How to Cook the Thanksgiving Turkey in a Pressure Cooker

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My family has a tradition of pressure cooking the Thanksgiving turkey. It frees up room in the oven for other dishes and is a lot less hassle. Follow these easy steps to cook your Thanksgiving turkey quickly and easily using your pressure cooker. Your turkey will come out juicy, and well seasoned.

Step 1: Buying and Thawing the Turkey

When you buy your turkey you have to be careful to pick the right size. You want to make sure that your turkey will fill no more than half your pressure cooker. Therefore, it is good to know the size of your pressure cooker before you purchase your turkey. Also, unless you already have plans for the insides, simply buy a turkey that already has them removed.

You will have to thaw your turkey just like you would if you were roasting it. Often this information will be on the turkey package. This is usually 24 hours per 5 pounds to thaw in the refrigerator. It is not safe to thaw your turkey on the counter.

Step 2: Follow or Adjust the Recipe to Your Family’s Tastes

  • 1-2 onions cut in 1/8ths
  • 5 carrots cut in stew sized chunks
  • 2 cans chicken stock
  • 1 head of garlic diced (to taste)
  • herbs to taste

Simply toss all the ingredients into your pressure cooker

Step 3: Using Your Pressure Cooker

Every pressure cooker is different. Your pressure cooker comes with a booklet that tells you how its settings work. Look up the poultry section. Even if it doesn’t have turkey the guidelines will still work if you use the ones for chicken.

Some people use bigger turkeys. Your turkey should be only half the size of the pressure cooker so that as it builds pressure it doesn’t build so much that you have a hard time getting the lid off. Cooking should only take an hour or so. When it is done be very careful around the pressure cooker. There may be very hot steam that could scald you.

Step 4: Serving Pressure Cooked Turkey

When a turkey is pressure cooked it falls off the bone. This means that it is all cooking and soaking in the other ingredients. This helps the turkey stay juicy. When serving the turkey for the Thanksgiving meal simply pick out the pieces you want to put on the serving plate. When you package up the leftovers you will want to pick out the bones.

Leftover pressure cooked turkey can be used with other leftover Thanksgiving dishes. The turkey also makes great sandwiches, soup, and casseroles.

While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!

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