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Thanksgiving Tip: Give Your Turkey a Break

It's easy to get excited when the star of dinner — the Thanksgiving turkey — is done, but the key to a moist meal is to remain patient. Once you've tested the turkey with a thermometer and it's reached 160-165°F in the middle of the thigh, remove it from the oven and let the bird sit for 20 to 30 minutes.

There are several reasons for doing this. First, the temperature will continue to rise — in fact, by as much as 10°F — even after the resting bird's out of the oven. This will ensure your turkey is fully cooked.

In addition, while a turkey roasts, its juices tend to move away from the heat to the middle of the turkey. Cutting into the turkey immediately, therefore, will result in all of the juices running out.

Instead, focus your attention on the sides, and give the bird time for its juices to redistribute. Even the leanest parts of the turkey, such as its breast, will remain succulent. A juicy turkey is also significantly easier to carve than a dry one.

How long do you like to let your turkey rest? Do you have any other tips for keeping your turkey moist?

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