Alex Guarnaschelli’s Butter-Soaked Cheesecloth Hack Will Make Your Turkey the Star of Thanksgiving

published Nov 12, 2021
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Credit: Squire Fox

Nothing ruins a Thanksgiving feast faster than dry turkey. But how do you keep it juicy and moist when it has to sit in the oven for hours to make sure it’s cooked through? The answer, according to a recipe Alex Guarnaschelli shared on Instagram this week, is butter-soaked cheesecloth. “You had me at butter,” commented QVC’s Jayne Brown. To which we reply, “Same.”

Guarnaschelli stuffs her turkey with some wow-inspiring ingredients, like pepperoni and mozzarella cheese, then says to soak a large, doubled piece of cheesecloth in 1/2 stick melted butter and cover the breasts to prevent the top skin from burning. The cheesecloth comes off after about two hours, and the turkey goes back in the oven, emerging golden-brown and luscious.

Many commenters who have used cheesecloth before agreed that it resulted in a delicious turkey, and some even shared their own variations. “I love the cheesecloth method,” wrote a fan, “but I add a smashed clove of garlic, some fresh herbs like sage and rosemary, cracked black peppercorns and a cup of white wine to the butter before soaking the cheesecloth! Yum!”

Butter-soaked cheesecloth turkey isn’t new in itself — Martha Stewart and Michael Symon have their own now-classic recipes for it, as well — but Guaranaschelli set off a frenzy by posting her version right in time for a new generation of cooks to become holiday heroes.

“You just saved my Friendsgiving,” said one commenter, with another adding, “Thanks! I feel a little less anxious about hosting Thanksgiving.”

What they don’t realize is that a turkey this good is probably going to earn them the role of host for many Thanksgivings to come.