The Clever Turkey Cooking Hack That Involves A T-Shirt

food, the clever turkey cooking hack that involves a t-shirt

Thanksgiving turkey with berry trimmings

There’s no rule that says you have to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving. When the pandemic hit, many of us were tasked with rethinking our Turkey Day menus to accommodate tiny apartment kitchens and slimmed-down parties, replacing the centerpiece of the meal with something simpler, like a roast chicken. Some of us may have skipped Thanksgiving altogether and ordered a pizza. Now that CDC travel guidelines are more forgiving and the rate of COVID-19 cases has reduced since 2020, per The New York Times, more Americans are gathering for large celebrations and revisiting the classic turkey. (This is in spite of the fact that turkey prices are skyrocketing in the U.S. thanks to one of the largest avian flu outbreaks in recent history.)

If you’re planning on breaking out the baster for a classic Thanksgiving feast this year, you’re probably fielding tips for how to prevent the bird from drying out in the oven — especially if it’s your first time in turkey town. Allow us to add one more easy trick to your arsenal, courtesy of Martha Stewart.

Make Sure The Shirt Is Clean

food, the clever turkey cooking hack that involves a t-shirt

Two plain white t-shirts on blue background

A roundup of Thanksgiving hacks turns to the queen herself, Martha Stewart, whose guide to “the perfect roast turkey” has been saving the day since 1995, per Martha Stewart. One of Stewart’s tips for roasting a 20-pound stuffed bird includes draping a cheesecloth soaked in butter and white wine over the turkey while it cooks to both season it and lock in moisture. “The cheesecloth keeps the bird moist, and prevents it from getting too dark too quickly,” writes Stewart, who removes the cloth an hour or so before the oven timer goes off to allow for browning.

If you’re reading this on November 24 and you don’t have a cheesecloth, Stewart suggests taking a trip to your drawer. As Stewart once said on an episode of NBC’s “Today,” a plain cotton T-shirt soaked in wine and butter will work just as well as a cloth. She notes that the cheesecloth or T-shirt prevents the turkey skin from burning and helps curb the heat of the breast, which is the part of the bird that tends to try out the fastest. If you use a shirt, make sure it’s clean, lest you accidentally season the bird with your human scent.

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