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How To Tent A Turkey

11/04/2011 12:33 pm ET | Updated Aug 31, 2012

If your turkey browns before the internal temperature comes up to a food-safe 165F, don't panic, says chef Dwayne LiPuma of The Culinary Institute of America. There's an easy solution: tenting.

How to Tent a Turkey Using Foil

This technique -- basically wrapping the bird in aluminum foil -- will keep the heat from burning the skin while allowing the turkey to finish cooking. There's nothing special about the method chef LiPuma uses, either. He just covers the roasting pan with foil, sealing the edges around the lip of the pan. But the last step is important. Leave one side slightly open to allow steam to escape, otherwise the bird's crisp skin will get soggy.

For 60 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. In this video series, experienced chefs and educators show you how to tackle essential cooking techniques.

Video Transcript

I'm Chef Dwayne LiPuma, from the Culinary Institute of America, and today I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: how to tent a turkey.

We're going to do what they call tenting a turkey. Sometimes your oven isn't calibrated to the exact right temperature, and it might get away from you a little bit - meaning it might run on the higher end. Your turkey is going to get a beautiful color, and you're saying 'wow, this is where I want to be' - but your internal temperature is not where it's supposed to be. It's going to be less than 165, and you know that you maybe have another half hour, hour, hour and a half to go. You know if the bird is going to stay in that oven longer, it's going to lose that beautiful color. So we're going to protect the bird.

A tent is nothing but a protection to stop it from coloring even more. It is so easy to do, and it can save you a lot of aggravation. We're going to take a sheet of aluminum foil, and we'll just wrap it around this turkey. You can see I use the lip of the pan to hold it on, and I also use the handle. Another concern is that once you encapsulate it like this, it will maybe start to steam a little bit; that might take away some of your crisp skin. So what I would do is just leave a little hole so the steam can escape - don't close it completely around the pan. That will keep the skin nice and crisp, and you'll see that you get the perfect bird, nice and juicy.

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