Do Not Tent Your Turkey With Foil

Do Not Tent Your Turkey With Foil
Photo: Cabeca de Marmore, Shutterstock

I have always been a skin eater, much to my mother’s chagrin. “It’s not good for you,” she would say as she peeled the browned and burnished skin off a Costco rotisserie chicken. “I don’t care!” I would shout, as I tried to snatch it off her plate before she threw it in the garbage.

Skin tastes good, and I like eating it. If I roast some sort of bird, but don’t manage to eat the skin in one sitting, I’ll save it and re-crisp it in the air fryer, then crumble it on salads or stack it on sandwiches. So it is from a place of love — a love for crispy poultry skin — that I am begging you to refrain from tenting your turkey in foil.

A turkey, fresh from the oven or grill or fryer, is very hot. It’s steaming hot. Wrapping your hot bird in foil doesn’t just trap heat, it traps steam, and steam is the enemy of crispy skin. Steam softens the skin, making it soggy and gummy and undoing all of your hard work.

If you are worried about The Bird getting cold, please do not be! It’s a big bird, and birds with large amounts of mass hold heat quite well, especially before you cut them up into pieces. (Have you ever tried to cut into a turkey within the first half hour it’s out of the oven? It hurts!)

So don’t tent your turkey. Just let it hang out on a platter or cutting board while you finish the side dishes, set the table, and corral your family. It will still be plenty hot by the time you carve it, and the skin will still be worth eating.


Log in to comment on this story!