Christina Chaey's Advice For The Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

If you've spent time exploring the online food world, you know to listen to Christina Chaey. And if there is any time you need a food expert to guide you, it's Thanksgiving. The fall holiday is not just a time of family and football, it's also one to frantically search for the best secrets and recipes to wow your guests and elicit a coveted "What is in this?" exclamation. The biggest source of mystery, fear, and frustration is the turkey, the holiday centerpiece that is prone to dry out and leave a table of quietly disappointed diners. Well, you can stop worrying and searching because Chaey is here to help guide you on your quest for turkey perfection.

Christina Chaey is a writer, editor, and recipe developer who is a trusted dispenser of culinary secrets and a beloved figure in the digital food world. She is also a professional chef, podcaster, and video host, who now uses social media to share her cooking knowledge with the world. Chaey recently partnered with Kikkoman to share some great Thanksgiving tips with Tasting Table. She already gave out some advice on vegetables you can purchase in advance of the holiday to make your life a little easier, and her secret to the best Thanksgiving turkey couldn't be more simple.

Christina Chaey uses soy sauce for a juicy Thanksgiving turkey

One of the best tricks for a perfect Thanksgiving turkey is a brine. Wet or dry brining infuses flavor all the way to the center of the bird and helps keep the meat tender and juicy. Christina Chaey told Tasting Table that for her turkey recipe (featured on Chaey's Instagram), she takes that to the next level by adding Kikkoman soy sauce to the wet brine. She told Tasting Table, "I use it to brine the turkey and you just get a really juicy, extra savory, beautifully golden-brown 'classic' roast turkey."

Soy sauce has the saltiness to brine a turkey but also adds an extra layer of umami flavor. Chaey also doubles the fun with a soy sauce-based glaze for even more flavor and excellent browning. Her glaze consists of soy sauce, butter, maple syrup, and an assortment of herbs and spices, which gets brushed on while the turkey cooks.

Chaey says the number one thing to avoid with a Thanksgiving turkey is overcooking it. She told Tasting Table, "The best way to make sure you're not overcooking it would be to use an instant read thermometer in the right place which is towards the neck of the turkey. That's the thickest part of the breast." With these simple tips from Christina Chaey, you are already on your way to turning out the best Thanksgiving turkey you have ever made.