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What is a turkey baster and how do you use it?

What is a turkey baster and how do you use it?

If you’ve ever been in charge of cooking Christmas Dinner, you’ll know how critical it is to get the turkey right. It needs to be golden brown, delicately seasoned and most importantly, moist. Make your turkey too dry, and you might as well have declared Christmas cancelled – the day’s ruined.

The stakes are high. Nothing brings a family together like a roast. They’re some of our happiest food memories and a consistent contender for our all-time favourite dinners. So how can you make sure you get shiny, succulent meat every time? A Zyliss 2 in 1 Baster & Infuser could give you the edge – and make sure your roasts go down in family history.

What is a turkey baster?

A turkey baster is the easiest way to lock in juice and moisture when cooking roast meats. For that melt-in-the-mouth consistency and crispy, glossy skin, you need to constantly baste meat while it cooks. That means redistributing cooking juices and marinades to make sure it’s seeping into every part of your joint evenly

Without the right tools, that can be messy – and where hot liquids are involved, potentially dangerous. A turkey baster does away with all the fuss. It safely draws liquid up from the roasting tray and lets you precisely reapply it wherever it’s needed most. 

Why do you have to baste turkeys?

You can always tell when meat – and especially a leaner meat, like turkey – hasn’t been basted well. For one thing, it looks too pale. The flavour won’t be right, either. Fat locks in flavour and if you haven’t been applying it to your bird while it roasts, it’ll be bland and boring-tasting. Worst of all, it will be dry – crumbling rather than falling off the bone.

Turkeys are particularly tricky because they have a low fat percentage. While that makes them a great choice for healthier family dinners, it can mean they need a little more attention to make them melt in the mouth.  Basting turkeys redistributes juices around the areas close to the surface, which are likely to dry out during cooking. As the basting mixture evaporates, it helps the entire bird to cook more evenly. Turkeys need to be basted every 30 minutes or so for the best results. It’s a little extra work, but it’s worth it.

How to use a turkey baster

Using a turkey baster is easy. Simply squeeze the bulb and insert it into your cooking liquids, then release the bulb to draw them up. Once the bulb has fully re-inflated, the baster is full. Hover your baster at an angle over the area where you want to apply the liquid and gently squeeze. The juices will be released slowly and evenly, avoiding annoying splashes.

To get the best results with your turkey baster, you should use it at regular intervals as you roast. How often you need to baste will depend on the size and type of meat you’re cooking. Something big and dry, like a turkey, will need to be basted more frequently than say, a small joint of beef. It can help to cover your meat with tin foil as it cooks, to stop all the moisture from evaporating.

Turkey basters involve handling hot liquids, so you need to be careful when you’re using them (especially if you’re cooking with kids). But the long nozzle means you can keep a safe distance, while still dispersing your marinades and juices with precision.

What else can you use a turkey baster for?

Turkey basters aren’t just for turkeys. They can be used for any kind of roast meat, though leaner white meats tend to need basting more than fattier red meats. 

They’re also a great gadget to have around the house for any number of fiddly jobs.  A turkey baster can be used to remove juices as well as add them, which is handy if you need to degrease dishes as you go.  For bakers, a baster can be used to easily separate egg whites from yolks. And those that enjoy a glass of wine will be pleased to hear that a baster in the top of an open bottle will keep your drink from aerating.

So, now you know what you need to ask Santa for this Christmas. A Zyliss 2 in 1 Baster & Infuser will not only ensure you success on the big day, but help elevate your roast game all year round.

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