How long do you let a turkey rest after cooking?

Shawn Steward
  • How long do you let a turkey rest after cooking? Shawn Steward

    I have heard mixed advice on how long you should let a turkey rest after cooking.

    Last year my wife and I watched a Thanksgiving cooking show with Gordon Ramsey and he said you should let the turkey rest for as long as you cooked it. If you cook it 3 hours, it should rest for 3 hours. That seems like an awful long time to me.

    Everything else I've read looks like 30 minutes to an hour is fine. Any suggestions?

  • The purpose- as with any cooked meat- is to let the meat firm up so it doesn't release juices when you cut into it.

    In the case of a turkey it also helps to let it cool enough to not burn you when you are carving and eating it.

    Both of these goals will be met in 30 minutes to an hour.

    I don't know why that chef would recommend 3 hours. At that length of time the turkey would start to approach room temperature and would be less appealing to eat as well as start the clock on the danger zone.

  • It's to let the juices get absorbed into the meat. The meat doesn't have to be piping hot, as the gravy will be.

    It's common knowledge to let the turkey rest for around at least 2 hours. It will completely enhance the taste.

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turkey thanksgiving
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