- The safest way to thaw a bird is in the fridge; count on about five hours per pound for it to fully defrost (so a 20-pounder will take four days).
- For crisper skin, unwrap the turkey the day before Thanksgiving, and leave it uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.
- Turkeys cook more evenly if they're not packed full of stuffing. A loose handful of aromatics (carrots, celery, onions and garlic) or fresh herbs adds flavor without leading to a dry bird. Cook the stuffing in a dish on the side, moistened generously with stock.
- Scatter roughly chopped chunks of onions, carrots, celery and garlic on the bottom of your roasting pan before arranging the turkey on top. They'll add tons of flavor to your drippings (and thus to your gravy).
- Once the turkey goes in the oven, don't open the door too often. Every time you do, the heat drops precipitously, so it'll raise both the cook time as well as the odds of a dry bird.
- Carve your turkey with as sharp a knife as possible. Take the legs and wings off first (go straight through the joint) and you’ll have more room to maneuver when you get to the breast.
(Courtesy of The Food Network)