Why You Should Be Slathering Your Thanksgiving Turkey In Mayo

Preparing a Thanksgiving turkey is no small feat. Not only do you need to spend hours prepping, cooking, and tending to the bird, but you need to make sure it comes out flavorful and juicy. There are, of course, plenty of tips and tricks for roasting a perfect turkey, but before the bird goes into the oven, it needs a slather of fat. Turkey doesn't inherently have a lot of fat, which makes it susceptible to drying out. While butter tends to be a popular choice for this step, mayo is the real star for the holiday bird.

Whether you love this popular condiment or find mayonnaise disgusting, it's the perfect complement to turkey due to its high fat content. The mayo penetrates the turkey's skin and meat to help keep it moist while it's cooking. And don't worry — if you don't like the condiment's taste, you won't be biting into a glob of mayonnaise during Thanksgiving dinner. When mayo is cooked, the taste dissipates while still highlighting any other flavors present. As such, if you're going to slather your turkey in mayo, we suggest adding in your favorite poultry spices and herbs.

Jazz up your mayo-covered turkey

Mayo doesn't just add moisture to turkey — it also adds texture. Just like mayo is the secret ingredient in a crispy grilled cheese, mayo on turkey will help crisp the bird's skin. Plus, instead of constantly basting your bird, you can let mayonnaise take care of it, as the condiment acts as a self-baster. When the time comes to slather the bird, make sure you strategically cover as much surface area as possible; this will help the turkey cook evenly. Lift the skin, then slather your mayo mixture on both the inside and outside of the bird. Don't forget to get the wings and all the nooks and crannies.

If you usually like to stuff the turkey's cavity with some fresh herbs and citrus, go right ahead. Ingredients like fresh rosemary and lemon will only enhance the turkey's final flavor. You can continue cooking the bird just like you normally would, including the ever-important rest time. Also, if you like homemade gravy, you're in luck: There will still be pan drippings, though you may have to add a little water during the cooking process. The only thing left to decide is which kind of mayonnaise you'll use on your Thanksgiving bird.