How A Bag Of Ice Could Upgrade Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Anyone that has ever hosted Thanksgiving — or Friendsgiving, for that matter — knows that the most intimidating and laborious part of the holiday meal prep is making the turkey. It's the highlight of the day, after all, and even if you're like the 25% of Americans who aren't a fan of the roasted bird, it's a tradition that many feel must be on the table (via Study Finds). The whole process starts with choosing the right size turkey depending on how many guests will be at dinner (and just how much turkey leftovers you want in the fridge post-meal). Then, it's time to get to cooking.

Everyone and their mother has an opinion on the best way to roast a turkey for Thanksgiving. Some say you should brine it ahead of time, while others say it's all about getting the perfect oven temperature and cook time (via Fine Cooking). But, one lesser-known hack that involves a bag of ice has recently gained traction. Here's why some people swear by icing your turkey before you pop it in the oven.

Putting ice on the turkey before roasting could keep it moist

Tired of gnawing away at dried-out turkey breast on Thanksgiving? According to Harold McGee, culinary scientist and author of "On Food and Cooking," the secret to the perfectly moist Thanksgiving turkey has everything to do with what happens before you put it in the oven. As noted on Lifehacker, McGee recommends putting a couple of ice packs directly on the breast meat — while letting the rest of the turkey get to room temperature — for 15 to 20 minutes in the roasting pan prior to cooking it (also on The Reluctant Gourmet). Harold says this will prevent the breast meat from drying out and will keep it nice and juicy.

But does it work? Wine brand Kendall-Jackson decided to put the unique trick to the test. Their chefs found that it did in fact lead to a more moist piece of turkey, compared to the meat of the one they didn't ice. "The McGee method added a little something extra to the tenderness of the turkey that has convinced me to cook my meal using a few ice packs," the tester said.