The Trick To Getting Crispy Skin On A Basted Turkey

Whether you are gearing up to cook a pork chop, scallop, steak, or turkey, there is one technique that is important to master to help ensure you have the juiciest piece of meat possible — and that is the art of basting. According to The Spruce Eats, basting is a cooking technique that helps chefs and at-home cooks keep the meat they are cooking nice and moist. It uses things like pan drippings, stock (chicken, beef, or vegetable), butter (or margarine), or any other homemade liquid. Not only does basting help maintain your cut of protein's moisture, but it also adds flavor as well. 

But, what happens when you want to ensure that your meat is moist and tender, but you also want crispy, crunchy skin on top? Grill Master Randy Watson and Chef Tony Matassa from BBQGuys have a special trick to guarantee that you get crispy skin every time. If crispy is your game, then creating a basting fluid that is a mixture of melted butter, herbs, and a bit of palm oil is what you will need to up your turkey game.

Why basting your turkey is important

Bon Appetit agrees that basting is an effective and efficient tool for cooking because it helps create a golden-layered crust and also adds a crazy amount of flavor to whatever you are cooking. It is important to note that not all basting is the same. Basting something in a pan is not the same as basting something that is roasting in the oven, the same way roasting in the oven is not the same as cooking something on the grill or in a smoker

Bon Appetit explains that when roasting in the oven, the best practice to implement is to take the rendered fat that falls from the protein and add that to the meat. (They say that's what makes the true basting magic happens.) When it comes to basting in a pan, the technique imparts flavor and is a gentler way of cooking the meat. On the grill or in the smoker, basting takes on a mopping action, according to Bon Appetit. BBQGuys suggests that when basting a turkey in the smoker, you should be very careful and do it about every 30 to 40 minutes, using different ingredients in your basting fluid depending on what you want. If crispy skin isn't your goal, they recommend basting your turkey with some rendered fat mixed with red wine or apple cider vinegar.