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Should You Really Roast Your Turkey Upside Down?

Good Housekeeping logo Good Housekeeping 8/30/2018 Lauren Piro
a bowl of food on a table: The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen weighs in on whether you should roast a turkey upside down this Thanksgiving. © Getty Images The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen weighs in on whether you should roast a turkey upside down this Thanksgiving.

There's nothing worse than a dry, tasteless turkey. And on Thanksgiving? Well, it would be a tragedy. That's why some people swear by flipping their turkey upside down. It's actually quite a simple idea: For a juicier bird, roast your turkey breast-side down for the first 30 to 45 minutes of cooking and then flip it back over.

While this hack does seem like it makes for a flavor-packed roast, the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen says that it's too good to be true. In fact, it's not even the best way to make a turkey. Here's why:

1. Flipping a piping hot turkey is tricky (to say the least).

"It's pretty unwieldy to turn the bird in the middle of roasting it," says Good Housekeeping's Culinary Director Susan Westmoreland. "And we found that our easy tenting method works just as well for keeping the meat moist."

For the first hour of roasting or up to two hours for larger birds, prop an aluminum foil tent over the turkey. After you remove the tent, the skin will still have enough time to get brown and crisp. It's a much easier move than precariously flipping your twenty-pounder in the roasting rack. (We learned the hard way.)

2. Brining is the real winning idea.

It's the most foolproofmethod for making sure your turkey won't dry out as you roast it. When it comes to brining, you have two options: Rub the bird all over with kosher salt a couple of days ahead or add it to a salt-concentrated liquid brine.

3. It could take away from your turkey's unveiling.

We've found that the roasting rack can leave unsightly marks on the turkey's breast if you cook it upside down. Or worse, you might tear the skin when you flip it. If you live for that once-a-year, glamour-shot carving moment, stick to roasting right-side up.

Related video: How to Make a Perfect Flaky Pie Crust

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