Everyone wants a perfectly golden-brown turkey with crisp skin, but . . . how do you actually get crispy turkey skin? I asked a Turkey Talk expert at Butterball if there's a way to guarantee crispy turkey skin every time — and the advice I got was groundbreaking. The expert said America has got to stop basting and glazing to get that crispy turkey skin they crave. 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.
How to Get Crispy Turkey Skin
Brush your turkey with a high-heat oil or clarified butter before putting in the oven, and the skin will brown. 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.
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.
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 so you can minimize opening the oven door.
These tricks will help guarantee you get the crispy turkey skin of your dreams on Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) day. Enjoy!