The 1 Thing to Brush on Turkey to Make It Ultra Crispy and Golden Brown

Anna Monette Roberts

Everyone wants a perfectly golden-brown turkey with crisp skin, but what's the trick? I asked a Turkey Talk expert at Butterball, who said America has got to stop basting and glazing. I know this goes against everything generations before you may have said, but basting the bird just cools down the oven and makes the turkey take longer to reach the right temperature.

The turkey skin will brown, so long as you brush it with a high-heat oil or clarified butter before putting in the oven. Butterball says turkey skin is like a raincoat and the drippings just drip right off, anyway. So why bother basting? The drippings can be used for the gravy.

Related: How to Carve a Turkey, in Pictures

In addition, don't open the oven repeatedly. It's so tempting to check on the bird, but use the oven light for that. Position the turkey and the oven-safe thermometer in such a way that you can read the temperature through the window. However, if your oven doesn't have a window (or you don't have an oven-safe thermometer), there's always simple math. Calculate the amount of time it will take you to cook the bird, and rely on a timer.

Related: 46 Thanksgiving Appetizers That Are Easy as (Pumpkin) Pie