This Thanksgiving, don’t fret over that bird all day! Whether you want to host a small Thanksgiving get-together or plan on feeding the whole family, having a Ronco Rotisserie do the heavy lifting in the kitchen insures a delicious, moist, perfectly cooked Thanksgiving turkey… every time. With no need to baste, tent or watch the oven all day, our Showtime Rotisserie oven cooks your turkey perfectly and in much less time… all while freeing up your oven for those sides, casseroles and pies!
Follow these 4 simple steps to make this the easiest Thanksgiving yet… and you will soon be known as the “go-to” house for the best turkey in town!
Step one: Pick your Turkey.
There are 3 things to consider when buying a turkey: size, fresh or frozen & type.
Size is the easiest decision so let’s start there. With a whole turkey, 1 to 1 1/2 pounds per guest is plenty… especially if your guests like to load up on the stuffing, potatoes, green bean casseroles, yams, cranberry sauce and pie!
Go for 1 1/2 to 2 pounds per guest if leftover turkey is your favorite part of the holiday.
If you are planning on cooking a turkey breast, plan for 2/3 pound per person when purchasing a bone-in turkey breast and 1/2 pound per person with a boneless turkey breast. (Both work perfectly in your Rostisserie oven)
B. Fresh or Frozen?
A fresh or air-chilled turkey, as the name implies, has never been frozen or exposed to temperatures under 28°F. Home cooks and chef’s generally recommended to get a fresh turkey since it tends to be more flavorful and has more moisture. As an added bonus, you don’t need to be concerned about food safety when defrosting your turkey last-minute. However, buying a fresh bird usually requires a pre-order at the grocery store… so be sure to plan ahead!
Frozen means that the turkey has been put through a deep freeze process to make commercial turkey more easily shipped. Sometimes fresh turkey is not available, so frozen is obviously the way to go in that case.
The basics: These birds have been minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients, coloring, or preservatives. Not all natural birds are free-range and organic, so be sure to read the label if free-range (allowed to roam free and fed a diet of both feed and bugs) or organic is important to you. A turkey labeled natural can really benefit from brining since it is minimally processed.
The basics: Turkeys labeled organic are raised free of antibiotics and growth hormones, and are typically given access to the outdoors. Organic turkeys are fed organic feed, which by law contains no genetically modified grains, pesticides or herbicides, or animal by-products.
The basics: Kosher turkeys are raised and processed according to Jewish dietary law. After the feathers are removed, the birds are soaked in cold water three times and heavily salted. This creates a sort of pre-brine, and is a great short cut for those who like the flavor and texture of a wet brined turkey, but prefer not to do it themselves. Be careful adding salt to these birds and gravy since these turkeys are already salted.
The basics: Heritage breeds are direct descendants of the first domesticated turkeys raised by the English settlers. These birds are considerably more expensive than commercially raised turkeys, but some home-cooks and chefs swear that the flavor is sooooo worth it. These birds are typically free-range and are antibiotic, additive & hormone free. Heritage birds have a more “natural” gamier flavor, are lower in fat and have a more proportionate amount of white to dark meat since they are not fed hormones.
The basics: These turkeys have been injected with moisture and fat (in the form of broth, water, salt, fat, and flavor solutions) to add flavor and moisture. These birds are typically moister and have a more buttery flavor… but could be loaded with sodium and additives. This type of turkey is all ready to be cooked and does not need brining. Be careful adding salt to these birds and gravy since these turkeys are already salted.
Step 2: Do your pregame prep!
- Defrost: If using a frozen turkey, be sure to allow 24 hours per 4-5 pounds of turkey in the refrigerator to defrost. Thaw in package with breast up and in a large bowl or cookie sheet.
- Brine: Decide on if you are going to brine your bird. If you decide to brine, be sure to go with a natural, organic or heritage bird to not have an overly salted bird. If you are going to brine your turkey, plan on giving it at least 18 hours and up to 3 days to brine. Dry brine or wet? Check out his article from the Kitchn.
Step 3: Get ready to rotisserie!
- Cooking a turkey in your Ronco Rotisserie takes about 12 minutes per pound and you should allow your bird about 20 minutes of resting after it has reached temperature. With that in mind, a 14-15 pound turkey should start cooking 3.15 to 3.50 hours before you want to sit down for dinner.
- To cook your turkey in any Ronco Rotisserie, remove from refrigerator, dry skin and cavity with paper towels.
- (Optional) lightly stuff cavity with aromatics such as onions, herbs, lemon and 1/2 stick of butter. Do not over stuff as this will add more cooking time. Adding aromatics to the cavity adds flavors and nice aromas.
- Season skin with salt (if not brined) and pepper, maybe some herbs if you like.
- Truss turkey with 4-5 Ronco Rotisserie Ties by tying the turkey every few inches across the bird. Make sure that legs and wings are secure to the body of the bird. If you added aromatics to the cavity, be sure to tie the legs in a way that covers up the cavity and secures ingredients inside. See video for trussing instructions.
- Place onto rotisserie spit, making sure that it is balanced on the middle. It helps to insert the spit at an angle into the breast. This may take a couple of time, but that’s ok.
Step 4: Rotisserie your turkey
- Place turkey loaded spit rod in your rotisserie oven at position A.
- Set timer for 12 minutes per pound* and let the Ronco Rotisserie do the work. There is no need to baste your bird, although we do like to brush the skin with a pastry brush 2-3 times during the cooking process to promote evenly browned skin.
- When your turkey reaches temperature* at the breast, set your rotisserie to the no heat rotate setting… allowing your turkey to rest and rotate in the Ronco Rotisserie for 15-20 minutes with the door open.
*Cooking time may vary slightly depending on salt content, water content, environmental temperature, starting temperature of food etc. so we always suggest checking doneness with a meat thermometer. The breast meat should be 165°F and the thigh at least 165°F but ideally 185°F- pay more attention to the breast temperature than the thigh. Start checking temperature 30 minutes before you think your turkey should be done.
Isn’t that easy? If you don’t have a Ronco Rotisserie in your home, now is the time to order one… with plenty of time for Thanksgiving!
Ronco Rotisserie Turkey
- 1 teaspoon of KOSHER salt per pound (other salts like sea salt and table salt will make your bird too salty)
- 1-2 tablespoons of cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoons dried sage
- Mix together dry brine.
- Remove neck and giblets from defrosted turkey.
- Using a paper towel, completely dry the inside and outside of your turkey.
- Generously rub brine all over the outside and inside cavity of your turkey.
- Allow turkey to brine in the refrigerator, uncovered, in a large pan for at least 18 hours and up to 3 days.
- When ready to cook, gently pat down skin with a paper towel to remove excess moisture, but not the brine.
- Truss the wings and legs to your turkey and place the bird on the rotisserie spit so it as balanced as it rotates. Cook for 10-12 minutes per pound. If using a meat thermometer, allow turkey to reach 165º F at the thickest part of the breast.
When done, allow your turkey to rest for 15-20 minutes while rotating with no heat and door open in your rotisserie before carving.
Chef Paja-Dejur Sanchez
Feel free to post any rotisserie/ turkey questions in the comment section and I will get back to you ASAP!