Are you ready to take on the challenge of cooking a Costco young turkey for the biggest dinner of the year? If so, I’m here to help. Cooking a holiday meal might seem intimidating, especially when it comes to something like a whole turkey. It’s a lot of work, and it’s all too easy to mess it up if you don’t have the right approach. Fortunately, with proper guidance and preparation, you can create a mouthwatering bird that’ll impress your family or guests.
In this guide, I want to help simplify the process for you. I’ll walk you through techniques for cooking a young turkey from Costco and how to serve it up in style. Plus, I’ll discuss how best to store leftovers (if there are any!) so you can make your money go further while avoiding food waste. Let’s get started!
How to Cook Costco Young Turkey?
Cooking a Costco young turkey is much easier than it looks and will surely be a big hit with your family and friends. Following these steps will not only ensure a delicious meal but also help you to store leftovers for later safely.
Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to enjoy a turkey dinner. Whether you’re a tried-and-true traditionalist or looking to put your own spin on things, just be sure to follow the preparation and cooking guidelines to get the most out of your young turkey.
Step 1: Thawing and Seasoning
Before you can cook the turkey, you’ll need to ensure it is thawed and prepared correctly. Start by taking the turkey out of the package and submerging it in cold water, ensuring it is completely covered. If needed, replace the water every 30 minutes. This can take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours — so plan ahead!
Once your turkey is thawed, you’ll want to season it before cooking. Apply salt and pepper on the exterior for a basic season. If desired, you can also add garlic powder, paprika, thyme, and oregano for more flavor or a rub mixture with olive oil or butter.
Step 2: Cooking the Turkey
The trick to getting a perfectly cooked bird is timing and temperature.
Preheat your oven to 325 °F (160 °C). Make sure you preheat your oven before you put your bird in to ensure even cooking. Place your turkey on a wire rack over a roasting pan. This allows air circulation so the turkey cooks evenly and prevents sticking.
Insert a meat thermometer into the middle of one of the thickest parts of the breast or thigh. A fully cooked turkey should reach at least 165 °F (75 °C).
I usually roast it, uncovered, for about 15 minutes per pound.
Step 3: Let It Rest and Serve
Once cooked, remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving, as this allows juices to redistribute throughout the meat for extra juiciness!
Transfer it to a platter or cutting board to carve. If you haven’t yet mastered carving, here’s the perfect video for you!
What to Serve With Costco Young Turkey?
Ready to serve your perfectly cooked Costco young turkey? Now it’s time to decide what goes best with it! Young turkeys are especially flavorful and pair well with dishes that bring out their natural flavor.
Traditional Thanksgiving sides such as potatoes, cranberries, and sweet potatoes are great options. But don’t be afraid to get creative!
Some of my favorite side dishes for young turkey are:
- Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon — the saltiness of the bacon balances the sweetness of the Brussels sprouts, creating an irresistible combo.
- Sweet potato casserole — a classic favorite for Thanksgiving meals! Sweet potato casserole brings sweetness to the table.
- Roasted Vegetables — a colorful way to liven up any meal. Roasting veggies brings out their natural flavor, and everyone loves them.
- Stuffing — another classic side dish that goes well with young turkey. A savory stuffing will add deliciousness to your meal.
- Green Beans — green beans are a staple for any Thanksgiving dinner and are always the best crowd-pleaser at my table!
How to Store Leftovers?
After you’ve enjoyed your feast, it’s time to store the leftovers. This delicious Costco young turkey can last up to four days in your refrigerator if stored properly. To make sure it’s well-preserved and doesn’t spoil, follow these easy steps:
- Allow the cooked bird to cool completely. Don’t put it in the fridge until it is no longer hot.
- Carve or dice the turkey meat and place it into an airtight container or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Label the outside of the container with a sharpie so you know what it is and when it was made (write the date).
- Store it in the refrigerator as soon as possible – no more than four days later.
- You can also freeze leftovers in a freezer-safe bag for up to a month! But make sure you defrost thoroughly before eating again!
Follow these simple steps, and you can enjoy your delicious, savory Costco young turkey for weeks afterward!
Costco Young Turkey Cooking Instructions
- Wire Rack
- Roasting Sheet Pan
- 1 Butterball Fresh Young Turkey (Mine had 22 lbs.)
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Paprika
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
Step 1: Thawing and Seasoning Turkey
- Take the turkey out of the package and submerge it in cold water, ensuring it is completely covered. If needed, replace the water every 30 minutes. This can take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours – so plan ahead!
- Once your turkey is thawed, mix the sesonings with olive oil, and rub it all over the turkey.
Step 2: Cooking the Turkey
- Preheat your oven to 325 °F (160 °C).
- Place your turkey on a wire rack over a roasting pan. This allows air circulation so the turkey cooks evenly and prevents sticking.
- Roast, uncovered, for about 15 minutes per pound.
- Near the end of the cooking process, insert a meat thermometer into the middle of one of the thickest parts of the breast or thigh. A fully cooked turkey should reach at least 165 °F (75 °C).
Step 3: Serving the Turkey
- Once cooked, remove the turkey from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving, as this allows juices to redistribute throughout the meat for extra juiciness!
- Transfer it to a platter or cutting board to carve.
- Enjoy your turkey with some of the serving recommendations from the text!
Before diving into the nutritional details, please review our Nutritional Disclaimer page for important context and clarifications.