM Steak where both restaurants prepare incredible Thanksgiving meals. From smoking to deep frying and roasting your turkey, here are a few recipe ideas and tips:

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Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey RPM Steak

Bub City’s Whole Smoked TurkeyView the smoked turkey recipe here
Brine the turkey before smoking or frying to ensure a moist, cooked bird and extra added flavor. Let the finished turkey rest for an hour before carving to allow the juices to redistribute. It will still be warm come dinnertime, we swear.

Bub City’s Deep-Fried Turkey LegsView the fried turkey legs recipe here
Heard too many horror stories about deep-frying a whole bird? We recommend frying just the legs. If you’re still keen on deep-frying an entire turkey at home, look to YouTube to see what not to do.

RPM’s Roast TurkeyView the roast turkey recipe here
Simple is best when choosing seasoning for turkey: butter, salt and pepper. Add in a compound butter like garlic-sage if you’re feeling adventurous.


Now you’ve got some recipe ideas, here are tips on how to best prepare your turkey:

What and how much to order: Order a fresh, natural turkey in advance – don’t order a frozen turkey. Plan on 1.5 lbs. of turkey per person when determining the size of bird. We recommend two 12 – 14-lb. turkeys rather than one large 24-lb bird.

Prep the bird:

Brining the turkey for 24-hours is key in keeping it moist. Boil salt, sugar, bay leaves and peppercorns with cold water in a large stockpot until dissolved; cool. Submerge the turkey in a large container or cooler (adding ice helps) for 24 hours. Remove, bring to room temperature and dry completely before roasting.

To add even more moisture (and flavor!), rub the turkey all over with butter or olive oil. Take it up another notch by placing seasoned butter under the bird’s skin.

Cooking the turkey: 

Cooking the turkey on a rack will increase the hot air circulation, yielding an evenly cooked and crispy skin all around.

The best way to get crispy skin? Butter. Brush the bird with butter a few times during roasting, but be careful not to open the oven door too much — escaping hot air means longer cooking time.

Cook turkey, breast side down for 25 percent of the total cooking time, then carefully flip over for the remaining roasting time.

As an alternative, prepare your turkey on an outside BBQ grill with indirect heat to save oven space.

Let it rest: allowing the turkey to rest after cooking locks in the juices. At least 20 minutes is recommended, and you can go up to an hour.

Carve it up: The best to carve a turkey is to start from the legs and thigh and work your way up. Remove the leg and thigh on one side, then cut the meat off the bone and slice it on a bias; repeat on the other side. Remove the breast meat from the breastbone and slice. Make sure the wishbone has been removed before doing so!


Looking to go out Thanksgiving instead? Check out which restaurants are open for the holiday.

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