How to achieve crispy turkey skin
The holy grail of the home chef is achieving that perfect, crisp, brown skin across the breast of a roast turkey. If you’ve ever had a family roast, then you’ll have found that everybody has their own theories about the best way to get that golden finish.

Some popular methods include brushing the juices from around the turkey over the top of the bird, or covering it in boiling water so that as the water evaporates the skin of the bird tightens, helping to crisp it up. Others argue you should pat the turkey dry to get rid of any excess moisture.

We very much subscribe to the removing excess moisture school of thought. An easy way to do this is to air dry the turkey by unwrapping it and leaving it in the fridge overnight before cooking it. This will give the moisture on the skin of the turkey time to dry off.
The muslin cloth method
This method involves taking a square of cook’s muslin, which you can find in most kitchen shops. Soak the muslin in melted butter while you season the turkey. Lay the material over the top of the turkey before you put it in the oven.
The baking powder method
Use the air drying method to get rid of as much surface liquid as possible. You should also rub salt into the skin, encouraging it to release any water it’s holding so that it will evaporate more quickly while cooking.

You can improve your results even more with the application of baking powder. The baking powder contains both monocalcium phosphate (an acid) and sodium bicarbonate (an alkali). As water is released from the turkey’s skin the baking powder will absorb it, causing the acid and alkali to react with one another. This reaction releases calcium ion which enter the skin cells of the turkey and activate the enzymes that break down proteins.

These broken down proteins have a lower “activation energy” which means that it will take less heat for the skin to brown.
Never baste the turkey
Ovens create dry heat, sucking the moisture out of the turkey the longer it’s cooked for. If you stuff or baste your turkey this becomes a problem. A turkey with stuffing inside it takes longer to cook, and by the time the stuffing is safe to eat the actual meal of the turkey will have dried out. Likewise, if you’re constantly opening the door of the oven to baste the turkey you’re letting heat out and adding moisture to the skin of the bird, which is the opposite of what you want.


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How to achieve crispy turkey skin