Thanksgiving is right around the corner and whether or not you celebrate this holiday, it is a great excuse to eat a delicious meal with friends and family. And if you’re the one in charge of the turkey this year, it’s never too early to start prepping! In this edition of Just The Tips, Chef Matt reveals his tips for baking the perfect bird. Read below to check them out!

1. BREAK IT DOWN: I don’t believe in cooking a turkey whole. Separating the bird into parts (legs, breast, etc.) and cooking these parts at different times and temperatures will help you achieve perfectly cooked, juicy meat. It’s also much more practical for those of us with tiny kitchens.

2. AIR DRY: When you bring your turkey home from the grocery store, thoroughly dry the skin, season it, and leave the bird unwrapped and exposed to air for as long as possible before cooking (while keeping it at a safe temperature). This will ensure a perfectly crispy skin when it comes out of the oven.

3. COOK FROM ROOM TEMPERATURE: Allowing the internal temperature of your turkey to come to room temperature before cooking will result in even coloring and even cooking, especially the middle of the bird.

4. DON’T BE SCARED OF BUTTER: Be generous with butter in between the skin and the meat of the turkey. We all know that butter makes everything taste better.

5. DON’T STRESS: Thanksgiving is all about spending quality time with friends and family so you should enjoy the cooking process as much as possible. If that means preparing sides ahead of time or asking for help, do it!

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