Skipping This Prep Step Could Result In A Soggy Turkey

For most holiday meals, the turkey is the star of the show. Every home cook hosting such a meal envisions serving up a turkey that looks like it belongs in a food magazine spread — moist on the inside with skin that's perfectly golden brown and slightly crisp on the outside. After all, you eat with your eyes first — even if you've made a turkey that tastes incredible, it's always a bit of a let down when you bring a pale, soggy bird to the table. Luckily, the thing that can take your turkey skin from mushy to perfectly golden brown is a simple prep step. 

Many people skip it, but if you want the kind of turkey you've always dreamed of, trust us, you'll want to take the extra minute or two during prep. While you absolutely don't want your turkey meat to be dry, you do want the skin itself to be dry — that's how it gets crispy. So, before you stick your bird in the oven for a few hours of roasting, make sure you thoroughly dry the cavity and skin to keep all that sogginess at bay, as MyRecipes recommends. There are other tips and tricks that can ensure you get the flavor you want, but patting your turkey's skin dry is how you'll get that golden brown exterior — make sure you don't skip this particular prep step, no matter what else you change in your preparation process.

A few more tips for crisp turkey skin

If you're determined to get that golden, crispy skin that will impress everyone at the dinner table, there are a few more tips you may want to incorporate into your cooking process. While drying the skin is by far the most important one, some cooks even go one step beyond physically drying out the skin by blotting it with a paper towel or cloth of some sort, and actually leave the entire turkey to air dry for a period of time to really get that moisture out of the skin. Once your turkey skin is as dry as you can get it, you'll want to rub it all over with some type of fat. 

Many people prefer butter because it adds a bit of flavor, but if your main goal is crispy skin, you might actually want to go with oil instead. Unlike butter, oil doesn't contain any water at all that could compromise your skin crisping up. Finally, don't ruin all that drying by adding moisture right when you're getting ready to serve your turkey. As with most meats, you want to give your freshly roasted turkey a bit of time to rest so that the juices don't all pour out the minute you slice into the bird. However, don't make the mistake of covering your turkey with foil to rest — all that steam will turn into moisture that will take the skin from crisp to soggy.